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January 2, 2022

Technology help or hinderence

I find it fascinating to think about how humans came into existence, we are the only animal truly even aware enough to have such thoughts. From the beginning of the universe to the chance meeting of our parents, all to create this independent living organism. We are supposedly the highest form of life, but have we advanced too far away from our true meaning.

Their are plenty of arguments to be made for and against this idea. I am not the first to even argue this point and won’t be the last. Some of the most considerate arguments were made by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, he claimed that we have lost our true self worth by trying to live life by imitation. Bearing in mind he wrote this in the 18th century based on living in a bourgeoisie Paris, where in comparison to today’s world must seem like an Amish community.

His point somehow still rings true, he was born in Geneva, a somewhat sobering place which frowned upon luxury goods and fast paced living. He then moved to Paris as a young man who was aspiring to attain grandeur of some sort. If we were all to admit it, we all would like to be able to get some limelight, but to what cost. He painted a picture of simpler times, in which humans lived with simple purposes like the love of family, a respect for others, an understanding of nature and a basic curiosity for the Universe.

At some point or another most of us have had that thought of living in simpler times of the past. I get it at least once a week and actually devised plans to build a cabin in the woods and just escape from this new version of society. Technology has brought great gifts in medicine and safety for humans, however, does that the negate the modern commercial side to technology. The social media reels making us want and feel so envious of others in a world of plenty. Where are our true morals gone, our pity for others and their suffering? We are too busy suffering ourselves, because we don’t have that jacket, car or house. I don’t aim to make anyone feel bad, this is aimed at the big businesses that push our government to allow for marketing to be boundless.

This nostalgia for living in the past is a somewhat oversimplification, Thomas Hobbes in his book Leviathan clarified the reasons why we are lucky to be living in the current state. As for obvious reasons like less wars and brutish barbarism most have a more laissez-faire state running their countries.

“If men could rule themselves, there would be no need at all of a common coercive power”- Thomas Hobbes

I just think the current state of affairs is more a harmful influence on our species than good. I admire people like Henry David Thoreau who left society to live in nature to experience what it was like to listen to our basic needs of food, shelter and affection. When I pay witness to the people around me I can see that their sense of self-worth is based mostly on superficial things. We have all been corrupted by our so called progression. I would only like to see a small regression put in place, otherwise we will all fall into this ruinous competition for status and money. There is no happiness in that place. Primitive man did not spend his days comparing himself, he looked solely to his own life, his own needs and listened to his feelings.

” It’s not at all that we have too short a time to live, but that we squander a great deal of it” Senaca

No one knows how long they will live, but rest assured we will all waste far too much time. Waste it watching others on instagram, wanting things we don’t need, instead use the time to ask yourself what’s actually important to you. Is it that expensive item or is it the bond with your family, friend and dog.

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Devon Geary  |  Contribution: 6,575