Friday, August 28, 2009

Technology and Breasts

Last night I was recharging my iPhone and I looked to check for emails about my blog and it was totally blank! I've had this little miracle for just a couple of months, but you might think that it was a vital organ by the way I was trying not to freak. I pressed the little button to wake it up, and all I got was the blank stare of a white screen! Was my lifeline in a coma? It had not fallen so it could not have been the dialated pupil of a concussion. I just plugged it in for it's nightly nourishment and it was over the next time I looked.

It was sort of like I lost a boob. I associate compassion and warmth with breasts, and I had temporarily lost something that was feeding me. I have thought about what it might be like as an infant receiving food from the cosmic breast. In the early feeding Mom has not been conceptualized yet, and there is just this wonderful experience that meets a need.

I have even been blogging from my iPhone. It feels so much more intimate doing entries from here than it does on my laptop. And I can manage comments from my iPhone... You got it: my iPhone, my iPhone.

So last night when it was out I was distressed and resisting that feeling. I did other things, like I showered and then I checked my iPhone. I kept doing that: I would do a little thing and check my iPhone. I checked the printed stuff that came with it and found nothing to help. Then I started pushing buttons until I heard some strange beeps I had not heard before. Then I did something else. Finally, I looked at the THING and pressed the buttons a little differently and the apple showed up on the screen: my nourishment was coming! And then after a long pause the screen showed what it usually does, and it looked like everything was fine. So far so good...

Am I proud of my behavior? No! I felt like an addict. I was unwell without this functioning communicator.

And yet it's here. It fulfills a need. a cosmic breast. Communications that come through this darling little interactive and glowing mini-brick fulfill my need to be heard and recognized for thoughts that don't always work in everyday conversation. These things are important to me! And through the blog and the comments I know that there are others who value these things too.

I guess what bothers me is that I might be suckling in ignorance. But hey, it works!

Okay, so the fear is that I am using a technology that is leading people into further physical isolation. Of course, at the same time our digital connection is getting stronger... So for now as I am enjoying my new tool, I will also commit to some quality time physically together and communicating with others. And it will be great to talk with you in person, too. There really is no substitute for that.

-- Post From My iPhone


Linda-Sama said...

wow. my cellphone doesn't even have a camera. and I'm glad. why do I need a camera in my phone?

how old-fashioned I am.....

YogaforCynics said...

Can't quite relate to the boob analogy, but otherwise, I'm amazed by how I freak out when I'm unable to get on-line for a little while...and, actually, it occurred to me recently that the real reason I haven't been backpacking in years is not wanting to be too far from these technological marvels...ugh...

jackie j said...

I'm feeling a similar sickening feeling to my addiction to Facebook. I can't stop checking it. FB to me is a new distraction that I need to balance. Too much of a good thing is bad, like chocolate, etc. Getting in touch with old friends is good. BTW. Miss you and always thinking of you Brooks!

Anonymous said...

I don't need any of these things... I've proven that more than once when on extended retreats.

Don't watch much TV, though if I get a good series on DVD, I watch it obsessively.

Can live without the movies, without music, my phone and the internet. Can even sleep in a bamboo hut, no problems.

But when its around and available, yeah, I get the addiction.

Especially since I work in the digital media industry and for my job, I'm online all day. Then there's my home laptop, then there's my mobile (holding out on an iPhone for now although I know its inevitable).

And none of it makes sense. I mean, if I can go without all of that for weeks - no problem - then why do I feel the need to be constantly connected at any time?

I really do think in the end, these devices are just another way to numb out, detach and become less of a community.

Linda-Sama said...

"I don't need any of these things... I've proven that more than once when on extended retreats."

right on, svasti.

for my last training at Spirit Rock in California, we did three 10 day (mostly) silent retreats.

by the last retreat, the registrars actually had to put up signs that basically said "be happy with what you get, don't have special requests", insofar as food, choice of roommates, etc.

it absolutely amazed me how people could not live without their special coffees or teas, or french coffee presses (seriously), or were sneaking off to try to use cell phones (which didn't work anyway where we were), or how totally attached people were to WHITE SUGAR (I know because my seva was working in the kitchen.)

had yoga taught them nothing about non-attachment?

Unknown said...

I am just impressed you did that whole post on your iphone.