I recently read the most ridiculous article that really exemplifies how technology has taken over both waking and even sleeping hours. In past weeks, I’ve focused blog entries on how, in short, technology has both positively and negatively influenced our lives, but this article just blew my mind in terms of how far removed we are becoming from older generations. The fact that “new age” dream symbols like “hybrid car” “text message/IM,” and “Oprah” now coincide with the standard “losing teeth,” “flying,” and “death” symbolizes that while common dream symbols are focused on the human condition, we’ve steadily become a “throw-away” society with dreams of change. Texts and e-mails aren’t like letters in that they’re kept forever, therefore, our lives have become harder to categorize than previous generations. The last part about “change” refers to the hybrid car and how we’re moving toward a “green” lifestyle as opposed to being ignorant about environmental concerns. With other “dream themes” referring to “spam” or “cell phones” (which are more like mini-computers these days), the way people view life, even in dreams, has changed. Obviously, subjects, scenery, and the way of the world changes as time moves forward, but it’s just interesting what direction even sleep has taken. People sleep less than they did in previous decades now, so lots of people don’t even dream to begin with. My question is, though, how does the dream world reflect our immediate reality?
Personally, when I remember my dreams (I don’t always), I tend to dream about events from the past day, which sometimes include a phone conversation I had with a friend or something to do with my laptop. Dreams can sometimes be treated as symbolic, but most of the time, they’re just reflective of our goals, dreams, and general life activity that may or may not be grounded in reality. In dreams, you can fly, go anywhere you want, hang out with celebrities, or anything you desire, but not may not be possible in real time. Dreams are a safe place for you to explore possible solutions to problems and do what you want without fear of judgment. The fact that websites for recreational uses such as bidding on used items and socializing for potential dates (ie. “eBay” and “match.com“) are represented in dreams means that actions in everyday life are carrying over to sleep. You wouldn’t expect for “eBay” to be innately thought of, therefore there has been some technological influence on the way we think about life.
Humans aren’t programmed to think insert digital phenomena into their dreams, but because it’s now such a big part of every day life, it now rests alongside human constants like “flying,” “losing teeth,” and “death” as common dream symbols. Just like people check their e-mail constantly on their Blackberry’s when they’re with family or spend vacations doing work, people are carrying over the effects of a technological world into a place where they’re supposed to relax. I’ve been told that unplugging all of the technological devices in one’s room makes for a better sleep. Should people unplug these stresses in their dreams as well or are we just preparing for a different type of world?
What do you dream about that people wouldn’t have imagined dreaming about twenty years ago? Or even last year?