Bionic, simply put, is a biological organism that has electric or mechanical parts. In other words you are fused with it and it is inseparable and a great many homo sapiens are then, by definition, bionic.
Yes, it is plain there are those who fit this label well according our expectations – primarily with amputees. With these examples I find no problem and it is good that through this technology people are able to have a high quality of life that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Where I do find a problem is with normally functioning people being unable to function without being constantly connected with technology.
The ultimate current example being the smart phone. People become panic stricken and severely distressed when ‘the battery dies’ or it gets lost or damaged. In personal experience, we nearly hit someone who had accidentally dropped their phone that then had rolled right in front of our moving vehicle. And then there is the disregard for other people’s lives when texting and driving. The only time that such attachment and distress should make sense is if you were expecting a call for a job interview or when there was a family emergency (there are possibly other things I have missed, but you get the idea). In any of those cases driving wouldn’t even be considered.
People are now finding it difficult to cope with being alone with themselves – for any length of time. Its quite the affliction our population is having. Normal social behaviours are being deteriorated through this technology dependance – being able to tell someone troubling news, asking someone on a date, breaking up with someone, and other socially challenging scenarios are more frequently resorted to an electronic message. People are walking in a group and all staring down at a device instead of actively engaging with one another. As more and more direct, in person, socializing drops, neurosis spikes.
We’ve essentially created a little bubble around ourselves and disengaged with the physical world to an extreme. We are experiencing entire generations that know more about fictitious creatures on favorite television shows than what lives right outside your door, that know the fast food menu like the back of their hand but can’t recognize fresh vegetables.
Processed goods have become more normal and recognizable than the raw ingredients that make them. You have pine floor boards? What does that tree look like? Your shirt is made from rayon? What is rayon? You’re eating pasta? How is pasta made? Drinking pineapple juice? What does a pineapple plant look like (not just the fruit), and where is it from? Pretty basic questions really, and if you can answer all this from the top of your head without looking it up you are at the far end of the bell curve.The point is that we are so entrenched in technology that we don’t even realize that we are dependent on it to function normally. Everything from harvesting, manufacturing, transporting, and selling a product happens unawares to the most of us – we just see the end of the line. And in our mundane activities we are constantly connected to it.
Would you be able to go for months without having a cell phone on you? A couple of weeks without the internet? Could you go on a road trip without relying on a GPS? Would you be able to navigate your whole neighbourhood by foot – without your phone? If unable to do these things, then maybe we need to reconsider how we relate to our world.
I think a bit of routine disengagement from tech, processed foods, and controlled indoor environments; and getting outside and being surrounded by other than human lifeforms is good keep our sanity on principle. But it has also been found to do wonders for your health overall…
So do yourself a favour and regularly give yourself some time without that phone, without that ipod, fastfood, or car, and spend that time getting food from a farmer’s market /community garden, going on a forested hike, having a picnic in the park, or just sit under a tree for a few minutes or more and soak it all in. Let what thoughts come and deal with them while you are not distracted – we need to take the time to get our thoughts together on life to be better prepared to deal with what comes ahead. Alternatively, or along side that, you can empty your thoughts and experience the moment in full – again because we are so often distracted from the now that we never really take the time to experience life fully in the moment.
This is also an important message for students who are about to begin the school year. Extra curricular stuff is all well and good, just make sure you or they (if you dear reader are a parent) have some direct Nature Time without all the structure, doodads, and tech – you’ll much happier and healthier for it.
If you want to do more than that, follow our blog and read what we already have shared to learn more on ways to establish a better nature connection.
Continue this specific topic with Worldview Connections: A Meditation on Our Worldviews and their Impacts