The future of technology and the human experience

I ran across an article which states that according to recent research, humans could live up to 150 years old & now scientists are racing to figure out how to make this happen.


This got me thinking about how much technology has changed our lives in the last 40-50 years & how much more change we can handle without it affecting what it means to be truly human.
When you think about it, because of technology & the digital revolution, much of the meaningful human connections that make up the human experience have slowly disappeared. We basically do everything online & when we do venture out into the world, we’re staring at our screens just to pass the time away until we get what we came for- whether it’s food or going to the post office or even walking from place to place.
Seeing how much things have changed in the last 40-50 years, what do you think the next 100 years will look like when it comes to the human experience?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.

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^ That speaks to the transactional nature of many human interactions today, unfortunately.

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@kirkmahoneyphd Maybe I’m old or out of touch, but I don’t think it used to be this way. I remember running errands with my parents as a kid & knowing the people at the bank, at the grocery store at the local restaurant. The librarian, at our local library, would put books aside for me because she KNEW that I would like them. Everything seems so anonymous these days. No one really talks or bothers to connect with other humans.

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I believe that we collectively fell prey to two years+ of the hygiene theater of face masks, which anonymized our interactions even more than cellphones were already doing. You’re not out of touch, @urszula; the most identifiably human part of us is our faces.

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It remembers when I was lunching with some new colleagues, and they were on their phones, something I think is a lack of respect, and one of them asked me if I had any social media. I told him: “No, I don’t, but what do you like to know about me?” I got a bit concerned with the surprise on that table. I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t have social media or was trying to have a real conversation like in the “old” days.

Humans are not ready yet to process and manage the amount of information or technology available, and I don’t believe that increasing hour age by almost double will bring the balance needed for our species.

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^ Agreed. Would they find it acceptable for everyone but you at lunch to pull out a book and read it instead of talking with one another? If so, then I wonder what they would say is the point of eating lunch together.

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Started on a new book the other day: Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.

One part of a sentence stuck with me; Convenience weaponizes temptation

Looking forward to read it through.

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Please let us know what you think of the book after you finish reading it, John!

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That’s a great article! Really enjoyed reading it, thanks Ula sharing it!
From my perspective, we have to focus on living in the present, the offline moment in the world we currently have. Due to being under social media pressure, many of us struggle to simply unplug and enjoy reality.

I definitely choose offline instead of the online world, and definitely would not like to live like a robot or a hologram. On the other hand, I would be glad for some anti-aging serum, since I have recently found my first grey hair, and I have just passed my 30!

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It’s a difficult yet interesting question. I rather have an optimistic attitude so my vision of technology and human experience is rather optimistic. :wink:

The first point is that there are already millions of people who noticed that mindless use of technology can be harmful for users. Mudita community is a great example of a gathering of likeminded people who want to use technology mindfully as tools to achieve their goals. Even though we are the minority now, we grow dynamically and this trend is getting stronger and is getting to the mainstream media which is another positive information because gives me hope that some day mindful use of technology will be the mainstream. It needs time and education but can and I believe will happen.

If I were to search for an analogy I would probably use food industry as an example. The awareness of what we eat and how the food is produced increased significantly past decades and resulted in the increase of the amount of organic and vegan food we consume. It happened because people noticed that the food we consume has a direct impact on how we feel and therefore on the life quality. You eat well - you feel better. It’s pretty much the same if it comes to technology. You use the right technology for the purpose - you achieve your goals, feel good and improve your life quality. Many people are yet to discover this dependency and we are here to help.

Many people want to use technology more mindfully and what’s very interesting is “why” behind it. Usually the “why” is related to the universal values like: family, friends, hobby/passion, health, balance etc. In other words these people say: “I want to have better relationship with my family, I want to spend more time with them”, “I want to spend time with my friends”, “I want to have more time for my hobby” because they realised that the technology can have a negative on these fields. It shows that these values are strong and are the reason of the emerge of the mindful use of technology movement. Since the movement is getting stronger, the values it’s based on are getting more popular and I hope it will keep going this direction to the moment when mindful tech users will be the majority and humanity will be focused on what really matters.

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^ Brilliant analogy!

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Back when i was 18, i decided to study psychology and human-computer interaction and i had only one reason. I was convinced that humans tend to create a world that is not designed for them. The lack of connection between psychology and neuroscience with design, architecture and computer science is often a foundation for terrible user experience that has an impact not only on bad mood bout physical and mental health.
Since i started my university, i’ve noticed and experienced how it’s changing and how psychology is used for good (not only for creating addictive algorithms). I’m still convinced that if we continue designing solutions that are meant to benefit humans rather than generate profits we’ll make a breakthrough as a civilisation and it’ll decide on our future. Maybe we will be able to fully use our current biological potential or evolve for more.
So far the only upcoming evolution everyone is expecting is transferring one’s consciousness into a computer. With all the respect to all religions, I believe that after all we are all just a bunch of cells driven by chemical reactions and very weak electrical impulses. The magic of physics. Obviously electrical impulses can be easily transferred into computers but what about the rest? Physical bodies are still essential to generate responses to the brain. It’s always a two way relationship and it’s always connected. A brain on itself cannot register information from the surroundings and those are needed for anything that comes next - memories, thoughts, emotions.
Since we are more and more conscious about using technology, i’m kinda optimistic about the future in terms of how we will use the technology on daily basis. However, a life in a digital world without biological bodies is still a huge question mark. I’m curious how much it’ll differ from the life as we know now and what future unknown crises are waiting ahead of us on that road.

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This is precisely what concerns me about the future of technology. I feel like we are moving further & further into the abyss & at some point there will be no turning back. Human contact, human connections & relationships is what makes us US. Shoving technology into places for the sheer sake of convenience & data gathering just scares me.
For example, in the US, there are these Amazon Go stores, where there is no check out & you just come in grab stuff & walk-out using your Amazon Prime account. Yeah, it’s SUPER convenient, but at what cost? Not only is the data of everything that you purchase, think out purchasing (but put back) & how long it takes you to make your decisions aggregated & then used by BIG TECH to profile you, but just the COLDNESS of not having the option to go through a check out line with a human makes the experience so transactional & robotic.

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I don’t think i’ll fully agree with you. The world and technology is just speeding up and trying to prevent it won’t help us. Gathering data about shopping habits started a long time ago before opening Amazon Go Stores. First of all, we’d have to come back to cash since using card already collects data and we’d have to forget about online shopping. Honestly, imagine only using cash and not buying anything online, it’s really hard and i’m not sure anyone would even decide to do that just to be more human. I really don’t think meeting a cashier at the shop will make us more human. Automatisation of simple tasks can be really beneficial cause it gives us more time to focus on more important stuff like real life human interaction with family and friends. Advancing technology does not exclude human relation, on the contrary, it should connected. We should focus on creating technology that will help us create space to be more human, and i believe this is what we also do here at Mudita.
I treat privacy as a separate debate here since payment details and data are just a bit more different than clicks on an app. Payments are usually connected to banks and they need all personal information simply for safety. Shopping informations are additionally used by big tech. Privacy in terms of payments are is a huge debate, especially right now in crypto currencies. EU is voting for banning anonymous crypto wallets, it’ll mean that they’ll have to have a verified owner just like a bank account and it’ll loose its huge advantage. Also, it’s a matter of time when a solution similar to cookies will be introduced for transactions in blockchain. Those transactions will be followed and used by big tech as well as bank transactions we do now. The data collection in payment sector is an endless dilemma between providing safety and using it for profit.

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I Agree.
It feels that in the choice between human interaction and the fast lane self service checkout line, convenience wins most of the time these days. It’s really sad.
Sure, it’s a good thing to develop and prioritize a close relationship with your family and friends, but in my opinion it’s when you talk, listen and interact with people you don’t know, that you really grow. You train and stimulate a different social muscle, a part of your brain that will lie dormant if you shape your social life around convenience.
I believe it’s worth going an extra mile to interact with others, if that option is available. Especially on the days when you are less inclined to. It could be exactly what you needed that particular day.

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Nearly every store in California works this way now, given that District Attorneys no longer prosecute thefts under $950 there. :rofl:

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100% THIS :point_up_2:
I love talking to people out of my “social circle or immediate sphere.” It’s through this that I met the most interesting individuals.

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@kirkmahoneyphd I’ve read about this, but it wasn’t until a friend of mine sent me a video of some people running into an Ulta Beauty Supply store in Chicago & people just stood by, recording video, while hooligans made off with product.
Maybe I’m old, but the disconnection between community responsibility & what was happening in a store, where I often shopped, was so visible. It was almost like it wasn’t happening or wasn’t even real. There were two or three thieves & a store full of people, maybe 30-40 people. NO ONE DID ANYTHING. They were not armed, they were not brandishing guns or knives. They just ran in & out within like 3-4 minutes & people just recorded this on their smartphones. It felt like the bystanders were so disconnected from what was going on they just did what was most natural- reached for the smartphone.
Afterwards, many different takes/angles from that crime spree were shared online.

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In Denmark, we have some “self-check-out” in the markets. I never used it, and I don’t intend to.

The “grab and walk-out” is an old system, much before these stores. Now I understand the $950 “law”. :stuck_out_tongue:

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@regbarata I use the self-check out when I’m really in a hurry. However, I do prefer human interaction whenever possible. I like having the option, but it’s not my go-to way to check out.

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