Free Press Journal

How technology invades the human mind


Excess of technology can be quite detrimental to the average mind. For a seeker on pursuit of peace and traversing the spiritual path it acts as a major deterrent.

Yours truly was ensconced in the world of 4G – grace, gratitude, generosity and guile-less. I believe the world of science and technology will soon invade the privacy of our minds with a 5G model. I doubt these would be efficacious words like genteel, genuine, glistening, glowing and a galvanised mind.

Recently I watched Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘Mohenjo Daro’, an intrepid attempt to weave a love story against the backdrop of the Indus Valley civilization. The grandeur of the epochal sophistication was lost in the sands of time. The edification engineered by the resolute minds of those times, was unfortunately subsumed by avarice and greed. We are left with mere artefacts like the dancing girl, some sites and seals. Technology developed and also eclipsed the advancement as the mind was not adequately developed to administer it.

The generation today swears by the internet, Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram among several other techniques to guarantee speedy communication. But these apps have made us dependent on the electronic revolution and the human mind is slowly losing the ability to make decisions without the help of these aids.

The role of the library, reference and research books, journals and research papers, old newspapers and cuttings, thesis documents and papers, presentations which are a repository of knowledge have virtually vanished. We rely on Kindle to read books, Flipkart or Amazon for delivery and the thesaurus has been replaced by Google. These are inherently driven by market forces and do not necessarily portray the complete picture.

Also Read: In pursuit of peace and happiness

There was a time when people noted down words and inspirational quotations while reading books. Individuals may be jotting down bullet points through say Google, but the rigour and the discipline have been obliterated. It is a case of say a test match versus a T-20 IPL game.

So what is so romantic and nostalgic about those good old times? Of course with the rapid advancing technology and the pace of development humans cannot be Luddites and live life like a Rip Van Winkle instantaneously rising up in a state of ignorance and smog. The rigour of the mind needs to be harmonised by skilfully deploying the magnification of technological development, without becoming a slave to it.

I recently faced a piquant situation when abruptly my batch mates from college aggressively pounced on me to enable WhatsApp on my Blackberry phone. It took quite a while as the obdurate instrument refused to become compatible with an alien ingress. It was quite happy messaging and occasionally being employed for Facebook apart from performing its regular task of receiving and making calls.

The recalcitrant qwerty-pad phone and the mind of the owner, both seemed happy not to be enabled on WhatsApp. My batch mates termed this behaviour as aberrant and inexplicable. So to make a start, my wife’s phone was deployed and almost exploited for the purpose much to her chagrin. Her calls, WhatsApp messages were being interfered with. I was invading in her privacy. Finally, with the assistance of the software engineers of my office the low end Blackberry model was enabled to receive WhatsApp messages. But to my horror it has become extremely addictive. The mind is trying to catch up with the past. And is being influenced and shaped by my friends, now donning estimable positions.

Though surrounded by opulence and all gizmos available at their disposal, the globe-trotters-some practically living-out-of-suitcases are leading extremely stressful lives. A few of them have been prescribed melatonin to address sleep disorders with their bodies unable to constantly shuffle between time-zones.  Prosperity and affluence have taken a serious toll on the physical and mental health of my cherished friends. Sagacious counsel has made them practise mindfulness, meditation, pranayama, yoga, Vipassana and the bouquet of courses offered by the Art of Living to combat the lethal disease of modern times called – stress.

The gizmos and WhatsApp gave me an idea of the welter cannonading their minds. I could offer some extremity to resolve the vexed issues confronting them. Perhaps that was the only sanguine build out of possessing this proprietary cross platform messaging service. What really disconnected my mind was being virtually dependent to this variant of constant messaging, craving for information and inability to differentiate chaff from the grain. I felt strafed, disconnected and the mind was hit by a blitzkrieg of gibberish information. The result was that I could not pursue my renewed interest in reading and writing.

Therefore, excess of technology can be quite detrimental to the average mind. For a seeker on pursuit of peace and traversing the spiritual path it acts as a major deterrent.

I find seekers do not keep their mobile phones switched off or on silent mode while doing their Sadhana. Out of sheer force of habit they keep clicking photographs of their Master, recording the teachings and taking selfies. This is nothing but a narcissistic tendency. How will the mind be silent if even the instrument cannot maintain silence? You-Tube too, is much abused as individuals get addicted to watching pornography and sleaze which only trigger carnal instincts in the mind.

Humans are blessed with the left and right hemispheres in their minds. The left represents logic and the right with creative abilities. Through the practice of yoga, pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya humans can balance the hemispheres to maintain equilibrium.

Let us recall the prophetic lines of Albert Einstein, ‘I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.’ Thus balance the use of technology to save the human mind.