This fascinating article on What To Fix looks at humanity's history with addiction to new technology. Yesteryear this addiction was to new drugs which performed their miracles as advertised but also caused problems that impaired society. Today, that new drug -- or new technology -- is all around us in the form of shiny smartphones and infinite online possibilities. This article is lengthy, but you should take a moment to read it. If you can't, at least read this part:
Its still very early. Were still in the phase of expecting some even better technology to come along and save us from this problem. Programmers are creating no procrastinate options for their web sites in order to help users not spend so much time there. Programs are being written to track online time to show users where they are spending all of their energy. The new addictive program will eliminate the ills of the old one.
Meanwhile, people get fatter and fatter, unable to get around or physically accomplish normal chores from a 100 years ago. Intelligence is going down as fewer and fewer books are being read (news flash: the printed book industry is on the way out unless this trend stops), and social organizations like churches and civic clubs see fewer and fewer members attend their meetings. The skills that are increasing? Reflex time. Ability to solve abstract, short-timespan problems. Basically the skills we need to interact with our entertainment. More and more, Indians and Chinese people coming from cultures who have been shut out of the technical world until recently are writing software for hardcore western appetites to consume.
Now that sight and sound are covered, new internet appliances promise to offer touch, smell. Locomotion is old hat. Eventually there will be a direct brain interface. There has to be: competitors will become so strong that only by direct brain stimulation will technology be able to continue to evolve.
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