The Technology Trap
Our world is changing at such a rapid rate that we cannot keep up with a changing value system. The rules we grew up with no longer apply. As people from different groups and nations become more and more integrated, the beauty and uniqueness of their respective cultures begin to unravel and disintegrate.
As our lifestyles keep changing, so do the rules that govern what is acceptable behaviour, and perhaps the icons we fashion ourselves on are not the ideal. What was unacceptable to society in one year is suddenly acceptable the next. The overriding principle appears to be satisfaction and a projection of the self, and the availability of the Internet has brought a world-wide audience for the ego to strut its stuff – irrespective of who gets hurt along the way.
No one can dispute the immense value of technology when correctly used, and the Internet has become an indispensable tool in many areas of our lives. But social networking sites have become electronic gossip sites often causing untold pain and embarrassment to the unsuspecting, as personal details are made public. As we circulate unkind and unnecessary chatter, we appear to be unaware of the repercussions of our electronic actions. Surely the Master’s advice applies as much to electronic media as it does to verbal and physical actions – the effects of words we help circulate on the Web must be as binding as any other.
Marketers have excelled in their objectives. They dangle the carrot and we munch it and become ensnared. With their ability to feed the mind’s curiosity, these sites become more deeply entrenched in our lives, till we believe we can’t do without them. They become bricks in the fortress walls we erect around ourselves and from which we operate.
As these new ways of interacting become more prolific, it is our responsibility to determine what is right and what is wrong for us. We make the choices and we elect the lifestyle, but we should be sure we understand the consequences of our choices with regard to our spirituality.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a spiritual objective in this fast-changing electronic world, where virtually anything is acceptable and the mind is entertained, cajoled and delighted by an assortment of often irrelevant information and opinions.
How much more difficult is it to try and live by our principles and strive for spirituality in a world where so much of what we hold as sacred and important is eroded and our own conduct and moral values are challenged almost daily? How often do we stand back and question our involvement in our changing world and our electronic interactions? We should assess carefully what we allow ourselves to be caught up in. Often these amusements are quite irrelevant to our lives, and we don’t realize that they may bind us even more tightly to this creation. At best, they waste time and scatter our attention.
Let us understand that our involvement in them is being directed by the mind and not from a spiritual perspective. The Master so often tells us to question why we do things. We should do so in our electronic life as well as in our real-time interactions and behaviour.
The law of compensation, of giving and taking, is inescapable.… If we choose to ignore it, still the forces of action and reaction will drive us. If, on the other hand, we become sensitive to their workings, then we can work with this principle so that it takes us where we want to go.