More and more human interaction takes place through a medium, a screen, a fortiori an app: chatting with a friend, looking for a job, finding a soulmate, taking a course, giving a lecture, what have you? Everything we are as humans – that is, interacting with other humans – has been confiscated by intermediation tools on the pretext that they will make our lives easier. Is this really the case?
Living With The Times, But At What Price?
Our era tacitly enjoins us to use platforms of all kinds to communicate better and be more productive. We’ve certainly become more productive, but should we allow ourselves to be swept along by this tidal wave of technology to such an extent that our entire lives are structured by applications? By living constantly in front of our screens, we’re losing the very thing that makes us human in the first place: our ability to connect with other people in the real world.
The platform, the tool, can become the gatekeeper to our social life. What would happen if we were banned from these so-called social tools? We’d lose our link with the rest of the world, we’d lose our ability to socialize, we could suddenly lose our connection with the rest of humanity, as it were. These platforms have great power, and they know it. They know that our need to connect with others is deeply rooted in our DNA. They know that our ancestral survival was linked to the group, and that even today we consciously or unconsciously associate social death with simply dying. In other words, these companies know they have the power of life and death over their millions of users, and they know how to play on our emotions to better serve their interests.
There are obvious ways of getting away from intermediation: all you have to do is move to countries that don’t have the same levels of development, and try to rebuild your circle of friends there. It’s an immediate way, but you have to be willing or able to do it? If you can’t, you’d have to cut yourself off from intermediation periodically and voluntarily.
There’s a simple and radical way to put an end to intermediation: simply cut out the medium. You can decide not to consult your phone for part of the day, if you can. It’s actually semi-radical: you can’t live a fulfilling life today if you cut yourself off completely from digital means of communication, since they represent a gateway to the real world. That said, if you get into the habit of not using the phone or your computer and doing something else instead (sport, meeting friends, reading a book etc.), you’ll rewire your brain and you’ll be able to emancipate yourself from the constraints that go with intermediation.
The Destruction Of Attention Destroys Your Motivation, And The Destruction Of Motivation Creates Depression.
If you weren’t convinced of the dangers of excessive use of modern communication applications or devices, consider this: today’s tools destroy your attention. You don’t even have to decide what you’re going to look at anymore; it’s the algorithms that suggest what you should consume, and you end up ingesting a staggering amount of dopamine, thinking that this will give you relief. But no! You slowly and surely fall into the trap of addictive dopamine consumption, which is not without consequences. Your ability to concentrate will diminish. Previously, you might have been able to read a book, watch an entire film or write a long letter to a friend. After intensive exposure to cheap dopamine, you won’t really be able to do such things anymore.
With Loss Of Attention Comes Loss Of Motivation
Once your attention is reduced to a minimum, you become a kind of zombie from a mental point of view: your motivation is considerably reduced and you’re even amorphous in some cases. This is the second stage of the infernal spiral: you know the applications aren’t good for you, but you can’t help it. Because your brain has been completely reformatted, difficult things seem pointless because they no longer provide immediate satisfaction.
Prolonged Loss Of Motivation Can Lead To Depression
If you stay too long in a state in which your brain is overexposed to dopamine stimulation, you risk falling into depression. Depression can be defined or explained in several ways. It can be said to stem from a loss of meaning or desire to do something with one’s life. When stimulated by dopamine, the world can seem bland, and nothing can seem worth doing except what might give a quick “injection” of dopamine.
Breaking The Vicious Circle: The Good Is In The Measure
There is a way of putting an end to this infernal spiral, and it’s simply a matter of regaining a taste for effort and getting used to a relationship with time: the stimulation of serotonin. If you do an endurance sport, read a hard book, etc., you’ll be able to wire your brain differently. Of course, this takes time and happens in stages. You simply have to set up atomic habits and stick to them. Technology isn’t a problem in itself, it’s the excess of it that’s the problem. That’s why you need to reintroduce discipline into this aspect of your life.
Silence Is The Key To True Power
Today, we’ve been robbed of a real power – the power to enjoy silence. Everything is done to ensure that we are caught up in the flow of information and distractions suggested to us. In so doing, we lose the possibility of connecting with ourselves, we lose our true power. That’s why we need to proactively seek to recreate the silence each day that allows us to regain the power that comes from self-knowledge.
Endure : Derived From The Latin Duro (“To Make Hard”), With The Prefix In-.
To be strong, you have to be able to endure hardship. The absence of distractions, such as not using a cell phone, is one way of becoming stronger. To become stronger, you have to learn to overcome hardships. Silence is an ordeal in itself in today’s age. If you can tame silence, you’ll reach a higher level of development.
Enthusiasm: From The Ancient Greek Ἐνθουσιασμός, Enthousiasmós (“Inspiration, Divine Possession”).
Part of today’s generation has lost its enthusiasm because it is spiritually or morally empty. The constant distraction made possible by social networks prevents us from doing real inner work, or at least it makes the divine presence in our hearts unfit because our minds are distracted. To rediscover enthusiasm, to contemplate the simple beauty of life, we need to disconnect, after clearing our heads, to be able to fill our hearts with divine joy.
Choose Your Purpose By Choosing Who You Want To Help And Protect
To conclude, if you want to be happy in the age of digital distraction, don’t seek to satisfy a personal desire. Instead, put yourself at the service of a cause, helping a group of people. You’ll get more pleasure out of it, and you’ll find lasting happiness.