Making the link between technology, culture, and youth – Arianna Huffington on Thrive Global


All Writings, Press This, Society, The Young / Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Come join me to discuss, debate and ask questions, kickstarting this urgently-needed conversation to ensure that 2018 is the year when we put technology in its right place and take back control of our lives.

Source: An Open Letter From Arianna Huffington to India on our Relationship with Technology | Thrive Global

The original article by Arianna Huffington is linked and presented at the start.  She, like other good observers, makes the link between technology and mental health.  The case of India is outstanding due to its old culture and a having a majority of young ones in the population.  In the interest of the future generations around the world, but especially in India, it is important to make these connections.  What can be done and what needs to be remembered in view of technology, youth, mental health, and Indian culture?

 

Technology, youth, and mental health
Technology, youth, and mental health

Technology runs our life today.  It’s a frightening prospect to consider, what would happen if suddenly all this stopped working in an instant!  While that is a thought to consider, the present reality of how constant the connection between humans and their gadgets is far more a cause for real concern.  Since the life of today has come to be so closely connected to these modern conveniences, all future prospects are seen as based on it or emerging from it.  This is especially how a young person would see his or her future.

The present concern over technology can find answers from the past culture

It is difficult to imagine what would have happened if a much older generation had access to the same technology we have today.  Can we imagine, for the sake of this subject, some of the old sages from India having a mobile phone?  Or what would Arjuna or King Rama have done with the computer of today or a wearable technology like an Apple watch?  People really do have such conversations, and then dismiss it as silly.  However, instead of readily dismissing it, we can learn some important lessons from such a connection.

India is an ancient land, and so its diverse culture.  Family, friends, and a natural understanding of human behavior is in its very traditions.  The simplicity of the old way of living has nearly disappeared from urban areas as these are overcome by the Internet, social networking, and other electricity-based systems.  The acceptance of a more Westernized outlook and lifestyle has been affecting the traditional values of the Indian society for some time now.  A ready society which believed in the superiority of Western values in every regard was keen to dismiss the qualities and habits that have always been part of the Indian way of living.  This has taken a heavy toll, especially on the mental health of today’s youth.

What can help the young to keep a balance, and remain healthy in mind?

Even though we may feel very disconnected from the past, including the culture of the East, the past teaches us a few things.  We would do really well to remember some things at present.

  • The simplicity of the past allowed humans to be more in connection with reality.  Indeed, a greater affinity for technology has done the most damage by disconnecting humans from their true selves and from those living around them.
  • A fast-paced life could bring speedy achievement and gains in some ways, but it will never build what is lasting or truly satisfying.
  • The way we understand accomplishment has to be different.  A meaningful achievement is one where we look back with the fewest regrets possible.  There is truly no man who doesn’t have some regret!
  • A strong sense of self is very important. We cannot depend on the outside world to be in order for us to feel worthy or significant.  Technology has made almost anonymous, but uniqueness is God-given.  Personal uniqueness is something to cherish.

The following observation is worthy of remembering:

But India has unique resources to meet all these challenges. Its ancient wisdom and spiritual traditions are now at the center of a global conversation about what it means to live a good life. And the truth and power of India’s centuries-old philosophy on life is increasingly and conclusively validated by modern science. Scientific discoveries about the connection between well-being and performance are enough to convince even the most skeptical, secular societies to embrace the knowledge embedded in Indian culture for centuries: the power of meditation, yoga, contemplation and compassion to change our lives and our world.Arianna Huffington

There do exist teachers and thinkers with some valuable insights.  I personally admire Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev among others.  Apart from religious preference, he is a person who has the knack of identifying key issues with clarity and simplicity.  So, not in the way of the following of anyone blindly – we must never – but his ideas and way of understanding matters have value for today’s youth everywhere.

Once we take some time to consider what kind of future we wish for, we can all come to the point of thinking constructively for ourselves, our society, and the world.  This really is doable, and a goal all of us can have.  The young especially have a favored position because never again in life can such energy and promise be found than at the time of youth!  The world of tomorrow will emerge from the ideas of today.  The health of our minds will be the residing place for ideas of optimism and hope.

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