The world has become reliant on technology for countless tasks, even to the point where businesses and individuals alike depend on technology just to go about their daily tasks. The big question, though, is whether people are happier with all this technology in their lives. Let’s go over how technology has impacted society as a whole in relation to people’s feelings.
Technology Is, and Always Has Been, Present In Some Capacity
When discussing technology, it’s critical that we frame the term correctly. Technology includes far more than just circuits and motherboards; it also includes such rudimentary (and revolutionary) tools such as the spoon and the wheel. Technology, in its most basic sense, is the result of innovation and progress, and without such discoveries and creations as modern electricity, microprocessors, and networking, society would not be where it is today.
But Does This Technology Create Happiness?
The answer to this question is not clear, but what is clear is that the Internet has made people quite happy. Around 90% of respondents to a survey found that their lives were made better due to the Internet. We’re not surprised; people depend on it to look up information, stay connected with others, and run their businesses and livelihoods. In fact, the Internet has made it so that people can live their lives without leaving their homes, if they so choose.
While the answer to the above question is impossible to find, we can look at various parts of someone’s life and look at how technology has impacted it. Let’s examine work, leisure, relationships, and other social interactions.
Most people use technology to do their jobs, but some jobs wouldn’t even exist without technology. Employees entering the workforce want to know that their employers are committed to embracing new technologies, but for some older folks who are not quite as willing to embrace change, this adoption is a challenge to the status quo. There is a learning curve, and it can be frustrating for a seasoned veteran to have their world turned upside-down by a new technology because it’s supposed to make things better for everyone. Furthermore, technology has blurred the lines of work-life balance. Technology is not without its cons, but it has made most workers’ lives happier, or at least better.
Technology has changed the way people spend their leisure time. Activities like going to the park, going to the mall, or taking a drive are still present, but not to the extent they once were. There are countless pieces of technology to distract us at any given time, and with technology, there is usually some sort of end goal in mind, whether it’s getting to the end of a level in a video game or making it through the end credits of your favorite movie. Technology has, simply put, taken the leisure out of leisure time, and with benchmarks to meet whenever it is used, it can lead to a certain amount of monotony.
Technology and its impact on relationships is a topic that we could cover for ages, but one of the better ways to look at it is how it has affected personal relationships. For example, users who grew up with technology might suffer from what psychologists call “technoference,” or technology interfering with a user’s ability to communicate. Young people these days always have their phones on them with their notifications on so they don’t miss a beat. Young people also aren’t terribly bothered when someone pulls out their phone in the middle of a conversation. Older folks might consider both of the above rude, and it could put a strain on their relationships accordingly. In comparison, however, relationships are more accessible, as people can communicate better and engage with each other much more easily than they could have in the past.
The most notable impact that technology has had is most certainly on the social aspect of life. Social media has completely changed the way people interact with each other, whether it’s friends in a friend group, local businesses trying to sell products or services, or communities trying to deliver information to their residents in an effective way. Sure, you get the crazies out there who take social media way too far, but most people are not in that category. On the downside, social media can cause people to compare themselves to others, and you know what they say; comparison is the thief of joy.
So, has technology made us happier? It’s hard to provide a definitive answer to this question, and after discussing it for so long, we are still hesitant to give an answer. What we will say, however, is that technology has made life more convenient in a lot of ways, and in some circles, convenient does mean better. What are your thoughts on the matter? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.