Technology & Humanity
It’s Down To Us
The world is changing, moving, and doing this faster now than it’s ever done in the past. Globally we’re seeing shifting populations, shifting manufacturing and service bases and shifting economic power bases. For people born in the late twentieth century the scope of all these changes is a cause of bewilderment and in some cases shock as people find themselves set firmly in a society demographic that is unrecognisable to them, a demographic that is fluid and changing the way that it presents almost daily. Or so it seems. Yet, there’s no going back. We can’t put the Genie back in the bottle, nor the technology back in its box.
Of course, the vast majority of people wouldn’t want to turn back the clock, and for people born into a world of constant dynamic change, such an idea never even crosses their minds. Constant rapid change is their expectation, the sea that they swim in. They don’t even notice it. They don’t question the pros and cons of cutting edge technology. They take it for granted and look forward to embracing the next leap forward – which they seem to expect to see every couple of months or so.
Technology has brought benefits to us all, even those among us who tell themselves that they wish things could go back to the way they were. Medical technology in particular has brought spectacular benefits in the field of health care and we’re seeing people live longer on average than they’ve ever done. And in the field of communications, the scope and speed of the internet has changed the way we view communities forever. While not so long ago a community was a close grouping of people in a particular geographic locality, the communications revolution has expanded the idea of community so that it now has a global scope. You only need to look at communities of video gamers where people from all over the world come together to share and participate in their common interest. There are many more such communities. People coming together in meaningful and immediate communication across the globe in ways that were impossible to even imagine just a few short decades ago.
So where am I going with this? Well it’s easy to get swept along by the excitement scope and pace of change. To be constantly amazed at the wow factor of technological innovation to the point where we almost forget our humanity. Sometimes it’s worth taking a step back and reflecting on the fact that technology ought to be there to serve us humans, not become a distracting focus of our attention. And while we’re doing this, let’s make a conscious effort to connect with our fellows on this planet in a more human way. We can do this by mindfully bringing Love and Compassion to the forefront of our dealings with those we connect with. Not just those close to us, but all the people that we have to communicate with as we go about the business of living our lives in this fast-moving fast-changing world. Let’s make the effort to become mindful in our dealings and relationships with others. Let’s make the other person the focus of our attention, no matter what the means of communication. Whether we’re physically face to face with someone or involved in a Zoom call with someone ten time zones from us, let’s make sure that the other person feels that they have our undivided attention. That we’re not glancing away to check for notifications on our phones. That we ae listening. That we care about what they are saying. That we’re not going through the motions. If we do this, and all of us make the effort to do this, we’ll start to see a world developing where everyone comes to view technology as a medium that brings us closer rather than sets us apart. Celebrating our differences while seeing that more connects us than separates us. Bringing a sense of caring and sharing to a community that’s global in scope. And if we can do this, if we can bring this about, maybe we’ll find those who are currently resistant and afraid of change, learning to embrace the new world that we’re striding forward into rather than fearing it. A consummation devoutly to be wished, perhaps. Maybe, but one things for sure, for this to come about, it’s human choices in how we interact with our fellow humans at the level of the individual that will make the difference. Technology of itself has proven that it’s impersonal nature has no power of persuasion either way. It’s human perception and choices that matter. Choosing mindfulness. Choosing Love and Compassion. Choosing to listen. In other words, it’s down to us.