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You won’t find happiness on a screen, via an app, or in the cloud

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You won’t find happiness on a screen, via an app, or in the cloud

READ MORE

This is one of my key memes I have been using for some time now – while we can find a kind of hedonic happiness in/with technology… “Technology is very good at giving us what we want, and not so good at giving us what we need” (paraphrasing Ariana Huffington).

“… we are facing an enormous gap between what technology can do (the answer seems to be pretty much anything), and what it should do to result in overall human happiness. Indeed, when we go beyond the obvious causes of non-happiness such as lack of freedom, inequality, poverty, and disease, the answer to “what defines happiness?” is neither certain nor universally consistent (from my book, chapter 9).

Clearly, apart from being able to simulate human interactions increasingly well, technology does not know nor does it care for happiness, self-realization, fulfilment, emotion, or values and beliefs. It only understands logic, rational action, (in)completion, efficiency, and yes/no answers because in order to “know happiness” you’d have to be able to actually be happy, which in my view requires embodiment” Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Technology vs. Humanity (Tech vs Humans).

You cannot download happiness, and trust isn't digital

“A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that spending less time on social media—which about 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds use some form of, according to Pew Research Center—could decrease feelings of loneliness and depression.” UBS: What does the future of happiness look like? Read more

“Our addictive feeds of fitness models, exotic travel, and photo-perfect moments don’t often match with our comparatively humdrum and badly lit lives. The discontent caused by that disconnect is enough that a growing body of research suggests social media is contributing to mental-health problems such as anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, and body-image issues in young people, who are the heaviest users of social media.” Quartz: Instagram is the most harmful social network for your mental health. Read more

Too much of a good thing can be a very bad thing

I expand a bit more on happiness, and you can read more about “Taking the Happenstance out of Happiness” here

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