Anxiety & The Virtual World
Posted on 17th May 2023 at 08:28
Anxiety is the price we pay for our ability to foresee the future. As descendants of anxious ancestor, the ability to read environmental cues for danger have served the evolutionary purpose of survival.
In the modern world, our brain still has to catch up with the faster cultural and environmental changes, hence the natural response of anxiety becomes disordered.
The rapid changes in the western lifestyle and the safer our larger society has become, is counteracted by the breaking of the smaller communities and the nuclear family unit. If once upon a time, the tribe, village, or community provided the safeguarding factors, today that is done by services that have not had any personal contact with the individual.
If we think of anxiety as our ability to perceive, notice or assess danger factors we will need to have a base that will help us recognise safety, connections and belonging.
The sad reality is that more and more with the increase of separations, divorce, and movement of people that safety base is beginning to disappear and dissolve. Our children begin to connect through artificial sources where a different type of culture emerged and the value system is skin deep.
They learn to read the danger and safety cues in a video game but struggle to distinguish those in their real relationships.
The emergence of new addictive disorders started with internet gambling addiction but, yet to come, is the addiction to social media interactions and video game or screen addiction with parents reporting more and more the inability to unplug their children form the electronic devices.
Helping ourselves and our children reconnect with the immediate world and learn to recognise the safety cues in the real environment and relationships will only happen if we plug off the virtual one.
Do we foresee a future danger to humankind in the way we interact with electronic devices
or are we simply changing and evolving as we always had?
Change is inevitable, but the concern is, how much control we have over it; if at all. Knowing that connection, safety, and belonging are vital not only for survival but for our mental and physical wellbeing, we need to figure out how to incorporate the virtual reality into the immediate reality in a way supportive of and enhancing to our common humanity.
Tagged as: Anxiety
Share this post: