In recent years, a troubling trend has been developing that feels worthy of exploration. With the exponential rise in the rate of computer development, we are given the opportunity for some groundbreaking advancements in medicine, science, communication, learning, etc. But those presents often come with a caveat and the tradeoff may not be worth the sticker price.
The leading “tech gurus” seem to share a similar, disconcerting vision of our future, and it requires bending the planet to the whims of the insulated and isolated. Society is being influenced by and molded to the preferences and impulses of introverts unable to express themselves or make human connections in the real world. So the creation of alternate, virtual realities to hide those inadequacies behind cartoonish avatars or absolute anonymity feels like a warm safety blanket of protection. They can cower beneath a cloak of invisibility, never forced to reveal their authentic selves.
Innovation directed toward helping hermits spend more and more time detached from reality to compensate for a total lack of social skills should not be the ultimate goal for humanity. If anything, we should be looking for ways to walk away from our desks, engage with our environment, and embrace the living, breathing ecosystem…while the air still passes as tolerable.
As someone who regularly stares at a screen, processing hundreds of pages of text every day, I see technology’s value as a powerful learning tool. But I also recognize the perilous nature of its quicksand construction. Our mental health and physical well-being are suffering under the crippling weight of split-second attention spans and an incessant pull to constantly redirect focus.
We’re spinning in place and dizzy from the effort.
Finding a balance between the body and the machine before the electronic puppeteer pulls the last remaining strings should be the primary objective.