If you are checking your iPhone or Blackberry while talking to me then you are doing neither – Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra, speaking at the Social Good Summit 2012, expresses his optimism and confidence in social media's role in developing our humanity
September 25, 2012 11:20 by M. Aldalou
We, as a society obsessed with the “chase of life”, are nimble and quick to dismiss any and all accusations of dependency – be it on technology, connectivity, social networking or media. Why can’t you just understand that I need to be, at all times, informed? I know we are on a date, but I can’t help glancing at my Blackberry every few minutes, what if I miss something important? No, you’re right. I can’t stand people who are always obsessed with keeping connected. I only use mine for business reasons and work.
Kettles and pots running around calling each other black, carrying the weight of FOMO (fear of missing out) on our shoulders but it’s not all bad news, Kipp hears. We as a society have come to an interesting crossroads in the development of our own humanity, according to Deepak Chopra. He describes social media as a platform of enhancement of our civilization and that, depending on our own actions, the right path can and should be taken.
“Social networks are the extensions of our mind. They regulate the flow of feelings and information across the planet right now,” Dr Chopra said at the 2012 Social Good Summit. “Whether you think it is good or bad is irrelevant because it is inevitable. You cannot stop it. It is the next phase of the evolution of human species.”
Dr Chopra, while admitting that technology is neutral and its development cannot be stopped, stresses the importance of what we must do with it. The same technology can be used to cut off electricity from an entire city but it can also create a critical mass of human consciousness.
When asked about society’s inability to disconnect from technology and focus on real and personal relationships in the ways that we want, Deepak Chopra offers his advice.
“What we know now about the human brain, the cortical brain, which is the most recent evolutionary development of our studies, is that it cannot multi-task, “ he said firmly. “Your reptilian brain can. It’s right now taking care of your immune system, blood pressure and heart rate so let it do its multi-tasking but your cortical brain cannot do that. So if you are chatting on your Blackberry or iPhone and talking to me at the same time, then you are doing neither.”
The world renowned physicist advises us as a society to divide our time, which he says he has learned to do over the years. Use technology to inspire people, he says. “Our technology is moving us into cosmic identity and as I said you cannot stop it. Use it wisely and creatively.”
When looking around at a technologically dependent society where everybody appears to be offline to the world – be it because of texting, calling, listening to music – without really seeing the world in front of them, Kipp understands how one can be skeptical about the amount of good we are reaping from advancing technology. That is, until Dr Chopra says that which makes perfect sense.
“It is relatively new. We are in the pubescent stage of technology. We are still going through the puberty of it but once we mature beyond that, we will start using it wisely.”
Chopra, despite his support and optimism about the development of the planet’s social networks, is confident about the fact that social media and technological communication will never truly be a substitute for true relationships, creativity and imagination. Algorithms are based on Mathematical logic but human creativity isn’t, he insists.
What about those who want to distance themselves from it?
That is their choice but then they will be frozen in an obsolete world view. As I said, you cannot stop it. It is our creation, we weren’t created by it. So let’s use it to bring about a development of our civilization and use it to bring healing to the world.