She stated to me “I’m in love”.
That obtained my consideration.
For a second I had that heat fuzzy feeling that comes from being instructed that you’re your associate’s centered object of human happiness.
However my associate wasn’t speaking about me… she was speaking about what she had in her hand. Her new Apple iPhone.
It was 2008. Steve Jobs had created an object of want. 15 years later, Apple has offered 1.5 billion models and has us hooked on our gadgets.
Since then, the intersection of internet applied sciences, social media, and moveable gadgets has facilitated unfettered entry to data, information, and leisure, wherever there may be an Web connection or cell reception obtainable.
Our new instruments have improved our lives in some ways.
Expertise has made issues a lot simpler. We will speak to folks distant rapidly, journey internationally in lower than a day, and use instruments like Zoom and Google. We even have AI that may write articles, summarize books, and discover new methods to enhance our well being and create medicines a lot quicker than earlier than.
So, longer lives, extra productiveness, and leisure on faucet.
However there’s a drawback
Ever sat at a dinner desk and everybody has their cellphone out? You stroll down a avenue and it’s exhausting to keep away from folks with their head of their cellphone. Individuals cross the road with their earpods blocking out the bodily world and don’t discover that rushing automotive.
Happiness is being left behind. Simply have a look at the info:
- Teenage suicide is double because the introduction of social media.
- Politics is now one in every of polarization and rage.
- The unhealthy actors are utilizing the know-how to spam and rip-off us.
- Productiveness has coincidentally dropped at about the identical time that social media grew to become widespread.
- The AI algorithms are designed by Fb (and different social media platforms) to promote adverts and that implies that creating anger and drama and rage get extra clicks. Social media isn’t designed for happiness.
- We scroll by an Instagram feed for hours on a regular basis and see happiness and success in all places. The shiny exterior of others usually makes you are feeling envious and insufficient. We decide ourselves by the shiny polished contrived social media feed of others.
We’re permitting ourselves to be utilized by the instruments as a substitute of utilizing the instruments. We’re linked greater than ever however disconnected from one another.
We aren’t happier!
So what does historical knowledge and analysis inform us?
Historic knowledge on happiness
The Greek thinker Epicurus had some concepts and insights about what made a great and fulfilling life 2,400 years in the past. I’d name that happiness.
He highlighted three parts:
- The corporate of excellent buddies
- The liberty and autonomy to get pleasure from significant work
- An “examined life” constructed round a core religion or philosophy
One of many biggest joys and sources of happiness for me is sitting spherical a dinner desk having fun with conversations with not one cell phone to be seen. And I’m certain I’m not alone.
One other essential component of happiness is having the liberty to pursue my passions and bliss to create one thing significant and vital.
And right here I’m writing and sharing my significant work. It’s not perfection however it’s my creation. And I’ve been doing this since 2009.
What does science say?
Scientific analysis backs this knowledge of the worth and significance of wholesome relationships with an 85 12 months examine. That is what they discovered:
“In 1938, Harvard researchers launched into a decades-long examine to search out out: What makes us completely satisfied in life? The researchers gathered well being information from 724 individuals from everywhere in the world and requested detailed questions on their lives at two-year intervals. Opposite to what you would possibly assume, it’s not profession achievement, cash, train, or a nutritious diet.
Essentially the most constant discovering we’ve discovered by 85 years of examine is that this: Shut and wholesome relationships make us happier, hold us wholesome, and assist us dwell longer.”
Evidently science and historical knowledge agree.
All of us have the flexibility to decide on. We both select to make use of know-how for good. Or we let the instruments steal our happiness and humanity.
We’re at the moment operating a worldwide social experiment that if unchecked:
- Alienates us from one another. We might quite scroll which have a dialog.
- Separates us from nature. Being distracted by your cellphone or remoted from the surface world with headphones when you’re strolling means we’re lacking listening to the crashing surf and the sound of birds and the wind rustling the bushes.
- Chooses and prioritizes the person over group.
- Distant work that alienates us from our group.
- Synthetic Intelligence that reduces or totally automates our creativity, taking your which means and goal away.
Shiny toys (or what is known as SOS “Shiny Object Syndrome”) are a enjoyable distraction and there for use however we have to guarantee that we aren’t being abused by the technocracy.
Mark Zuckerberg didn’t design Fb for the widespread good, however to generate income with promoting out of your dependancy.
So how can we use know-how to make us happier quite than be utilized by it?
How can we guarantee that our eyes are huge open and never wired shut?
How can we design our instruments for happiness and for a satisfying life?
We dwell in a tremendous world however we have to dwell a thought of life.