Major advances in technology including the internet, digital communications and automatisation have made significant impacts on our lives. We are able to share, exchange and communicate our thoughts, feelings and information with each other across the world.
Although the internet provides many benefits to those who use it, it also has an influence on the way we think about ourselves and the world around us. Just think about the fact that social media (e.g. Facebook) can have a considerable impact on how someone perceives him/herself. Individuals may have a low self-esteem if they compare their looks with that of friends or how many likes they get on their Facebook ‘post’ compared to others.
Through the internet, stereotyping can occur more easily, especially on Social Media where people’s opinions or views about things are expressed. In addition to stereotyping, people may see themselves as insignificant due to the tremendous advances they perceive in the world around them. It’s not only about advances in technology, but also the rapid population growth on our planet.
With seven billion people walking the earth today and that number projected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, people may ask themselves:
“What significance do I have in this world”?
People are told that they are unique, special, and different from others. That is absolutely true. However, with so many people living, sharing and consuming resources we might tend to think:
“What do I contribute to this world”?
I’m not trying to be pessimistic here, but most people want live a successful, happy and healthy life meaning that they want good career, nice house, flashy car and a happy/healthy family. Of course, that is by no means impossible, but with a huge global population together with advances in technology including automatisation of labour work and a planet that has finite resources, it is becoming more difficult to achieve that. (I’m not relating to a happy/healthy family, but to the materialistic means, must haves or desires of many people).
We have to become aware of the fact that with a growing population living on a world with limited resources, we cannot continue to consume the way we are doing today. We must not aim for continuous unsustainable growth but take care of our planet by seeking to lower our resource use, share more whilst sustaining ourselves in a more ecological and responsible way.