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Category: General

You Use Technology More Mindfully Than I Do


Since I write and teach about using technology mindfully, many people assume that I’m somehow naturally gifted at that practice.  They believe I’m always focused at work and never struggle with distractions when I should be doing something more productive.

In fact, when I tell people about my work in this field, they get embarrassed and think I will look down on them because of how poorly or distractedly they use technology.

I’m in the Same Boat

What I tell them is that I’m just as prone to mindlessly using technology as anybody else. I suspect making positive and healthy use of technology is even more challenging for me — and that’s why I’ve become so obsessed with this topic.

If it came easily and naturally to me, I probably wouldn’t be focused on it at all because I wouldn’t realize the need for improvement.

This reminds me of the founder of one of the karate styles I study. He was a pretty weak, sickly child. It isn’t hard to understand why he turned to karate, as he saw so much benefit from it compared to other children who were naturally strong and athletic.

The main reason I’m saying all of this is to let you know that if you’re having any self-critical thoughts or feelings about how you interact with technology, I’m in the same boat as you are. Even those who have practiced and taught the discipline for many years have expressed difficulties with staying mindful.

There isn’t anything wrong with you.

Focus on Your Improvement

In my experience in several different areas, I found that people who have natural talent in a particular field often aren’t very good at teaching it.

My theory is this: Those who are naturally talented have never had to struggle or work through challenges. There wasn’t much conscious thought behind it. Generally, they are great at demonstrating but often aren’t very effective teachers, as they can’t understand or relate to others’ learning experiences and see what they need to improve. 

So when you’re working on being more mindful — even though you may feel like you’re struggling — practice self-examination and you will develop your skill and ability to identify ways to continue being mindful.

Focus on how you’ve improved as a result of your efforts and not just your perceived shortcomings.  Have a bit of self-compassion.

Wisdom Films for the Modern Age

Wisdom Films for the Modern Age

I just attended a session at Wisdom 2.0 called, “Wisdom Films for the Modern Age.”  We may not think about film as a form of technology anymore because we are so familiar with it, but film and the various mechanisms for distributing it are technologies that act as amplifiers.

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Series: What Mindfulness Means to Me, Robert Plotkin

In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we are posting a series of short essays by different contributors on “What Mindfulness Means to Me.”  Below is our founder, Robert Plotkin’s view of what mindfulness means to him.

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Welcome to Technology for Mindfulness

Welcome to Technology for Mindfulness, where we explore the ways in which technology can both promote and impede mindfulness—with an emphasis on the former. We examine the relationship between technology and mindfulness by reviewing products, revealing research, and posting musings.

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