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Beyond Human Scale

Do you sometimes feel that you’re living in a world so much bigger than you that it’s becoming harder and harder to stay tethered to what is actually real in your everyday life?

Some questions you may like to reflect on:

  • How often have I reached for my phone first thing in the morning, before  looking outside or saying hi to my partner?
  • How many times have I used my phone as a ‘vulnerability shield’, avoiding eye contact and hoping not to engage in a conversation that feels awkward?
  • To what extent am I mindlessly browsing through social media in bed before going to sleep?
  • When have I found myself sneaking a peek at my phone when my children are playing in front of me?
  • How honest am I being with myself about the level of importance I place on the number of likes and dislikes I get on my posts?
  • How often am I missing the real beauty around me because I’m so focused on video-ing them?

In a recent Unlocking Us podcast episode, Brene Brown spoke to Esther Perel about a new and different kind of AI, “Artificial Intimacy”. This formed a part of her series on the possibilities and costs of living beyond human scale.

A world in which we may have 1000 friends on Facebook, and no-one to ask to look after our pet when we go away.

A world in which we can work in team remotely, where we sit alone all day engaging on Teams or Zoom, and feel the seeping loss of disconnection.

A world where we’re constantly surrounded by many people, yet never felt so alone.

A world where the person we love, sitting next to us on the couch at night, is so absorbed on their digital device, that we feel the yearning for something more – for something real.   

Yes, modern loneliness “masks as hyper-connection”.

Living Beyond Human Scale has led us to a place where overwhelm and burnout is rife, and stress is a prevalent emotional experience in workplaces.

People are leaving their day at work with hundreds of unopened emails, frustrated by the lack of resources, facing relentless change to systems, coming to grips with the need to understand and navigate Artificial Intelligence in all aspects of their lives.

Older systems are making way for the new.

I feel sure that in 10 years’ time we will all be using Artificial Intelligence, and as reliant on it as we are currently reliant on the internet. What we need to look out for, and guard against, is that we don’t succumb to Artificial Intimacy.

We are all neuro-biologically wired for connection.

So here’s our collective Call to Courage, our chance to stay present, embodied, calm and connected:

  • Put your phone ‘to bed’ at night in another room
  • Reach out for your partner’s hand first thing in the morning
  • Watch a sunset, resisting the urge to video/share it on social media
  • Be fully present to and grateful for the tiny moments with your tribe
  • Listen to people in ways that make them want to share more with you
  • Speak in ways that leave people feeling seen, heard and valued
  • Find creative ways to have more play in your days
  • Dance with your kids while you’re doing the dishes
  • Arrange in person catch ups wherever possible
  • Go to plays, music festivals, concerts, sporting events wherever possible ~ they spark ‘community effervescence’ and it feels good!