Is technology numbing our minds?

This is a question that every mature adult should be asking themselves. Every parent needs to beware. But herein lies the gist of the problem. If people are enslaved and/or enchanted by their own personalized technology how will they ever realize? Technology is a very powerful tool. It also has a more powerful allure to those that could never understand the technology they use. But we need to understand how our smartphones and the internet can end up making us mentally lazy.

A falconer puts a hood on a falcon because it keeps the bird calm.

It helps to ensure that when the falconer needs them to, the falcon will be alert and ready to fly. Without a hood, the falcon is in constant attack mode. With sight ten times more powerful than a human, it sees every target. So, if the falconer picks a target and releases his bird, the bird has already moved on to another target, if it hasn’t completely lost interest. In other words, a hood makes a falcon calmer, easier to control and make use of. This is not necessarily hypnosis but it is as effective.

A dog that is nervous can be calmed with a heavy "Thunder" blanket. This is probably because it somewhat mimics the feeling of being in the womb, or nursing with the other pups. Again, not the same thing as hypnosis, but you can see how it is an effective form of manipulation.

If you lay a reptile on its back and run your finger, or in the case of a larger reptile, your hand along its belly, it will ‘go to sleep’ or otherwise, completely submit. In reptiles, sharks, and more, it is brought on by great stress. It’s what is called "tonic immobility" or animal hypnosis.

With sharks, it is thought to be related to mating.

Other animals appear to be “playing dead, probably in hopes of an attacker losing interest." I’ve seen it in rabbits and mice as well. And there is a goat that ‘faints’ when startled, though I’m not certain it is tonic immobility since it is caused by the leg muscles going stiff when startled. Regardless, it seems nature evolved some odd traits, in a great many animals, when it comes to fear and Cognitive Dissonance.

It is perplexing because this immobility happens when it is the exact opposite of what a given animal needs, at that moment. It most likely will lead them to the wrong side of a dinner plate.

Trained Humans?

I have wondered if that is not what television and computer screens have become for humans, a form of animal hypnosis. If you look at countries where television is scarce, they have very different priorities. They are often anything but silent about injustice. They are not easily dissuaded from protesting. They have a much greater tolerance for suffering. Electronic media, evidently, does not foster the same strengths. On the contrary, it seems to foster the very opposite.

Television and Internet consumers are a weak, petulant, and whiny lot by comparison.

Those warm screens and audio sensations are our binkie, our ‘woobie’, our ‘thunder-blanket’, our falconers hood. They can instantly bring us to a state of subjugation. The idea of living without them, whichever one that gets us, is clearly something the conditioned brain is not readily willing to even consider. The cognitive dissonance it would give rise to seems something unable to bare.

Does it not make sense, that this might be the reason that no one in a 1st world country seems willing to put up any kind of real resistance to anything? Am I missing something? 80% of the population has only recently been willing to get involved politically, and of course, that remains to be seen. It’s as if everyone has been asleep since the 60’s.

And we can’t seem to shake the running in slow motion dream where our punches are of no effect and clothes are missing. Hypnotized by television, radio, and now, but not so thoroughly, the Internet, we witness the constitution disintegrate before our very eyes, and we do nothing.

The world witnesses a megalomaniacal spy take the presidential oath of office of a once great nation, and we still bicker over meaningless things. We do nothing. There is an ever-growing abundance of mindless drivel perpetually emitting from screens all over the world, and a large portion of mankind is, likewise, asleep before it. We do nothing.

Much like the addiction to cigarettes I once had, for a very long time, and in a very bad way, electronic stimulation beckons to us from every corner of our universe.

It reasons with us, how boring our lives would be, were we to walk away from it. Like a yearning lover, it cries to us that we would instantly be dumb. Where would we get our information? Where would we get out knowledge? How would we find the laundromat? We would certainly be naked and alone, running in some invisible viscous cloud, that forever hinders progress, and too weak to break free.

Technology Media: The Man Behind the Curtain

This is what we have come to as a species. Like nicotine secretly croons to us about how much we need it, about how we need it to relax or calm down. The world of technology has everyone in it believing the alternative is not only unwelcome, it’s just plain terrifying.

The paradox is palpable. It very well could be destroying us as a species and yet we practically depend on it as a savior. Why?

Why don’t we ask instead, who? Who would have an incentive to pacify and/or hypnotize so many of us? What could we do if we knew? I don’t know. I just don’t know. I’m not willing to jump too far into that rabbit hole. I’ve seen radio, TV and YouTube nutjobs go mad down there. We may never know the answers.

Nowadays, in just about every public place, you witness droves of people sitting very still, staring down at the tiny screen of their smartphone, within which lies the seemingly infinite reach of the Internet. The only movement you will notice is the barely perceptible flutter above the screen, as they pound out superfluous web chatter.

It seems technology has succeeded in linking us directly to it, wirelessly.

In his book Propaganda, written by Edward Bernays a prominent Austrian/American pioneer in public relations and propaganda and nephew of Sigmund Freud, writes,

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

Was he prophetic, or was he somehow partly responsible?