Researching Mindfulness and Technology
The article “Mindfulness and the Social Media” discusses how the concept of mindfulness can be used in the treatment of social media addiction. It includes a brief overview of problems related to excessive social media usage, a description of the concepts of mindfulness and mindlessness, and analysis of mindfulness techniques in the treatment of social media addiction. The main point of the article is that addiction to social media is mainly caused by the ways in which people use social networks, which determine whether this experience becomes enriching or life impoverishing. Mindful behavior is characterized by conscious choices, engagement, and full awareness of experienced phenomena, while mindlessness refers to a person’s constant attempts to get away from reality. The regular practice of mindlessness in connection to social media causes exhaustion, stress, and mental problems, and results in such negative consequences as addiction, antisocial behavior, and psychopathology (Shonin et al. 1). The authors claim that these problems can be treated with a range of mindfulness techniques that can help addicts regulate their compulsive responses and control their cravings.
I chose this article because the subject of social media addiction seems particularly interesting and relevant to me, and the article’s content provides new insights into the connection between mindfulness and technology. I agree with the authors’ view on the nature of social media addiction and its consequences. The increasing ease at which modern technologies allow access to social media makes it difficult for some people to regulate their internet usage (Shonin et al. 2). It results in a variety of mental health and behavior problems that, in my experience, are difficult to solve using traditional means. From the article, I learned how these problems could be addressed with the help of mindfulness techniques. The articles’ arguments seem to be concise and reasonable, and I agree with the authors on all major points of the study. I found it particularly impressive that the authors provide multiple research findings to support their theory and conclusions and come up with a mechanism of action to treat psychopathology issues connected with social media addiction.
The article expanded my perception of mindfulness and technology and the ways they can be connected in everyday practice. In the article, I first encountered the concept of mindlessness and the description of its influence on a person’s social network experience. The authors trace this typical behavior pattern back to traditional Buddhist teachings to claim that throughout the history of mankind most people have never been able to truly live in the present moment. Nowadays, social media is the most common way to disconnect oneself from reality. A more profound understanding of the nature of addictive behavior allows researchers to come up with practical ways to transform it into a more conscious approach.
The article also helped me to better understand the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr, which discusses how modern technologies control our lives. It explores the idea that the internet changes the way we get information, accumulate knowledge, and apply our critical thinking skills, “reprogramming us” and making our brains adapt to a new digital environment (Carr). In the article by Shonin et al., this idea is approached from a unique perspective, with the authors claiming that technologies not only reprogram our brains but also increase our detachment from the real world.
To support their point of view, the authors provide references to multiple studies on the matter. Each argument is supported by a link to a relevant research paper, which makes the article trustworthy and credible. Its authors are Edo Shonin, a psychologist, and a research director of the Awake to Wisdom Center for Meditation and Mindfulness Research, William Van Gordon, Associate Professor of Contemplative Psychology at the University of Derby, and Mark D. Griffiths, a psychologist specializing in the field of behavioral addictions. The authors have relevant experience and reputation and use peer-reviewed academic sources to support their findings. The article is published in The Journal of Mass Communication and Journalism, which is an academic journal focusing on the studies of how the mass media influence various sections of our society. The article is comprehensive and informative in terms of the provided information, the scope of the research, the references, and the authors’ competence. I believe that it can serve as a good foundation for my essay.
Exploratory Essay Topic Proposal
The relations between mindfulness and technology are complex and can be approached from different perspectives. The concept of mindfulness stems from traditional Buddhist meditation practices and remains relevant up to date, offering a philosophical understanding of modern psychological, social, and scientific problems related to technology. Behavior problems are the most common issue encountered by people in their everyday interactions with digital technologies and social media. In my essay, I am going to explore how mindfulness and technology can be connected to behavior psychology, how technologies influence and transform human behavior, and how traditional Buddhist mindfulness practices can be used to change destructive patterns.
My choice of topic was made under the influence of the article called “Mindfulness and the Social Media,” which discusses the relations between social media addiction and mindfulness (Shonin et al.). It explores the concept of mindlessness as opposed to mindfulness, claiming that the ways in which most people interact with digital technologies are destructive and cause a range of mental health and social problems. I am challenged by the idea that modern behavioral problems that most people experience nowadays are inherently connected to the concept of mindfulness and can be resolved by using traditional philosophical practices.
The relations between mindfulness, technology, and behavioral problems can be approached from different perspectives: historical, theoretical, and practical. Within a historical perspective, an evolution of human behavior in the context of mindfulness can be explored, starting with Buddhist theories, and exploring different ways in which people used to disconnect themselves from reality in different historical periods. Digital technologies are a modern advancement, and the understanding of how people interact with them can be facilitated by the understanding of how people interacted with the environment throughout the history of mankind. The theoretical perspective involves research and analysis of the ways in which different disciplines approach the problem of human behavior and its relations with technology. The arguments can be supported by recent findings in the fields of psychology, design, computer science, and sociology. The practical approach discusses the practical methods that can be used to resolve behavioral issues. It may include the analysis of meditation practices, relaxation techniques, self-reflection, and other instruments that can be used to change people’s behavior concerning social media.
The article that I use as a reference distinguishes between three types of behavior problems connected with social media: addiction, antisocial behavior, and psychopathology, claiming that mindfulness can be used to treat each of them. I think that it is a new approach that can be developed and expanded, and it will make my essay different from my peers’. In my paper, I am going to focus on the problem of social media addiction. I will explore the instances in which technologies are used mindlessly, how the addiction develops, and by which behavior patterns it is characterized. I believe that the understanding of the nature of addiction is important in the development of new methods of treatment. Social media addiction is similar to other types of addiction in terms of its characteristics. However, it is different in terms of its non-chemical nature, and the unlikeliness of total abstinence as a treatment recommendation. Mindfulness technologies can be used to develop a control-based treatment for social media addiction based on developing an individual’s ability to regulate their compulsive responses and control their mental urges.
Addictive behavior is compulsive and unconscious, and the introduction of mindfulness techniques can help to increase the person’s level of awareness of what they are doing to change their behavior patterns. Changes in behavior can only occur after a person’s mindset and perception of the world are changed, and the concept of mindfulness provides a conscious approach that most modern psychological theories lack. In my essay, I am going to discuss and develop this idea, illustrate it with the relevant research findings, and produce original conclusions.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google making us stupid?” The Atlantic, 2008, Web.
Shonin, Edo, et al. “Mindfulness and the Social Media.” Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism, vol. 4, no. 5, 2014.