Part One – Using the Internet as an Amplifier of Human Consciousness
Virtual Psychology is a hidden but important field that matters in the 21st Century. Twenty years ago the idea that hundreds of millions of people would be so absorbed in the Internet might have seemed unlikely and bizarre but the fact is that almost all the people on earth who can afford computers and online access depend on virtual reality for their purpose and sense of well being in this life.
The internet offers us an intensification –amplification –electrification -digitization of human consciousness. It is the creation of a digitized social field of immense proportions. The Internet has given us fantastic tools to help us reach out and touch each other and this leads to touching ourselves in profoundly new ways that makes us happy. Internet use empowers people by increasing their ability to communicate, which yields increased feelings of ‘security, personal freedom and influence.’
Mastering a new technology – whatever the technology is — contributes to the atmosphere of growth in your life, and that boosts happiness. – Gretchen Rubin
Though the internet is seen as a vast receptacle and conveyer of information, it is also a channel in which something even vaster can be communicated. Information, as normally thought of is the act of communicating knowledge or intelligence. But when we communicate and share our beings, our hearts and souls, how can we reduce these aspects of ourselves into digital code? How can love, how can the heart or essence of ourselves be transmitted through cyber space? The fact is that we can and we do; one of the best and easiest places to communicate our deeper selves is online.
Nobel-prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University says “You cannot ignore how people spend their time when thinking about well-being.”
University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman looks at what actively made people feel fulfilled, engaged and meaningfully happy. Mental health, he reasons, is more than the absence of mental illness. It should be something akin to a vibrant and muscular fitness of the human mind and spirit. Seligman found that the most salient characteristics shared by the 10% of students with the highest levels of happiness and the fewest signs of depression were their strong ties to friends and family and commitment to spending time with them. The fact is that the internet allows us closer contact with a broader number of people helpings us not only to keep in contact but to communicate
Though online romance is a real phenomena and an example of the stimulating happiness of communication (virtual style) it is of course not a substitute for face to face contact or being in bed making love though there is a phenomena called virtual sex. E-mail, blogs, texting and even cell phone contact cannot replace real honest-to-God, look her or him in the eyes cuddling type of contact among lovers but it does satisfy our need for deep communication, not only with business associates but also with our closest intimate partners.
Gretchen Rubin writes, “Everyone from ancient philosophers to contemporary researchers agrees that the KEY to happiness is strong ties to other people. We need close, long-term relationships, we need to be able to confide in others, we need to belong, we need to give and receive support. Studies show that if you have five or more friends with whom to discuss an important matter you’re far more likely to describe yourself as very happy.”
It was not so long ago that lovers and business partners separated by hundreds if not thousands of miles only had the Pony Express to meet the need for communication. Now we have the Internet and easy audio video so the only thing we cannot do is physically touch though we can touch with our eyes, even online. Whether in person or via video we look into and feel the same soul because the eyes are the windows of the soul. In the end virtual communication teaches us the importance of non physical contact and communication.
Virtual communication among perspective lovers who use online dating services gives people an opportunity to learn about others from the inside out. Without the distraction of physical desires people concentrate on pure communication. Happiness and love are beacons to center our life path on so it behooves us to communicate more and in deeper fashion. Movements in these directions enrich our lives and the lives of those around us.
The Internet allows us to pursue our passions in life. Certainly it makes gathering information easier and allows us to follow people who share our passions. We can meet others online that will help us keep abreast of everything happening in our principle areas of interest. It can go even further and fulfill us by giving us a channel to actually help others as they help us. It gives us a bully pulpit with the capacity to send our messages out to a large number of people all over the world.
Part Two – Traveling Through Space at Warp Speed – coming soon.