Articles January 31, 2021

How Technology Shapes Us

Matthew Brensilver

While the value of technology is indisputable, too often it is misaligned with wisdom, compassion, and human flourishing. As meditators, we know attention is a precious resource, and our minds are continually shaped by our actions and interactions.

We may train ourselves in meditation for 15, 30, or 60 minutes a day. But the rest of the time, our technology is training us. As corporations hijack our attention and glue us to our screens, they often stimulate greed, hatred and delusion, harming us and our collective society.

During this half-day of practice and reflection, Spirit Rock teacher Matthew Brensilver was joined by Randy Fernando, Co-Founder of the Center for Humane Technology, which was featured in The Social Dilemma, a documentary watched by an estimated 100 million people globally. Together, they explore how we can investigate technology’s effects on our minds and society, and how to navigate its effects wisely.


Resources for further exploration:

Watch "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix:

How Social Media Hacks Our Brains:

Take Control of Your Social Media:

Matthew Brensilver

Matthew Brensilver

Residential Retreat Teacher

Matthew Brensilver teaches at the Insight Retreat Center, Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society. Before committing to teach meditation full-time, he spent years doing research on addiction pharmacotherapy at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine and continues to be interested in the dialogue between Buddhism and science.