With the advent of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, on top of traditional news media, are we really more connected?
Tweet: CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz's vision to give further to improve corporate-community relations. Finally a leader...
Tweet: Fashion police at the Grammys. Can you believe she wore that? If it is my job to look good, I would too!
Tweet: My cake didn't rise! Too bad, you now can't have your cake and eat it too. Smiley face.
Is all of this really important? Sure, everyone has their definition of what is important and many things can be newsworthy. But does disseminating more information necessarily equate to having real relationships? And can the litany of information available be over-stimulating?
To quote Albert Einstein, "It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Was he right in his prescient observation long before this heyday of techno-craze, particularly social media?
It has been my experience and that of many others, I am certain, that, yes, social media sites can give us both a false sense of connection and cause overload and put increased stress in our psyche and inevitably our bodies. According to Cornell University's Steven Strogatz, these social media sites can make it hard to distinguish between forming meaningful versus casual relationships. This would support the idea that we are becoming a generation of touch-and-go through superficial connections as opposed to authentic and vulnerable inside-out connections. The question then becomes whether e-connections truly stand for e as in 'electronic' or rather e for 'empty'?
As it stands, I have enough stress without having to keep up or rather "read up" about the Joneses through the bombardment of social media. This constant demand would require more energy than ever and can cause stress and fatigue like never before. Hence, can it be that we have reached (or perhaps surpassed) the edge of out-of-control -- or is there a point of return?
Yes, a point of return is always available and it starts with us. What I've found in this noisy world of information overload is that our only recourse to "tuning in" is to "tune out." It's time to get back to simplicity to bring balance to our complex lives. Meditation has been a means to do this by taking me into a state of stillness and silence -- the opposite of what daily modern life showers upon us. Meditation takes me to the bliss within and the peace that pervades me no matter what outer stimulants surround me. During meditation, the feeling is that mental activity becomes more settled. A feeling similar to deep relaxation and calm, but delivering so much more than meets the eye, in which words alone cannot capture. For me, meditation remains one of the most profound, restful, and meaningful connections of all, the one to self.