Saturday, August 11, 2007

Technology does not necessarily make us happy

What makes us happy? I wish I knew. William Davis argues that technological efficiencies do not better our society.

In short, technology may bring down costs, make it easy to do repetitious jobs, help us pass time and improve health care, but does it make us happy?

Mr. Davis contends that efficiency in business processes and interpersonal communication does not imply that the essentially rule-unbound human race absorbs all the tech goodness and becomes happy.

I remember, up till 5 years ago, Artificial Intelligence was supposed to be big but so far it has failed to replicate the illogical bends of the human mind.

I am sure Web 2.0 is beneficial.
The citizen journalists will readily verify this.

The Internet might have had a huge cultural impact, giving avenues of expression to billions around the world.

People are blogging, commenting, posting, chatting, IMing, Twittering, Poking, Digging, Adding Friends as never before.

But, are we all better for it?
Are we happy with Internet on Tap?

As I ask this question, I am reminded of the sterile streets of the future as depicted in the sci-fi shows and movies, all those people in wrinkle-free dull clothes.

This is our all-geek, all-rational, all-consuming future self.

Nicholas Carr’s forthcoming book The Big Switch: Our Digital Destiny explores cultural effects of the internet, among other things.

We will see many more attempts examining the effects of an increasingly technological society.

Meanwhile, next time you get in touch with a friend on your brand of Social Network, ask him what makes her/him happy.

P.S. This writer bets you would get a non-technological reason.
If your friend says he feels happy the most because he has the most RSS subscribers, run away from Robert Scoble.

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