For many of us it has only been a bare 20 years since computers and their brethren entered our lives. For some it has been an, even, briefer affair. Perhaps, brief in duration but overriding and, dare I say it, all consuming. Is the digital world overtaking what used to be known as the real world? I think of movies like Terminator and Arnie Schwarzenegger’s cyborg visage, when I consider the uptake and influence of the digital realm in the 21C. Smart phones and watches, computer screens big and small on desks and walls everywhere, and a myriad of other uses and applications invading our lives, whilst waving flags of technological innovation and improvements to our lives.
Is Digital Good for Humanity?
Are these electronic digital devices and programmes servicing our lives or leading us in directions unexamined and unexplored? Which is the cart and which the horse? Email, the Internet, the World Wide Web, Social Media and all the chatter that comes with it, are they going to prove, ultimately, a socially beneficial force for human beings? We are in rapture with these communication devices and their instantaneous nature. It is a love affair with a cyber entity. Cyber is from the Greek, meaning ‘skilled in steering or governing’. Who is steering this ship? Is it the geeks inventing this stuff? Do they have the right algorithms set up to direct humankind toward its best future? A lot of questions and so far, far few answers.
Digital vs Natural
At the same time that we are dancing with the cyborg, there is a worldwide trend toward organic and natural substances. It seems, we are exhibiting contradictory inclinations in our desire to return to a more natural diet and lifestyle, but, also, are enamoured of digital devices and applications. Of course, the two streams can be found in natural products manufactured via technologically advanced processes. Check this website out, for instance. However, all the cleverly produced superfoods in the world are not going to save us from sedentary lifestyles and the vices of modern living. As mammals, we are designed to move our physical bodies regularly, and often, for optimal health. An obesity epidemic rages through our western cities and the digital revolution, and its impact on our working and recreational lives, cannot be ignored. We have to get smarter about how we combine the digital and the natural or real worlds.