Over recent few centuries, humanity had a quantum leap in the level of technology that is available to us. This has lead to many positive changes for most people, but it has produced unintended negative effects as well.
With the invention of the automobile, or other forms of transport, it has become easier than ever to travel anywhere fast. Not only fast, but with no effort on our part. We use energy sources from fossil fuel to supply the energy needed to perform this convenience.
But this convenience comes at a cost. The reduced level of physical activity from the lack of need for travelling on foot (in combination with other factors that reduce physical activity – also mostly due to technological advances) has increased our obesity rate, and likely contributes to increased disease, not to mention the damage to the environment.
The advancement of food processing technology has allowed us access to cheap and tasty food anytime we want. The negative effect again being the increase in obesity and other diet related illnesses.
Internet and social media has made it easier than ever for people to connect across the globe, and gives each individual a level of power which kings would have died for in the past. Yet this resulted in rise of a generation with impaired social skills, leading to higher levels of depression and suicide.
Now I am not against technological advances by any means. But I do believe that as a society we have to be very aware of the cost of technology. The invisible cost that often only becomes evident years or decades after the technology is invented and accepted.
What each technological advancement does, is it takes one specific area of life, and changes it so that we no longer have to spend effort on it. Whether it’s travelling, or finding and preparing food, or socializing. But we have to realize that those activities we are displacing, has been filling a need that exists in every human being. This included the need for exercise, the need for moderation of food, the need for socializing and being able to connect with others. And when we remove these activities without a plan for how to fulfill those needs we left behind, there are gonna be consequences which will be quite damaging to many in the future.
Society will hopefully realize this more fully in the years to come, and be able to balance technological advancement with fulfilment of intrinsic human needs.