Technology is advancing rapidly. Much faster than in any other era.
In fact, technology is currently advancing exponentially, with computers doubling in speed and power every 1-2 years since the 60s-70s.
Just looking at the field of artificial intelligence alone, the industry is growing by 16.4% year over year. From software, hardware, and services, the industry is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.6% within 2022-2026, estimated to reach the $900 billion mark in 2026.
With so many changes happening in our modern world, from AI to the advent of the metaverse, it’s only natural that we’re changing as human beings, trying to adjust to this ever-evolving society.
The transformation of human interaction
One of the ways we’ve noticed this change is through human interaction alone.
With smartphones, social media, and even more so, post-pandemic, humans are no longer interfacing with only people. Instead, we are primarily interacting with technology.
Whether it’s to find information, learn a new skill, do work, and/or socialize, almost every facet of human interaction is done via a screen.
Unfortunately, this can play to a larger detriment to our psychology, as it removes the opportunity to have clear, open conversations. And this downhill of genuine, real socialization is creating a generation of people that are lonelier than ever before.
We’re more connected and yet, we feel more disconnected from the people around us, lacking meaningful relationships and constantly staring through newsfeeds that force us to compare our lives with others.
Declining attention & focus
The overabundance of content and accessibility to almost anything we desire — from food, items, and entertainment — has created extreme comfort and convenience.
But in that, it has also caused us to be faced with a limitless amount of distractions. There is so much to listen to, read, watch, and engage in, that our attention is always everywhere, while also being nowhere.
Comparing our attention spans to two decades prior, we’ve gone from having an average attention span of 12 seconds to a sad 8 seconds now. This is sad, as our attention spans are now comparably no different to that of a goldfish.
In a study done by Gloria Mark, a psychology researcher from the University of California, Irvine, she found that on the job, people’s median attention was around 40 seconds. This means that at any given time and task, people were spending about 40 seconds on something only to switch it to something else.
From constant notifications to messages, we’re faced with distractions everywhere, and as such, we’re focusing far less these days, despite there being so many tools of technology to help us do the work.
Obsessed with opinions
It’s normal to care about others’ opinions. As innately social creatures, wanting to be liked and belong in a community is part of what makes us human.
But social media and the massive global connectedness that technology has brought into our hands have taken that need and multiplied it by millions.
The need for likes, comments, and shares taps into the very nature of addiction, desire, and joy that come from being acknowledged.
We all want to matter to somebody, and it’s these wants that drive us to present ourselves in the best way possible online.
But as you take that to an extreme, this need for self-presentation is what makes us care about opinions that — ultimately, shouldn’t matter.
It’s this feedback loop of getting empty acknowledgment by groups of those we don’t know that is creating more depression, anxiety, and loneliness amongst the youth of today.
Expanding knowledge and opportunities
Now its not all bad. While this advancement of technology may seem to have a lot of downsides, there are plenty of positives when leveraged correctly.
Now, more than ever before is the easiest time to make money. With so many avenues — from e-commerce to content creation — anyone with a computer and internet connection can find ways to make money.
Moreover, with the Internet, there are so many platforms such as Skillshare, Coursera, and much more that can help people learn new skills, knowledge, and information quickly.
Online learning is becoming ever-more prevalent, and as such, the tools and accessibility to improve yourself are so wide open, that in just a matter of months, you can transform your entire mindset.
And so, as long as you look for the right things to keep you occupied, technology can change your psychology, for the better.