“Will future life forms wonder is mankind actually was able to speak?” This is something my friends and I were wondering about a while ago. Technology develops at a rapid pace an amount of media, with which me are able to communicate. We went from writing letter, to chatting on the telephone, to e-mail… I remember the incredible annoying noises created by our computer when I wanted to dial the World Wide Web, which even caused the telephone line to disconnect for a “short period”.
It has already come this far, that I am available 24/7 due to my smartphone. Not only by telephone, but via Whatsapp, Facebook and even Twitter. The online sharing of messages have become to much of an effort and has moved on to visual content. For this we use not only Facebook, but also Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest, and so on… Within seconds (when you are connected to a good WiFi spot, which otherwise leads to irritations) you will have your entire “list of friends” informed with your current state of mind. Besides party pictures, food habits and the weekly dose of sport activities, I see echo’s of unborn baby’s coming by. How “personal” are we willing to go?
A handwritten birthday card is seen as too much work, especially when you have Facebook, who even reminds you of this birthday coming up in a couple of days. A personal congratulation is no longer necessary, let alone make a phone call…
Currently there is a video of the poet Gary Turk, which got an enormous amount of likes on Facebook: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY#t=15. After you have seen this video, you’re stuck with the question: “How social am I?”. Being aware of this social disability is a first, but to actually do something about it is way more difficult. Are we going to massively deploy our Facebook accounts? Which isn’t even possible as far as my concern. Everything you post online, can not be removed.
To get back on the social aspect of this fast-paced life, I refer to the book Generatie Einstein, which I have to read for my study. This book highlights that the youth nowadays focuses on the individual, while being among other people. This might seem very ambiguous, but I personally am a good example to this; When I am making my homework, I sit downtown in a café. I find myself a nice spot, where occasionally people pass by whom I know. With a latte macchiato, a newspaper folded out, my laptop in front of me and a book on my lap, I make my school assignments. Homework I call it, and it works out perfectly!
But it is not only the youth. In 2011 the CBS showed that the number of self-employed increases in The Netherlands. http://www.cbs.nl/nl-NL/menu/themas/arbeid-sociale-zekerheid/publicaties/artikelen/archief/2012/2012-3611-wm.htm. Setting up your own company isn’t that big of a deal, you just need to work efficiently. Gunnar Michielssen teaches people to rehab from e-mail and how to improve your communication skills. http://www.afkickenvanemail.be/nl/over-gunnar-72.htm.
Nowadays we are all very attached to our freedom of speech. You can do what ever you like, you know your own values and what you stand for in life, and then make a brand of yourself. You are no longer dependent on your employer, you only depend on yourself. We do not mind to work hard, as long as it is according to your own rules and you end up being a better version of yourself.
Not everyone enjoys working downtown in a café like I do. For these people there are flex spots. An international company called seats2meet is a great example for this: http://www.seats2meet.com. At these gathering points self-employed can register (which is not always necessary) and do their job. You are able to get out and pick a different spot where you can optimize your work. A nice bonus is that other self-employed are at work here. So it is also ideal to expand your network.
Yet the self-employment story is another compulsion we have inherited form the Internet craze. We have become very impatient. If we want something, we want it right away. Hunting and gathering? Oh no, we have www.thuisbezorgd.nl anyway, and otherwise the Albert Heijn delivers at home. Go shopping on your free Saturday (or Sunday, because obviously many stores are open 7 days a week now) is overrated. Ordering clothes online is way easier!
We are focussed on the individual and have become very impatient. This of course has its downsides as well. Sitting comfortably on the couch making nationalistic comments on the Olympic games and the World’s champignons league. I came across an article, which states that long distances will not longer be a part of all-round skating. Neither on the Olympics nor on the world cup. This is not only because of economical reasons; it’s also a way to keep sponsors and people interested. Frankly it takes way too long.
Sending an E-Mail takes too long and watching sports takes too much time so in order to stay happy, we need to shorten the amount of time we’re spending on certain activities. Even though we are aware of certain aspects of social media, our social wellbeing won’t crinkle a bit. It does not matter if you are looking at the screen of your iPhone or iPad, the world’s beneath our feet. And since we’re not stuck in a boring office, we can be inspired by so many places. At home, in a restaurant, a café or even in the park. These so-called flex spots allow us to get inspired.
This is not only a description of how today’s world looks like, it is a description of what it will look like like for years. If our generation is unable to let go on technological gadgets, imagine how the unborn generation will deal with this. They will be the example of the ease to use technological devices and gadgets. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT4EbM7dCMs). What we can realise however, is a world where there is a fine balance between living online and offline. The video I showed earlier in this article was an example of this, but the next article also states some interesting arguments about awareness of technology. (http://www.nu.nl/wetenschap/3760831/notities-met-pen-leiden-beter-begrip-.html).
By writing something down on paper, your brain is able to understand things better. You only know what you’re thinking when you write it down properly.
So many choices. We want to do too much in a short amount of time. As soon as we find the right balance in the way we want to live, we are closer to finding inner peace. We need to let go on certain things in order to move forward. In the articles, videos and lectures I showed you, there are some strategies pointed out. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and we might create a wonderful image of how our future life will look like.