Reflection on the past is an important action in life. It requires deep contemplation on what has been happening in our lives, and a stillness in the understanding that comes with it. Sometimes, we can begin operating on automatic pilot only to find ourselves out of synch with our deeper nature. I have always been a person that has delved into the deeper makings of what we refer to as our collective reality. I like to ask questions, ponder on our behaviors and reflect upon the values in which we collectively operate.
Recently, this has taken me on the path of studying our habits related to Facebook, the use of our cell phones like an IV drip, and the ease in which we brush off a meaningful conversation, eye to eye contact, and heart to heart connection in favor of a device.
When I planed into this phenomena a little deeper, I found that facebook in particular is really just a machine that studies human behavior and actually intentionally created a system in which people would become addicted to seeing their likes, scrolling through other peoples' lives with jealously, or fascination, or support. However,r the idea being that the more time one spends on it, the less time one is spending time creating and living the life they could be living.
I have been watching this in my own household and have seen first hand the damage that is done when one person's reality id dominated by a machine. We clearly are welcoming in AI, not that Artificial Intelligence is good or bad, but if the intent behind certain forms of AI are to draw people away from their own humanity, to skirt individuals from living life based on what is important to hem, minus a device, then AI clearly needs to be understood and boundaries created to assist humanity.
I am reminded of George Carlin and his clever way of getting our attention:
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often”.
We have created addictive lifestyles which we fear sleep, even though insomnia has become the number one condition of our times. We don't want to miss anything! However, it comes with a price. Have we become the walking zombies, the parody in many apocalypse films? Have we become so dependent on sleep aids, anti-depressive medicines, that we are afraid to face our inner most self? Have we become so materialistic, that we have forgotten how to be of good service to humanity?
I would ask those reading to ponder your values and place them in a priority scheme. For instance, if you value good food, how often do you sit down without a TV or facebook in front of you to enjoy your food? Which is more important? What happens when you really savor the food you have prepared? What greater meaning can you derive through the connection you have with the food? You can try this with other values. How many hours per week are you spending with those you love, with the outdoors, with your animals. Really hone in on the question of am I living by my values?