It is difficult to believe, but the first generation who does not know the world without high-tech solutions is about to have their own kids. Computers, household appliances and communication means are so firmly incorporated into human lives that people could not imagine how to live without them. In addition, the technology keeps going and continuing to change the life of humanity. To imagine how far technology can advance in the coming years, it is enough to remember which way they have been for the last 40 years: evolving from giant computer the size of a house to the latest iPad. 15 years ago, a mobile phone seemed a luxury, a laptop - a rarity, and nobody even thought about smartphones. Progress is moving forward and even the inveterate skeptics were sure that after creation of the Personal Computer world will never remain the same (Godwin-Jones 4). People do not find it wrong, and the majority does not even think about how all these high technologies are changing people's lives and affect our senses, in a particular, the sense of happiness.
Happiness is so abstract and ephemeral that it is hard to connect it to such solid thing as technology development. The point is that happiness directly depends on what is around. However, today, it is possible to create the illusion of a crowd, when an individual is actually alone (Whalley 368). Thus, the question of delusiveness of happiness, given to people by technology is to be precisely investigated.
Happiness is, probably, one of the most difficult concepts since it cannot be calculated, measured and there is no an empirical formula describing this notion. Everyone wants to be happy, but only few can say what happiness is. Often by happiness, people mean something mundane and negligible as clothes, wealth or a brand-new car model. Modern people aspire to get more and more things, indicating their status, but then they come to realization that happiness is not this case. Poor people think that happiness is money, and the rich ones know for sure that it is not. Lonely people believe that happiness is in having a family and family people know that just having a family - does not always mean to be happy. As a result, many are chasing illusions, become, frustrated and stat to believe that happiness does not exist.
The most widespread confusion about happiness is that it is a constant feeling, i.e. when the point of happiness is reached it lasts for a long time. From a psychological perspective, happiness is a temporary event (Ryff 1069). In addition, researchers say that there is no one adequate definition of happiness, and it might never be found, since these words mean way too different things to different people. Unfortunately, modern society simplified the idea of happiness as "having things you want" (Myers & Diener 12). That is why having the last model of iPhone or Blackberry, a brand new car and designer clothes seem to be the goal. More and more frequently, this goal equals happiness.
Happiness - is a condition, which corresponds to the greatest satisfaction of internal conditions of its existence, completeness and meaningfulness of life, exercising one's purpose of life (Ryff 1069). However, it even seems rude to give such dry definition to such beautiful thing like happiness. Nevertheless, scientists often forget that any moment can be happy. For example, a birth of a child is pain, but it is an embodiment of happiness. The breakup of the couple is a sad thing, but it is a happiness of becoming free from charges and constant worries. The sunrise in the sea seen for the first time is also happiness. Therefore, there is no certain definition of happiness except for the fact it definitely exists.
Happiness and Technology
One of the greatest impacts technology development made is on social life. Socialization and attachment are vital for a human being (Haidt 133). As a result, when one feels safe around his relatives or friends, when one feels beloved and involved he/she is happy. Therefore, the impact on the social life is a direct impact on the sense of happiness. Development of communication technologies created an illusion of a small world. Nowadays, one can send a message or call anywhere on the globe. Speed ??of information flow and exchange has risen sharply, the quality has improved, and the cost of all kinds of communication decreases annually (Heeks 24). Indeed, the fact that people, living in different hemispheres of the Earth, can talk as if they are sitting next to each other at the kitchen table is happiness. However, the importance of physical contact (hug, kiss, shaking hands etc.) here is neglected. According to scientists, it is a physical contact and physical nearness that is vital to a human being. A child closed in glass cube and seeing his mother only through the glass does not feel safe, despite his mother is near (Haidt 107). The same thing is with communication via the Internet - one can see the person on the screen via the webcam or have a conversation via the instant messages program, the result is that this individual is still alone in the room.
What is more, invention of Internet gave the society a new round of development. Today people have an ability to enjoy on-line bars, restaurants, concerts, sport games etc. It seems that a complete human society would soon be transformed into on-line one. This also stands for the need of socialization since people still communicate, meet each other and have fun, but now on-line. Social networks being the "children" of Internet create the illusion of a crowd (Zhan 291). The number of followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook creates the image of socialized, and, therefore, happy individual. However, such communication restricts one from engagement in real life activities, thus, instills a feeling of loneliness.
The great piece of technological inventions is used in medicine (Najman, & Levine 110). Nowadays, the medicine can bring a person a happiness of maternity; can cure hundreds of disease, thus securing a happiness of living. Existing technologies, unfortunately, do not allow curing most of non-fatal, but severe diseases. Disabled people, as well as people with serious illnesses, have a chance to become happy owing to modern technologies. In this case, technologies play an important role if not in convalescence, but in health and mood support. Here the communication technologies also play an important role since it is sometimes forbidden to visit the patient. Therefore, the laptop or smartphone as a means of communication can help to solve this problem. (Haidt 133).
It is a modern technology that has allowed performing complex operations on the heart, brain and other body organs (Najman, & Levine 111). Furthermore, nowadays technology offers, opportunities to rejuvenate and restore health. Most of the elderly people think that good health is a guarantee of happiness. Ability of modern technologies to improve and save health can make many people happy. In addition, special robots such as Da Vinci perform surgeries. Usage of these robots helps to ensure accuracy of the cut and complete infertility. (Bodner 844). Successful surgery, and in case of robots they are almost always are, means successful recovery and, as a result, happiness of relatives and the patient himself.
The benefits of technology progress are undeniable. People's lives have changed owing to mobile phones and the mobile Internet (Whalley 369). Variety of PPCs, smart phones, laptops allows a person to work anywhere and anytime. Now, in case a worker is not connected directly with a production process, he/she can perform most of the work with the help of computer at home, literary lying on the couch. This allows one to spend more time with relatives and friends. On the other hand, working home seize the opportunity to communicate with co-workers, to share news and impressions. A combination of factors may make a person feeling lonely, and, as a result, unhappy. This is also deals with the need for society around.
On the other hand, the more devices and technologies are present in people's lives, the less free the person becomes, and the more people begin to depend on small and large boxes with electronic flashing eyes (Heeks 26). For example a service that searches listening devices, allowing people to protect their information, keeping it confidential. However, in case there were no mobile phones, cameras and bugs themselves, there would be no need to protect private information.
The Happiness with Technology
Modern life became easier in terms of physical labor, especially for those who live in a big city, thereby making them happier. However, free access to information, development of social networks on the Internet have spawned a new disease regarded as an Internet addiction, which refers to dependence, along with drug addiction, smoking, alcoholism and gambling (Heeks 25). . In the next paragraphs recommendations how to lessen the effect of technology and regain freedom and happiness will be discussed.
Information technology along with great benefit plunges man in stress, increases fatigue; and takes almost all free time (Whalley 370). Instead of doing some chores, young people and teenagers spend time surfing the World Wide Web. Time is running out quickly, they enjoy socializing with friends and listening to their favorite music, and in the evening, when they finally wake up and go back to the real world, it is time for bed. They might also spent time on the Internet to the prejudice of healthy sleep, therefore, having no might to go to school, work or communicate with friends and family.
The issue is hard to cope with. Nevertheless, it is still possible, in case a person becomes aware of it or in case people in one's surrounding persistently repeat it.
- First, it is important to recognize the Internet addiction.
- One should go to a psychologist to determine the cause of "withdrawal" from the real life. Perhaps, a person is lonely, bored, he/she has problems at school, college, at work, etc. Professional advice will aid in dealing with the issue.
- A person should not be locked with a computer in a separate room. It is better to stay in a common room.
- One should keep a journal of control and fix each time of the beginning and end of work on the computer. One should specify which sites he/she visits and then think about necessity of visiting those or other resources.
- One should calculate how much money is spent on electricity for a month, six months, a year, and for the extra time spent on the Internet.
- A person should ask family to get him/her busy as soon as he/she will "hang out" on the Internet. But first it is necessary to give word not to get annoyed about it.
- One should entrust checking mail to someone else, in order not to be tempted to immediately rush to the forums or sign into account on the social network. Otherwise, taking break will be difficult.
- One should constantly be looking for himself in the real world. One should try a new business and work on it constantly.
- One should find a hobby to engage himself constantly. This might bring the feeling of fulfillment and joy.
- It is necessary to nurture strength of will. A person should be proud of himself if he/she will not violate the rule to spend no more then, for example, two hours a day at the computer.
- One should avoid using the resources that take the most of his/her time.
- In case a person found himself spending a whole day on the Internet,he/she should shut down his/her computer immediately as a way to show the character.
It is much better to take a look around! The life is interesting; it is important to have a goal and make steady progress to it. In case a person has a dream he is happy. Modern technologies can be a good assistant is achieving the goal; at the same time, they can make a person lonely, and, as a result, unhappy (Zhan 292).
In conclusion, it should be noted that technology has much simplified the life. Therefore, by providing comfort it is said to make people happier. However, it is obvious that when it is given more to people, they will want more (Myers & Diener 11). For example, for people in Africa happiness is to eat at least once a day and have their relatives around. In comparison, western people have plenty of food, plenty of entertainment, luxurious houses, clothes and other things though they are less happy. It is because they are aware that there are newer, better and more expensive things than those they have. African kids have nothing to compare with; they do not know the better life, thus, they are completely satisfied with it.