Monday, June 16, 2014

Are We Using Our Smart Phones Correctly?

" Well, I will rest a bit." Without finishing the words out comes the smart phone and like a person who hasn't eaten for a few days begins to finger the device. To the religious sister writing on smart phones in the Catholic Times, they appear like zombies in a horror movie. Sister has studied media ecology in the States and is now working to find harmony between the digital world and spirituality.

"Let us begin our class!" Putting away the smart phone is like saying good-bye to a loved one and once put aside there is an emptiness that is conveyed with the eyes. We should not be surprised at this for they have become like one of our body's appendages.

In the home, the father is watching the evening news, the mother and daughter are with the smart phone peering at some beautiful landscapes or getting some recipes. On the subway or bus as they go to their seats, they are fingering the smart phone, walking along the street, or in a park, sitting or standing, there is more interest in watching the screen than what is going on around them. Rather than ask someone to take their picture, they are more comfortable in taking a selfie. There is nothing strange about all this for everybody is doing the same.

She has a question for us. When we have these repeated actions are we forgetting our inner selves and who we are? Are we being oversensitive? Let us overlook what many scholars say about what the use of the smart phone is doing to our mental structures, for are we not able to see that  something strange is happening to us? Is not the  smart phone doing harm to our patience, making our thinking shallow, interfering with our ability to examine ourselves?

Our ability to concentrate and to be absorbed in what we do is weakened. We are not able to accept boredom and the slowness of much of what we do. Rather than using the smart phone as a tool is it not the response of an addiction and to amusement?

With this repeated  craving for more are we not feeling the emptiness in ourselves? Only the persons that know that they are dreaming can return to reality. She is not recommending that we give up this useful tool. We are not able to  get rid of a technology that we have become comfortable with. We need to question what we are doing, otherwise we will not have answers or know the way to go.

We need to know what is real and what is not, what gives true happiness, what restrains us, what gives us freedom and what helps us to know ourselves. In conclusion, she wants us to reflect on the words of Aristotle: "knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." It is with the correct appreciation we have of our needs as a human being that we are able to judge whether the use of our digital world is good for us or not.

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