Old Soul Issues - Technology
One of the settings I’ve spent a lot of time in during my journey is nature. As an empath that lives in a city, I sometimes feel overwhelmed just by being in public places. Whether it’s encountering people that I can tell have bad thoughts or are careless (or worse: are in pain or need help), or dealing with the stress within a busy grocery store, I find I need time to recharge myself after being around anyone. Crystals have helped to deal with this, but solitude became a new friend for clearing it up quickly. Another key component though, is connecting with nature.
This past summer I made it a goal to spend a week out in a secluded area – a rented house in a small town where you had to drive for 10 minutes to get to a store. The view was farmland mixed with untouched forest, and the sky at night was so clear that you could see every star in view. As a newly awakened empath, the pure peace and quiet that I felt here was healing on it’s own. Spending most of the day outside just taking in the view, enjoying each moment, while being gentle and honest with myself, brought me clarity and much to think about. So much in fact that this blog, and ideas for articles, were created one afternoon during this trip.
Sometimes we need to find our own means to “tap into the universe”, and spending time outdoors is a great way to do it. I originally planned to meditate outside on this trip, but found I didn’t need to as long as I allowed myself to just be outside. I kept myself relaxed, on no schedule, and without thought. That last part was the hard one, but is essentially how I was able to finally receive the clarity I was looking for. In a way, I created my own form of retreat by taking this trip, and recommend doing something along these lines whenever you feel the need to disconnect.
The disconnection played a big part in the trip and some of the thoughts I had. I knew I could expect a very unreliable Wi-fi connection, but did not expect to be out of service range on my cell phone. I took this discovery as a sign to turn off all the electronics for the week. It ended up being during this week that I realized a lot of things about technology’s use in life and how I feel that impacts societal needs and people (and those like myself). I welcome hearing if there’s a differing opinion, but have found this to be a common perception with those I’ve shared this with.
For starters, I’m going to be honest and say that I’m not a fan of most social media. It serves a great function in connecting people easily, but simply feels like more of an obligation nowadays. As someone that still enjoys handwriting letters to friends in other countries, I still cherish the personal approach when connecting with someone. Perhaps it’s also that I agree a lot of things are better spoken than typed, but I find social media has taken away from what it means to meet with and talk to another person. And let’s not even get started on the dark side of putting yourself online; forget privacy, and forget being in control of what’s expected of you for that reason.
As much as I slam social media, I’m just one that takes a cautious (albeit somewhat silent) approach to it. With my blog, I’m just being honest about the experiences I know aren’t completely unique to me, but I still expect some hate will come from somewhere. As someone that was in high school when computers and cell phones started to become a necessity, it boggles my mind that newer generations are being raised on it. It has a time and place (always), but I feel like generations are on a decline in common sense and core values due to being babysat by it. I’m not saying this is everyone, but it does seem like fewer kids have the interest and ability in activities beyond technology anymore.
Even as an adult that owns more than just a cell phone and a laptop, I can attest to how distracting technology is to real life. Thanks to the cell phone, we can be reached anytime, anywhere; I don’t think I have to divulge any further on that fact either. Thanks to almost everything becoming digital files, people (myself included) are now more than ever becoming victim to their personal information being lost and facing (potential) identity theft. While the Internet is an endless source for information, the fact that absolutely anything can be put online should always been an indicator to not rely on it as a sole tool in one’s early development and education.
The above is probably the quickest and simplest way that I can summarize the reasons that I believe are the downside to our reliance on technology. And with a progressive and uncertain future, who knows what it will be capable of. When I realized these were my perceptions, I also realized another crucial fact: being so “connected” has subconsciously imposed anxiety (on me). Whether it’s the need to address someone (immediately) because they can see you online anyways, or having other’s personal woes, distressing and/or fake news, and negative comments imposed on you, the online world truly has become a driving force in our lives – whether we realize it or not. Having realized this for myself is exactly why I don’t spend a lot of time online, unless I’m doing something productive.
To each it’s own, as I’m sure there’s varying opinions. But having been on this retreat, forcing myself to turn off everything that “connected me to the world” made me realize how much of a relief it was to lose those obligations temporarily (and how free I felt for it). I’m actually almost tempted to call them responsibilities instead, as I’m sure many people out there have a reason to feel that way about it. And that just brings me back to my exact point: the actual effect that technology has on our lives, which isn’t all healthy.
In addition to not having to answer to the “obligations” of phone calls, texts, emails, etc., I also didn’t have mind-numbing entertainment to fill my time. Even though particular movies, TV shows, and even video games are a hobby of mine, I need to limit them so as to not overstimulate myself and my energy. Being forced to spend time in absolute silence with myself was the perfect setting for self-reflection because I could easily get into a meditative state. When I wanted to switch gears, I spent time face-to-face with my husband – an activity that’s become somewhat lost over the years – and we just talked. We talked about so much that, even though we’ve been together for more than a decade, we learned new things about each other (bonus!).
With these revelations, I am sure there are other people out there that don't just agree with anything that I’ve said, but that have probably been in the same position as me. Even though we weren’t having any problems in our marriage, spending the week this way helped to bring us closer together, and showed us what’s important. Before I knew it, I suddenly yearned for a simpler life; knowing that one can survive, and be happy, without being so materialistic and plugged in (all the time).
Relationships are best reciprocated with spoken words, and touch. Socializing in person – and the process surrounding the act of getting together – makes the memories that we carry. Stories and details are best understood when the tone is also present, which is why it feels so wrong (to me) to primarily communicate digitally with close friends. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but this is why I leave my connection to technology within my work hours, when it truly is an obligation of mine. Otherwise, Old Soul me only pick’s up technology to make the social plans – after all, for the amount of time that I will sink into composing messages to someone, I could’ve had a longer and better conversation in person!
#empath #intuitiveempath #oldsoul #empathconfessions