Put your hand up if you hate change? Well, like it or not, we presently all live in a global environment that is evolving faster than at any time in living memory. So, should we feel lucky that this is the case? Or maybe feel more appreciative of the exciting times that we are all living in? Or does so much change merely serve to make us more insecure about our way of life and, more importantly perhaps, undermine our own self confidence.
Well, I believe that, to some greater or lesser degree, we are all ‘conflicted’ about the advance of change and technological change in particular. On one hand, who could possibly argue that we haven’t all benefited from the technological advancement of the last twenty years? But on the other, can it really be a good thing that we have all become so addicted to our mobile technology, and more commonly, traded real friendships for ‘virtual’ friends and followers.
It is clearly beyond dispute that open and unlimited access to information (via the Internet) has empowered the world’s population like never before. But with such technological progress comes unintended consequences, demonstrated via reported cases of obesity, anxiety and depression (amongst both young and old) hitting epidemic proportions. Medical experts agree that it is far too early to proclaim what the long-term health and social effects will be of so many of us living a more solitary and sedentary life – but it wouldn’t be premature to say that the signs are not looking promising.
In addition, there can be no doubt that the immediacy of modern life has led to a change in our expectations – namely making us less patient and tolerant. Yet aren’t we always telling our children, that economy and efficiency are good? But, I suppose the real question should be – at what cost?
I suppose that the point that I am endeavouring to make is that, like almost everything that we do in our lives, technological progress is a mixed bag of the great, the not so good and the indifferent. As human beings we find it all too easy to embrace the ‘great’ and so much harder to resist the ‘not so good.’ As for the ‘indifferent,’ it should come as no particular surprise to you to learn that we are, for the most part, understandably indifferent.
So, what is the answer? Well, at the risk of stating the obvious, it is about all of us having some greater degree of understanding about our bodily requirements, so that we may maintain our health and live and work effectively. Which means that we should face up to the uncomfortable truth that, on regular occasion, we should put away our technology and get on with the rest of our lives. We need to understand that our brains need stimulus, our skin requires warmth and natural light, our heart needs exercise, and we should eat as healthily as we can manage – of course, all of this should be done in moderation. It’s not magic, it is just the way that it has always been – even before the advent of mobile technology.
The author of this article is Peter Nicholls CEO of Ideology Consulting. For more information go to www.ideologyconsulting.co.uk .