Technology Took Our Happiness. Time to Get it Back.

Continuous advances in digital technology have made the world more efficient than ever before. Yet many of us suffer the stress of simply maintaining a social and professional life.

Continuous advances in digital technology have made the world more efficient than ever. Yet many of us feel pressed for time, suffering the stress of simply maintaining a social and professional life. But solutions to the problem—either squeezing more time out of the day or disengaging from our revolutionary technology—seem insufficient.


Judy Wajcman, professor of sociology at London School of Economics, recalls a time in the recent past when a vast utopia of human leisure was expected to follow from machine automation. In that bright, shining future, workers would be spared from dingy factories and home life would be liberated from back-breaking chores. That has come true, to be sure, but now we are out of work and paying hand-over-fist for modern "conveniences."

What's clear is that humans are not capable of matching their smart phone when it comes to always being turned on and ready to work. Taking breaks during the day is essential, and learning when you're most effective at work can help you save important time for family and friends.

If it seems like all the effort required to to live in a modern urban environment—where interesting cuisine and novel entertainment are endless—takes us away from slow, boring community life, you're not alone. But pursuing self-satisfaction is recipe for unhappiness, says American columnist Lenore Skenazy. She offers tips on how to put the tech away and return to the world of the living. After all, it's human relationships that make us safe, secure, and happy:

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice
popular

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less