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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds NEIL BAILEY: Technology nowadays is constantly demanding our attention, and it’s really often demanding that we shift our attention, which is sort of actually the opposite of mindfulness practice. Mindfulness meditation requires us to focus our attention for a sustained period of time. I guess when you think about it, at the end of the day, attention defines the contents of your consciousness. The things that you would tend to make up your reality completely. So if we are constantly practising something like checking Facebook, checking our emails, diverting our attention, the contents of our consciousness that we end up with, are constantly flitting around and never sustained on any one thing. It’s kind of a superficial way to approach reality.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds The practise of mindfulness meditation is the opposite. It’s prolonging the experience of a sensation or an experience, training your attention to really focus at depth from that experience. And it’s a deeper way, I guess, to approach reality. And that’s maybe why it’s associated with increases in happiness, whereas using Facebook more and more is actually associated with decreases in happiness. At the end of the day, technology is not going to go away. It’s probably not even really going to change. So all we can do is change our internal approach to that and train our attention, for example, to try and have a deeper experience of reality.

Technology and sustained attention

Watch neuroscientist Neil Bailey discuss the impact that technology can have on our attention and how mindfulness meditation can help focus your attention.

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