The Price We Paid for Technology

Technology has made us impatient, narcissistic and think less about others.

The growth in technology over the past decade is tremendous.

We order something on Amazon, we receive it the next day; We send an IM and we get an instant reply; Order food through an app and the delivery guy knocks the door in 30 minutes.

For all this to happen, we paid a price. The price is our patience.

Today everything is promised to reach you within a specified time. Corporates make you feel that you’re the only important person in this world.

This makes you narcissistic.

Christopher Lasch, in his book “The culture of Narcissim” says that,

“Our growing dependence on technologies no one seems to understand or control has given rise to feelings of powerlessness and victimization. We find it more and more difficult to achieve a sense of continuity, permanence, or connection with the world around us. Relationships with others are notably fragile; goods are made to be used up and discarded; reality is experienced as an unstable environment of flickering images.”

We got obsessed with instant gratification and that has made us impatient. We want everything to happen NOW!

If a waiter tells you that it will take another 10 minutes for your order to get ready, you cancel the order and move to the next restaurant. You care only about you, and not much about the people or the problems involved behind the 10 minute delay.

If something doesn’t happen on time, we quit and move on to choosing the next option.

We don’t stop by to ask for directions. We don’t remember phone numbers unless we look into our phones. We text our friends while we talk to our parents or loved ones. We don’t even have the patience to read an online article that has more than 500 words.

In the process of becoming an advanced species, we completely shunned ourselves from making actual human interactions.

This habit follows us everywhere.

You would’ve just joined a company and you would think about getting an 100% hike or you meet a girl and you instantly want her to like you. Instant gratification makes you feel important. You want everything to happen to you the moment you wanted them to happen.

Being this way can get you anything you want. You will have an app for everything in the future. But, you won’t be able to form meaningful relationships with other people. You will have books written in order to teach you the “art of forming human bonds”, people would be taking seminars on “how to meet and co exist with other people” and bootcamps will be conducted on understanding human emotions.

We’ll soon be stepping into a future where we will shut ourselves from making meaningful relationships with others and instead build an AI bot to reciprocate our feelings to keep us out from feeling lonely.

Doesn’t that feel stupid? It is. But, the day is not far.

How do we avoid it?

Lift your head up from the phone or tablet or whatever you’re hooked to. Look around. Wish random people. Meet your friends in person and talk. Don’t use an app to do grocery shopping. Take a walk or drive down to the nearby grocery store. Pay the bill and smile at the billing clerk. Make his day.

Don’t panic when your loved one takes a few more minutes to respond to your text. Understand the reason behind the delay and chill. Be nice.

Form meaningful bonds. That can make a lot of difference.

Technology should be a tool to enhance our lives. It shouldn’t become our life.