Digital Technology, Words in the Wrong Places, and Wellbeing
Newsletter, June 2015
I have been doing a lot of work in the last few years specifically around the impact of digital technologies on mental health. It is a subject in which there is much wild exaggeration and scare-mongering. This reaction even has its own diagnosis: technophobia. There always has been some element of technophobia whenever a major new technology is introduced into society at large. This is the basic warning of Frankenstein: man should not get too carried away in his tinkering with machine.
But of course, you wouldn’t be reading these words without technology. Our society is dependent on technology. This is why I have argued in this article that, rather than fighting the Luddite fight against the machine, we should harness the therapeutic potential of our digital technologies, especially for our children.
I have also been struck by how techie language has infiltrated and defined our everyday vocabulary. We use the word ‘hashtag’ in our speech, as a joking reference to our Twitter tweets. I imagine the same merging together of technology and language happened when, at the start of the 20th Century, as more and more of the general public became literate, the saying ‘we are on the same page‘ emerged.
Why does this matter? Well some metaphors are fairly innocent, but often the language we use has a hidden agenda that can affect us psychologically and physiologically. So, it is important to know when the words we use stop becoming a tool in the service of our best interests, and instead cause us suffering. This is what I have explored in this brief blog for the Huffington Post.
I hope you enjoy reading these articles. I always appreciate feedback, comments and questions, so please don’t be afraid to get in touch.
Wishing you love, peace, and wisdom, wherever you are in the world.
‘We are the one’s we have been waiting for’