The information age has become a time of mindless hullabaloo. The 24/7 constant drumbeat of faux-events, entertainment pretending to be news, unreal-reality programming, clickbait-everything ad nauseum, has become deafening. If you aren’t careful, the digital world can feel more real than a day at the office. There is just too much out there for a person to process it effectively. We have been taught to insist on always being amazed, regaled, mesmerized, and finally rewarded. But rarely does something novel happen every minute of every day. News programs “report” that they are waiting for something to happen, or of a politician that did not attend a fundraiser. Or even better yet, they poll themselves and report their results as new news. Our digital footprints are never truly lost forever, yet nothing is seemingly more permanent than the disappearing photos on Snapchat.
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
Many among us have traded our concepts of character for Facebook profiles, and largely abandon the human-to-human dialogue about issues that made up the lives of previous generations. Policies and programs that affect our lives have been abridged to sound bites, or limited to 140 characters, including the blank spaces.
What you get are hopes and expectations that have become unrealistic, sometimes in the extreme. We expect our kitchen cleaning fluids to do the scouring for us. Health drinks promise happiness, and all we need is a little blue (or yellow) pill to have erections lasting four hours, no matter what your age. Toned, shirtless men with ‘tats peddle yogurt and salad dressing. Willowy young women offer breakfast sandwiches and arthritis remedies, all the while skewing our image of what a woman should look like or even become. Everywhere you look you see people forever fertile, loved, and brilliant. We can be too, if only we use the right bath soap, energy, drink, or laundry detergent.
Willowy young women offer breakfast sandwiches and arthritis remedies,
all the while skewing our image of what a woman
should look like or even become
Second graders with smartphones have more information at their fingertips than did the whole world prior to the Internet. How sad most people only use them as watches and communication devices. Technologies have changed accessibility, outreach, interaction, throughput, and economic prospects for many of us. Dreaded diseases of our parent’s childhood have been eradicated. Literacy rates, access to clean water, health care, and countless other signs of our prosperous existence have been steadily rising across the world. Yet our levels of happiness have remained flat. Our rates of depression, negativity, anger, and lack of trust are all on the rise.
Technology alone, contrary to the promises of our teachers, will not stop the ruthlessness, terrorism, discourtesy, or suspicion. What we need is a collective change of heart and less hullabaloo.
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Frank Hopkins is a certified Professional Coach (CPC) and certified by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). He is a certified Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) of the iPEC proprietary assessment tool, the Energy Leadership Index and offers seminars on Energy Leadership. He maintains memberships in the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the Institute of Coaching (ICPA).