This week on The Indie Spiritualist, Chris sits down with Nancy Colier to talk about addiction to technology and the “Power of Off.”
Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist, interfaith minister, author, mindfulness teacher and public speaker. She is also a longtime student and practitioner of Eastern spirituality. Chris and Nancy Colier talk about the nature of addiction and learning to break our abusive relationship to technology.
Technology: A Real Addiction (Opening) – Addiction to technology is an addiction like any other. Nancy talks about first seeing how overuse of certain technologies carries the markers of any addiction. She and Chris discuss how, like with any addiction, our lives get smaller and smaller; becoming centered around our drug of choice.
“Technology is like any other addiction. We realize that there is a part of us that knows this is not good. We want to stop or to at least cut-down, because stopping is not an option any longer. We need to cut down, but we don’t, we won’t, we can’t.”
Getting Serious (10:00) – Addiction and abuse of technology can be easy to dismiss when compared to substance abuse. Nancy talks about how serious addiction to technology can get and the subtle way in which it envelopes our lives.
“Sure, you might not hit “rock bottom” necessarily, but it’s so similar.”
The Paradox of Posting (21:15) – Chris and Nancy discuss a paradox of our social media lives. On one hand, we have a narcissistic belief that what we post online has tremendous importance, and yet we have no sense of our own value without constant approval from others via like or retweet.
Nancy talks about the signs of the abuse of technology and social media. She asks us to take an honest look in the mirror about our own use.
“We have absolutely no sense of our own value, of our own meaning, if it’s not reflected back to us; moment, to moment, to moment. We are becoming kind of raging narcissists, but at the same time we are becoming these tragic three-year-olds. If mommy leaves the room and does not call to us and see us, we feel that we are not existing anymore. “
Finding Freedom in Technology (31:15) – Part of what makes technology so tricky is that it is equal parts remarkable and dangerous. Chris and Nancy talk about the value of using mindfulness and not taking the easy way out of life by relying on technology. They help us understand how to cultivate a balanced relationship with technology.
Taking Pause (41:00) – From the moment we wake up, we are ready to engage with our smartphones, computers, and televisions. Nancy talks about making space between the noise and waking up to life happening just outside the door.
“It’s not just creativity happening in the spaces in-between, it’s actually the felt sense of awe for being incarnated. Entertainment is a pale substitute for that.”
To hear Nancy talk more about the balance of technology and our spiritual lives, listen to her last visit to the Be Here Now Network. Find Nancy Colier online, and keep up with her articles at the HuffingtonPost.