‘But now, with mobile technology, cycling through has accelerated into the mash-up of a life mix.  Rapid cycling stabilises into a sense of continual copresence.  Even a simple cell phone brings us into the world of continual partial attention.’*

“What if our life skills had more value than our worldly possessions?  The most content human by far is one who can create a world out of nothing.”

Pauseability is about continual partial attention.  I guess this is something we’ve always suffered from and struggled with.  Technology certainly amplifies it.

Last week, I was listening to a radio debate about the benefits of letting students have access to their mobile phones in lessons.  How do you think that went?

Multi-tasking is a fallacy.  The experience gives us a chemical high but we don’t perform well at any of the things we’re trying to do.  (I know, I’m doing it right now.)

There are whispers and messages coming to us from everywhere all the time.  We are creatures able to be continually co-present without technology. We’re able to connect with the past through memories, to the present through heightened awareness, and to the future through imagination.

We connect to our natural world (try taking a journey through your town or city by just following the songs of birds.)  We’re able to connect to those we share the day with.  And throughout our lives we are learning to can connect more and more to ourselves:

‘We’re so engaged in doing things of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that’s associated with being alive is what it’s all about.’^

Technology isn’t bad.  It is what it is.  We can  use it to either provide an easy illusion of co-presence or we can utilise it to support our development of our natural co-presencing – something more difficult but ultimately more satisfying and hopeful.

(*From Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.)
(**An anonymous wanderer, quoted in Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
(^Joseph Campbell in Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers’s The Power of Myth.)

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