Can we just calm the hell down?
I hate to say this but the lemmings are freaking out! OMG, OMG, we’re going insane with technology. Help me, I’ve fallen into my phone and I can’t get out! Wait, Huffington Post will save us! Operators are on duty, call now! Be sure to use a stupid phone, find a pay phone if you can!
Believe me I know there are problems. We are in the first planetary paradigm change in history and things are happening that are NOT all good. Jesus, we have a mental cripple in the White House. It is a major concern for our children and grandchildren but I think my grandchildren, at least, are doing OK. Their GenX parents and the earliest Millennials have taken the brunt of the changes. But at least we recognize that happiness is not digital. Knowledge is, communication is, but happiness has never and will never be a digital service. We need to find that the old fashioned way. Is that so hard to understand?
I have a clear feeling that my grandkids are figuring it out. They have completely grown up with the basic technology that we are panicking about now. They, for the most part, don’t see it through rose colored glasses. They see it as tools that they use to do the things they need and want to do but that’s all. It’s the older people who have gone ape shit over this things and lurched from use to abuse.
But maybe I’m old enough to be immune. I’ve been working with this stuff since the web was invented in ’92 and with technology for almost thirty years before that. I’ve pushed technology through all of that and I learned several years ago you don’t sleep with your damn phone unless you have a critical reason to do that. I did have that reason for a while and I learned how bad that is. I also learned how to turn off notifications that I didn’t need and, even better, I don’t answer phone calls anymore. I get the things I need in text form and have no problem ignoring them if I’m busy writing or reading. And I don’t use paper, or old fashioned books, or vinyl sources of music because those things are non sustainable. That is important.
One of the primary things you learn from studying the history of technology is that we are, by nature, fascinated with what we can do with our tools and that has become part of our evolutionary character. We cannot and will not leave technology alone. We use it until we know it well enough to ignore it except when we need it. But first we go through a fixation period and several stages of panic and finally we get to the, what the hell was the fuss about, stage. And those come faster now because we need to get the panic over with because the next stage of technology will be all over us anyway.
So let’s just settle the hell down and get over it. We need to think about happiness as a priority and what really makes that possible. Beside when we get to full VR with functional AI managing us we’re going to go through all of this again.