Apr 13- Connected

Meditation: Headspace, Mindful Tech
Length: 5 minutes
Where: Living Room, Los Angeles
How It Felt: Like a little release

I have a real love/hate relationship with technology.

We live in an incredible world. I’m so grateful to be able to watch almost any tv show or film on demand, to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world with ease, to have a robot that vacuums my floors and a thermostat I can control from Thailand. Technology is amazing. It’s true.

BUT it’s also my most intense foe. I wrestle with it so much! I hate formatting documents on my laptop. I get more frustrated trying to set up a new device than doing almost anything else. I get completely lost once somebody starts in with technical jargon, and my brain shuts down. When something is supposed to work and doesn’t, I short-circuit.

I swear I’m not an idiot. If I may, I’m actually pretty smart. Lessons, concepts, languages, math problems, remembering random facts- all these things come easily for me. They always have. I was one of those annoying kids who barely had to study in school and flew through. I was in every advanced class. I’m telling you- I’m not dumb!

Technology beats me every time, though. My brain just cannot understand any of it. Then I get frustrated, and it gets worse. Not my idea of a fun time.

Recently, we had our wireless router replaced, and now we have a dual band situation. Great for most things (and finally our internet is fast and reliable!), but not great for reconnecting smart devices that require you specify a 2G connection.

Most people reading that will be like, “Oh, sure, I totally get what this means.” If you are like me, maybe you have no idea. A week ago, I certainly didn’t. After hours and hours of wrestling with smart plugs last night, I now have a vague understanding of the problems that creates and why.

(No, we couldn’t log in to our router and fix it. We had to solve it by getting so far away from our router it could only pick up the 2G, then reconnecting, then bringing the plugs back into our home. In case this ever happens to you!)

Why am I telling you all this? What on earth does this have to do with meditation?

We finally got it fixed, but I was in a crabby mood after that! Trying to understand this stuff jams up my brain and it stops functioning. So, I sent Steve off to bed early (he works crazy early hours when he’s in LA), and I decided to meditate right then to make some space in my poor, cramped brain.

And, wouldn’t you know it? Headspace had a session called “Mindful Tech,” with a description hinting at a “healthier relationship” with my devices.

There is a meditation for everything!

Generally, of course, the session focused on not being reactive around our phones and computers. It talked about not having to jump every time we hear a notification, which is a thought process I can benefit from as well. I do tend to be tethered to my phone. My job sort of requires it, as well as my large family, my HOA duties, my volunteer and class schedule, and a lot of other things.

But, I’m on it too much. I’m guilty of mindless scrolling, just as most of us are. I should do better now that the pandemic time is ending and there are actual things to do again!

Overall, I would like to stop seeing technology as an enemy to battle, and try to find a way to feel like it’s on my side. Maybe it’s appreciating more intentionally all the benefits. Maybe it’s taking more breaks from it so I don’t feel like it runs my life. I know staring at a screen for too long starts to make me crazy. Maybe it’s outsourcing some of my tasks that I hate the most.

Either way, something to work on.

I should have done a full ten minute session, but I was frustrated and worked up, so I was worried about sitting still for longer than five. I need to remember: the more you need to meditate, the longer you should probably do it!

This meditation practice has me assessing every single part of my life that could be improved, though, which is pretty cool! Lots to work on, lots to be grateful for.

Not least of which is that my lamps are voice activated again. Ah. First world problems if ever I saw one.