Modern life has a way of disconnecting people from nature. If you have an internet connection, you can get everything you need delivered to your house. Supermarkets and Amazon allow people to shop online and have everything delivered to your door. iTunes allows you to download your favourite music to your device in minutes. If you wanted too you can also play computer games online and you can also work from home if you have a job that allows you to. All of this means that you never have to leave your house. What many people see as technological progress I see as social engineering and making people less creative.
As an example, satellite navigation allows people to travel all around the world in relative ease. In theory this is great as all you need to do is follow the instructions. What happens though if the satnav breaks or the road it wants you to drive on is closed? How would you reach your destination if you never learnt how to read a map or how to use road signs? It is easy for people living today to think of past societies such as the Tudors or the Spartans as primitive. It is true that they didn’t have the technology of today, however they were able to navigate the world using the stars, maps and the local landscape.
As for the social engineering aspect many of the new technologies we have are making certain jobs redundant. An example of this is the self- service checkout. The big four supermarkets are using them more frequently, which might make the store look modern, but have you ever wondered what happens to the person who use to serve you? The marketing department might tell you it frees staff up to work on the shop floor, however what is more likely is that the staff member has lost their job. Another example is contactless payment. Whenever the banks send you a new bank card, they automatically send you a contactless payment card, they don’t ask you if you want it.
As a minimum I like to spend one day a week in a local park, without my phone, without my iPod and just sit by the lake and watch the ducks. I try to clear my mind of all the worries I have in my normal life and simply take in my surroundings. This can be as little as ten minutes up to two hours. The point I am trying to make is that we spend so much time trying to build a life for ourselves and our families that we forget to live our lives. I am just as guilty of this as anybody.