Digital Disembodiment: Part 3

A recent study of 10,000 young adolescents (average age 12) found that bullying increases the incidence of suicidal thoughts. Sadly, old news. This tragic effect of bullying has been known for years. However, the same study found that cyberbullying led to a significantly greater risk of suicidal thoughts than regular plain old in-person bullying.


See earlier articles in this series here and here


Surviving Our Disembodied Future: Reconnect to your Body

Facebook is no longer Facebook. It is now Meta. Meta refers to the Metaverse, the idea that we will leave our corporeal life behind and voluntarily enter the machine. 

Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, is banking on human machine interfaces. Connecting wires to the brain so that we are one with the computer.

We now work from home more often and interact through Zoom, Teams and other one-syllable-named applications.

It’s not if but when. When will we be predominantly digital?

And when we become digital beings, how will survive the threats to our machine personas? As the recent study quoted above hints, the online-self is much more fragile, more easily crushed by reputational damage.

We are a very ancient organism. Science has illuminated so much, that we can forget how little we know and understand about ourselves. The more we associate with an avatar on a screen the more estranged we become from our physically lived experience. Our real homo-sapienism. The brain structures we share with fellow mammals, and the reptiles and birds beyond that. The aspects of our physiology we share even with invertebrates, plants and single-cell organisms.

How do we ensure that we are not duped into overidentifying with our digital selves?

My best advice for retaining our physical humanity is to: Connect to the body.

Allow yourself to be present in the moment within physical space. Exercise your body without the distraction of music or video. Sing and dance.

Enjoy pleasures of the body: mindfully eating a good meal. Physical touch. Sexual connection.

Play. Indulge in childish delights like craft and tree-climbing.

Enter environments where screens are never seen. Bushwalk in the wilderness. Ocean swim and SCUBA dive.

Refusing to let go of your ancient animal heritage is your insurance policy against disembodiment and the risks of disembodiment digital identity loss.

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