Conversational Tarot — Four of Swords
A while back, I described a way to initiate thought-provoking conversations using the messages of the cards. (See: https://jamesricklef.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/tarot-questions-instead-of-answers/) A great way to facilitate this process is to use my Pithy Tarot app, which provides a quick little meaning along with a card. Today I did this and got the following card and meaning.
The question I came up with is this:
We are constantly tethered to our cell phones or other electronic / internet devices. In fact, an image of a group of people stranding around with their attention fixed on their cell phones instead of being engaged in conversation with one another has become a cliché.
What is this doing to us as individuals, and what is it doing to our society and culture as a whole?
There may be both good and bad consequences, so how can we counteract or at least mitigate the bad ones? Also, what are some things we can do to “untether” ourselves from our electronic umbilical cord?
One interesting point that came up in the discussion I had about this is that the constant pinging we allow ourselves to be distracted by with our gizmos has the opposite effect of meditation. Meditation has the effect of making us more focused, mindful, and centered; allowing our cell phones (for example) to constantly interrupt us makes us less focused, mindful, and centered. Perhaps just the practice of ignoring those pings can bring us a more peaceful state of mind?
So here’s a suggestion. You know how you turn off your cell phone (or at least, you turn off the ringer) when you are in a theater? How about extending that courtesy to your friends. Whenever you’re interacting with friends, turn off the ringer — let calls go to voice mail and get your text messages later.
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. (And yes, I do see the irony of asking about this on an Internet based forum, so please try to answer this when you are not in the midst of a social setting.)