I learned two new words yesterday.
FOMO drove my technology use for a long time. I had a frequent sense that I was missing out on what "everyone else" was doing. Scanning Facebook ensured me that I would be there for the good stuff, that I would be in the know. Ironically, FOMO simply increased my likelihood of missing out on my life experience. It turned out that I couldn't be on Facebook or Pinterest while also experiencing the richness of the physical world in which I live. Trying not to miss out through technological connections meant that I was not gazing at the beauty of the moon or drinking in the scent of sauteing mushrooms or working with my hands to create something new. It turned out that not missing the technological world meant that I was missing the stuff that really mattered to me. Technology was interfering with the values according to which I wanted to live my life.
There is no question that technology is changing our lives--it's changing the way we relate to our moment-to-moment experience. Our gadgets are frequently creating barriers between ourselves and awareness of the present moment. We have less awareness of our physical, emotional, and cognitive realities when we are wrapped up in a technological presentation of an alternate reality. The spiritual implications of these changes? We are at risk of putting technology between ourselves and awareness of God's presence.
I had the privilege of exploring this theme--the relationship between Faith and Technology--through a brief panel discussion yesterday with two insightful friends at Calvin College. While we never used the word mindfulness, the astute observer will hear it woven through all :).
(I recommend starting the video around minute 2. Unless you enjoy the sound of college students milling about, waiting for chapel to begin.)
I am Irene Kraegel. I work as a clinical psychologist and teach mindfulness on a faith-based college campus. I practice mindfulness because it opens me up to God (a.k.a. brings joy). I am writing here in hopes of sharing some of my experiences and thoughts related to the practice of mindfulness in the life of a Christian. Thanks for reading!