A friend said:
“Never trust a thought that you’ve had indoors.”
It was a paraphrase of Nietzsche, but I like it better. She gave me something to think about that wouldn’t have come with the original: “Never trust a thought that didn’t come by walking.”
Our technology has become our cubicle. If we go for a walk tethered to our phone, are we outside? If your phone rings and you don’t answer it, do you cease to exist? Will I be happier if I am among the first to know about the latest disaster or upheaval?…
Yes, we are in a time of turmoil and many things threaten our society and world. Should the bird in the tree or the flower by the side of the road go unloved so that we may be afraid and angry? Or write a letter and join a protest? Can a fallen leaf, a mountain, or a noble tree not make us aware of beauty or give us things to think about that may change our world?
Stress and worry sap the joys of living and limit our ability to respond.
I know that I am taking a somewhat Zenist, a-technological viewpoint here, but I am not anti-tech. Many smart people have written on the problems of being “over-connected” and maybe I’m just another coyote howling in the wilderness. But, the world of nature and human society ask better questions and gives better answers than the latest “personality quiz” on social media.
Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins are the feel-good neurotransmitters that our technologies (along with drugs, exercise and other aspects of extreme living) play on. Unfortunately, they are addictive and the more you get, the more you want.
I am not saying that activism is bad. I am not saying that we should totally ignore our kids. And, I am not saying that you should not have fun.
I am saying that addiction to feeling good or bad (cortisol has an addictive quality also) or worrying about what might happen if you aren’t immediately aware that something is occurring is self-destructive. I am saying that a moderation in all things is healthier for mind and body and soul.
The internet and much of modern technology (social media, the news, games, texts, etc.) is a sterile environment.
Modern tech revolves around 2 of 5+ senses or awarenesses. It uses imagination to simulate a true presence in the world. But, I also spend much of my time in my head and on the internet, so who am I to talk?
Honestly, I am just encouraging you to stop and go outside, feel the world, and have ideas. You will likely be glad you did.