The Inconvenience of Convenience: Does Tech Leave Us Ill-Prepared for Life?

“A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men, of men unduly divorced from the slow processes of nature.”

                                                                                         -Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

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Matthew Pearce. iPhone 4S. 2011. Flickr.com. Web. Oct 9. 2014

Nowadays, there are few products that are consumed with the voraciousness that technology is. As a result of this consumptive force, it’s become uncommon to have a conversation that doesn’t waft back towards it. From an updated iPhone feature to a clever new app, there is often more said about technology than politics, art and social issues combined, even with the accessibility of information and the ever-presence of new media. The currency of ideas seems to have been replaced by a readied discourse about things, so much so that often times I feel like screaming “READ SOME NIETZSCHE!” because the air is so thick with it.

While the culture of critique and the arts have met technology’s evolution with scepticism – as witnessed in books like Brave New World (1932) and The Circle (2014) – this evolution has remained at the forefront of our culture. Without question, these products can make our lives more convenient, but the oft-marketed belief seems to be that this convenience is synonymous with a more valuable life. With information being more pervasive than ever, our awareness of the world piles up, but are questions regarding our individual evolution being ignored in favour of a vision of progress that makes convenience the grandest achievement?

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