Zap Me There

Have you heard about the wearable device that’ll zap your mood wherever you want it? It’s made by a company called Thync, whose web site reminded me of a series of recent posts by fellow blogger Katherine Gordy Levine about hypnotic techniques used to sell you stuff you may or may not need or want or, alternatively, to nurture the evolution of humanity to greater reflective and empathic awareness on the path to justice, peace, and brotherhood:

This kind of hypnosis is immediately obvious to most of us from watching TV commercials. They can be hard to tune out. As Kathy says, this seductive Madison Avenue-type hypnosis can be hard to recognize although it’s well to remember it can be used for constructive as well as devious and manipulative purposes.

Hey, if you want to buy a wearable mood flipper if and when the Thync device is FDA-approved, that’s up to you.

But I can’t help suspecting that this is another gimmick similar to the gadget I posted about recently, the Muse headband. Sound familiar?

Buddha in FallThis reminds me I’ve just passed my 6 month anniversary for sticking with my mindfulness meditation practice–something the Thynckers seem to compare unfavorably to battery-powered pulsing headgear which they promise can rid you of bad moods in seconds.

I doubt many people will find it convenient or desirable to avoid feelings, thoughts, and sensations they don’t want via the jolt driven by a 9-volt battery hundreds of times a day.

It’s a lot harder and takes a lot longer to learn how to be with my thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Often I find mindfulness not such a pleasant, relaxing experience. But I’m not so sure I want to be zapped into serenity either.

It makes me think of the electric-powered magic finger-type shiatsu massage chair my wife bought us for Christmas. I tried it once and vowed I’d never use it again. It’s just too creepy. She returned it to the store.Shiatsu-Massage-Cushion-CH-05A

It’s not so much that we’re anti-technology although you can catch my wife and I doing the dishes the old-fashioned way, never using the electric dishwasher. She washes; I dry. You learn teamwork. Moving around each other in the kitchen is almost like dancing. And if I don’t pick out the dishes to dry in the right order, it could lead to a cracked cup.

The_Thinker_Rodin-2What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the Thyncker. So if you can wrap your head around this headgear you wrap around your head, you can get in the zone just by making a selection from the app on your smartphone. But I don’t have a smartphone. I have a flip phone. We bought them after a bad snow and ice storm just a few years ago when I couldn’t get a hold of my wife because she was stuck on the road coming to pick me up at the hospital. I worried myself sick and promised we’d never go through that again. One of my few concessions to the digital age. I keep mine in a holster on my belt and use it once a day—to tell her that I’m on my way home. I don’t have any apps.

Wait, that’s wrong. I do have apps but they’re on my iPad, which I never carry around with me in the hospital because I’m afraid somebody will steal it when I have to leave it outside rooms to gown and glove to see patients in isolation. There’s a fair amount of dust on it. My pockets are full of index cards and I carry a clipboard on which I carry essentials like my suicide safety plans, and family educational guides on delirium–which I also can’t take into isolation rooms.Clipboard and iPad side by side

I avoid taking the elevators and often climb several flights of stairs. I don’t have a phobia of elevators and I trust the technology. They’re just too slow and frankly, it’s the only exercise I get nowadays.

We’re getting away from Thyncking. I really don’t have time to put on a device like that and fiddle with a smartphone. It’s quicker to Stop, Take a breath, Observe (what’s happening now in this moment, nonjudgmentally) and Proceed (STOP). It’s also a lot cheaper. So do you think you need this neuroenhancer wearable technology?

Thynck again.

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