Technological Advancements to Improve 'Quality of Life'
We spend so much time on specialization and advances in technology to improve the ‘quality of life’; but is it all really worth it and does it truly improve our existence and fulfillment? We’re Americans: Working and studying takes up the majority of our time and focus. To reward ourselves we buy technological things and preserve the lifestyle that we ‘need’ to maintain comfort and happiness. To keep this lifestyle, we must work EVERY weekday for at least 8 hours on things that we don’t really care about, which give us little sense of inner satisfaction. But we accept this and ‘know’ that this just the way life is, and coming home exhausted and unsatisfied every night is somehow justified for many.
Question: Is the movement of improving technology really necessary and worth all of the time and energy?
Pros: Technology has drastically changed the world as we know it, especially in the past 20 years or so. The Internet has expanded and drastically increased international communication (consider this website as a prime example). It helps businesses of all sorts in terms of efficiency and profitability. It helps everyone in general obtain information more easily.
Cons: Humans have become addicted to it and driven by consumerism to buy the next best gadget or thing that they perceive will ‘make their life so much better’ and bring them so much ‘happiness.’ This drive to buy these things likely drives people to work that much harder and pursue money that much more. This leads people to focus on work and money so much that they spend the vast majority of their life, time and energy pursuing it and hold it as their highest priority. But what about inner fulfillment? What about the quality of their relationships? What about their family? What about staying fit and healthy? What about piece of mind? What about self-discovery? What about this present moment? Many lose sight of what really matters
So is technological advancement good or bad? Would it be best, at this time in human existence, to stop the intense focus on material things and instead work on inner piece and fulfillment? Or spend more time and energy on acknowledging the difference between what we need and what we desire (material things: big houses, fancy cars, stylish clothes, abundance of food, and also social gatherings that only strengthen your already hollow and artificial ego). Do we really need all this stuff that only clouds our brains and brings more distractions and illusions into our life? Does America need to continue to expand and rise in economic prosperity, or do the people need to focus on a possible spiritual growth and enlightenment revolution instead?
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Technology is not the problem. Technology is a a powerful creation that can and will enlighten human beings. @jpete011, you already know what the real problem is… It’s an individual’s choice to believe(accept) that the world is ALREADY exactly how it’s supposed to be…
“But we accept this and ‘know’ that this just the way life is, and coming home exhausted and unsatisfied every night is somehow justified for many.”
You have made a good point, the gadget craze is crazy. People are becoming very attached to their gadgets, placing high value in them and losing sight of the enjoyment that can be found in life. (as I sit here at my laptop…)
One of my brothers is a great example of “When technology goes wrong”, he’s a gaming addict. All day and all night he plays world of warcraft, only taking pauses to get himself some quickly prepared food or when he is too exhausted to not sleep. It’s hard to watch this happening right in front of me, and not knowing if I can do anything, and what that could be. The game is more important than anything else in his life, he’s immersed himself in an alternate reality.
So yeah, I do believe that side of technology sucks, but there are positive aspects as well, which I find somewhat controversial, and most people will. It’s cool that there are machines that can keep a weak newborn baby alive and nurture it, but on the flip side, nature says that that baby is not meant to survive. Harsh, but the truth is that lives are saved every day, and more lives are also created, to the point where we need more dying, more natural selection, or we’ll have a case of over population on our hands. So… I don’t suppose that’s really an argument on the pro side for technology… but in a way it is. So much I could go on and on about…
“A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.” Albert Einstein
So its not the technology at play, that is to blame for the world’s inadequacies, but our application of it. This is due to our economic structures, as well as for a trait thats left over from our primative age, that is antagonism. Its interesting to view mankinds development, from the perspective of technology, since the argument can be made its one of mankinds greatest projections.
@cantbe123, thanks for getting this thread going man!
@sloanemalone, Right. I guess I did answer my on question in a way. Technology is not the problem, the problem is that many are pursuing it and purchasing technology for the wrong reasons: To make money, to love (many have ‘relationships’ with their gadgets and social websites, instead of their fellow human beings), and to somehow find inner happiness.
@imhotep, Great quote, and well said.
@misssunbeam, Yeah there are definitely pros and cons to our technology. Great example with the baby. Should we spend so much time, energy and money on keeping sick babies and old unhealthy people alive, or should we allow the laws of nature and natural selection to take over. Seemingly all people think of death as the worst possible thing; the thing we fear the most. But here’s an interesting point of view:
“Immortality is already yours, but not in the way you imagine or hope for. You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind — your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity — is all that ends at death. And who needs it?”
-Dan Millman (way of the peaceful warrior)