Don’t Blame Your Phone If You’re Addicted to It
Ranveer Singh: Sir, I feel technology is constantly evolving, and I have a feeling that mobile phones have really changed the way we are. They have a huge bearing on pretty much everything. I sometimes wonder whether human beings were ever meant to communicate like this. I could be hanging in a jungle in Africa talking to somebody who is at the North Pole. I can actually see their face!
And with that, now comes along social media. It is really changing things. Kids who are eighteen, nineteen now are much more into it. They know how to use these things much better. I was born when there were still landlines, so FaceTime is still a trip for me. So what is your take on mobile phone technology and social media? Is it the new evolution, like this is what human beings were, and now we have a cell phone and that is the extension of us?
Sadhguru: Every machine we have created is just about extending our faculties in some way. We have visual capabilities, so we have a telescope and microscope. We can speak, so we have a microphone and a telephone. So when I spoke through a landline, it was okay. Now I have a mobile phone, which is far more comfortable, but that is not okay? No, it is perfectly okay.
About thirty-five years ago, I was always on the road, driving all over the country building Isha Foundation – village to village, town to town. I would only have certain days when I could use the telephone. I do not know whether you have seen those horrible blue boxes – those telephone booths – local, STD, ISD. On the highway, I would find one blue box. That would be my day to call.
I never had a telephone book, but I very easily remembered eight hundred to nine hundred numbers and names. So as soon as I got there, I would pull out five thousand rupees and give it to that guy. He would not understand why, but I would say, “Just keep it. This is a down payment.” Normally, a call would cost five, ten rupees. I gave him five thousand rupees – he does not know what is coming!
I would go into the booth with the black, horrible-smelling phone. Some of them had it serviced with some perfume, but the rest had everyone's bad breath in it. Then I would call and call for four, five, six hours. I would make all the calls I needed to make for the month.
Other people who wanted to make phone calls would come there, gesticulating at me for not coming out, but that guy took care of them because I had already paid him five thousand bucks. I would finish all my calls, get into my car and drive on. Even my fingers used to hurt a lot at the end of all those calls.
But today, if I just speak someone's name, my phone automatically calls.
Ranveer Singh: Yeah!
Sadhguru: It is a done thing. I hugely appreciate the technology. Some people are complaining, but they are not complaining about the technology. They do not know that what they are actually complaining about is their own compulsiveness.
Compulsive usage is not a problem with just the phone. If they start eating, they do not know when to stop. If they start drinking, they do not know when to stop drinking. This compulsiveness is there in all aspects of their life. Now the gadget has become a drug. But it is also keeping lots of people out of drink.
Ranveer Singh: At least there is something good about it.
Sadhguru: Compulsiveness is what we need to handle. Technology is a tremendous enabler – no one should complain about it. Otherwise, we must put you in that blue box with a black phone. Then you will understand!
Editor's Note: Whether you're struggling with a controversial query, feeling puzzled about a taboo topic, or just burning with a question that no one else is willing to answer, now is your chance to ask! Ask Sadhguru your questions at UnplugWithSadhguru.org.