(NewsUSA) – Today’s technology allows us to stay in touch with extended networks of people -; but it comes with a downside. The more time we spend surfing the Web, tweeting or updating Facebook, the less time we spend with those closest to us.
Among the thousands of people I’ve taught, I often hear people complain they have a hard time connecting with their spouses and kids. Yet, I’ll bet many of them are well connected in Internet chat groups.
It is important to recognize whether technology is keeping you away from your family and friends. If you really have a problem regulating your use of technology, it helps to understand why you might turn to technology for fulfillment.
Do you feel like you are automatically turning on whatever electronic medium soothes you? This may be a sign that you have succumbed to what is known as the “iago trance” – a naturally occurring state of mind that lulls you into unconsciousness.
Huna, the ancient Hawaiian system of consciousness that I teach and practice, gives us tools to stay connected with the moment and the world around us. If technology is interfering with your real-world relationships, cut out screen time and do activities that keep you out of the trance. Here are some tips:
* Ask yourself whether technology is stopping you from meeting goals. At the end of the day, do you say, “I wish I had more time to work out, meditate, play with my kids or connect with my spouse”?
* Make a list of things that prevent you from being connected to your friends, family and loved ones, and pick one that you’re going to cut out.
* If a particular technology has you hooked, try cutting it out for a week to see what difference it makes in your life. Ask yourself whether you’re using it the way you originally intended, or is it keeping you in iago trance?
* Lay down boundaries for yourself and your family. For instance, try keeping your Facebook page very private and not just “friending” anyone.
* Find other “unplugged” ways to reduce stress, such as spending a few minutes outdoors in the fresh air or quietly in meditation or prayer.
I’d rather tell my wife good morning than tell the people on Facebook I just woke up. How about you?
Matthew B. James, Ph.D., is president of Kona University. His new book, “The Foundation of Huna: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times” details forgiveness and meditation techniques used in Hawaii for hundreds of years. To reach Dr. James, please e-mail him at info@Huna.com.