If you walk into any internet cafe or coffee shop with free WiFi, you'll probably notice a plethora of mindless zombies tapping away on laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Very rarely do you see individuals engaging with other human beings. This exact scenario happened to me a few weeks ago, and I thought to myself, "Golly, I'm glad that's not me, addicted to technology." Then I had a moment of clarity that put my last thought to shame. I AM addicted technology...or at the very least, I am distracted by it. The constant Facebook posts and TikTok videos that create an endless time-sucking black hole in my productivity have consumed a countless number of hours I could have used for something productive like meditation or Reiki.
As I started contemplating how much time I actually spend interacting with technology, I listed some of the things that take a back seat to technology in my life. The prime culprit shoved in the back seat is often my spirituality. With the hustle and bustle of daily life, I've somehow trained my mind to believe that passively swiping a glass screen counts as relaxation and is somehow less stimulating than my day-to-day work. This in turn got me to thinking that technology can't always have a negative impact on spirituality. Certainly, there has to be some benefit to my connection with the Earth and the Universe that has been strengthened by the power of technology.
I set out to find the answers through research and contemplation and here's what I found. Technology can be a great way to help build your spiritual connection if you stop using it as a distraction and start using it as a tool. For example, if you haven't already discovered meditation apps like Calm, these apps provide guided meditations and skill building exercises that can help relax you or increase your focus. A benefit for an app like Calm is that some of your favorite celebrities may have actually recorded a guided meditation for the app. I also realized that I use my phone a ton for mood-setting music when I am meditating or when I am in a Reiki session. It's great to build your own spiritual playlist in apps like Pandora, Spotify, or Amazon music.
Technology also allows us to embrace our spirituality through the building of community. I've met and interacted with so many wonderful people through social media who have helped me to build my connection to the universe and to the earth. In fact, I subscribe to a Patreon called Spiritual Dad where I have a weekly check-in with someone who has been on a spiritual path for a very long time. My mentor Jim is willing to answer questions, provide suggestions, and simply check in to see how my journey is going on a regular basis. I would encourage you to start building your spiritual network with others. Remember, it is possible to send distance Reiki to each other or perform distance cleansings, so the more people you can have in your spiritual corner, the more supported you are on your own path. Coincidentally, I heard about Spiritual Dad from another of my favorite spiritual uses for technology...podcasts!
Podcasts can be a great way to stay informed and entertained while we are on our spiritual journeys. Trust me, if you can wonder about it, there's probably a podcast that covers it. I listen to anything from true crime to paranormal, from self-help to spiritual podcasts. These help me to keep my own goals and ideas in check, but it also allows me to use the drive time I have to feel productive and to feel like I'm learning something new. Some of my very favorite podcasts, both spiritual and secular, are 3 Pagans and a Cat, Midgard Musings, And That's Why We Drink, Morbid, The Darker Side of Life, and Around Grandfather Fire. I've also listened to a few Tarot podcasts which seek to help listeners learn the meaning of each card in the Tarot deck. There are so many ways to use podcasts to enhance your spiritual journey!
While we often find ourselves distracted by technology, we also have to remember that the great web of life has built even more intricate connections with the proliferation of the internet. We can now watch the sunrise over Stonehenge in real time, discuss the philosophy of energy exchange with Japanese Reiki masters, or discuss Australia's most prolific serial killer with an Aussie. Once we start to see technology as a tool to help guide us on our spiritual journey, we realize just how far we can go!