We are alway looking for ways to connect.
The possibility to be connected to virtually everyone and everything around the planet at any given time, via the internet, is theoretically fantastic. With roots on two continents and myself living on a third, I am the first to admit I often use this tInternet and never stop to marvel on how fast and financially affordable making these connections have become. However, as a CranioSacral therapist and a Reiki master, I have long noticed that there is more to the subject of technology. Recent scientific studies have confirmed it. Our instant worldwide connection does come at a very high cost, not necessarily to our wallets, but to our health.
Technology makes it possible to easily connect to internet and respond to emails from wherever we are: in line at the grocery store or while cooking the family dinner. However, this also means we are more likely to be distracted and not fully present at home or with our loved ones. Though this technology is hardly new, we still need down time to recover.
Before sleeping, what about sharing a moment with your spouse rather than with the computer or iPad?
Studies now show us that social media on internet -Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.- are a giant stage on which we need to constantly perform and post witty comments to be “like”d. Unfortunately, this can lead to a major displacement in our self image. We develop a personal sense of worth based on the opinion of others, measured through their comments and the number of “likes”. This handing over of our personal sense of self worth makes us very vulnerable.
Studies show as well that the less we feel good about ourselves, the more time we spend on social media. If you have bouts of depression or simply don’t feel well, turning to social media to seek the reassuring comfort of your fellow human beings can be very tempting. It’s like having company without the exposure. Unfortunately, you are more likely to become even more depressed. How you marveled at all the wonderful things people have, know or do in this whole vast world and ended up comparing your finite being to that? Then you probably know from experience that this is the perfect recipe for more unpleasant feelings.
The History of free men is never written by chance
but by choice; their choice.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
On a physical level, the impact of prolonged internet use on our body is just as destructive. Social media makes us more sedentary, a real threat when you consider that inactivity has become pandemic and leads to conditions, such as heart disease and stroke, that now kill roughly as many people worldwide as smoking.
Another physical impact of extended time on social media is the now infamous computer vision syndrome (CVS) which covers eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches as well as neck and shoulder pain. (I can cover during a CranioSacral Therapy session what can be done to prevent or handle CVS, if this is a concern of yours.)
Lastly, research has begun to show that technology appears to change the way our brain works: shorter attention span, lack of focus, lower comprehension, reduced long term memory and tendency to depression, among others.
A study on 1000 students on 12 campuses over 10 countries has shown that a clear majority were not able to voluntary renounce their internet connection for even one full day. Some reported signs of withdrawal. In fact, a Chinese study has found numerous similarities between the brains of patients struggling with alcohol, drug or gambling addiction and patients diagnosed with internet addiction.
On an energetic and spiritual level, the constant stimulation is way more than our system can handle. It’s a bit like pouring bleach on your garden and expecting something to grow afterward.
This being said, the potential of internet is truly wonderful, especially if we are able to make the conscious choice of when and how it is right for us. However, we often do not make that choice. When you finally make it to bed at the end of the day, after checking your email for the last time, fully synching tomorrow’s schedule to the iPad and setting your alarm on your smartphone, exhausted from running around texting all day and doing so much, as you lay there, you might find something is missing. Could you be longing for a meaningful connection with a human being in person, be it with your friends, your family or yourself during a CranioSacral Therapy or Visceral Manipulation session?
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself,
and know that everything in life has purpose.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
CranioSacral Therapy, Somato Emotional Release and Visceral Manipulation in New York.