I believe that our generation has unparalleled potential for good, for influence, and for productivity.
Never before in history has there been the wealth of information, entertainment, and means of influence available to us today – with the advent of the internet, smartphone, social media and google. The world is literally at our fingertips, or rather, thumbtips.
Never before in history has there been so much potential for growth and development for human beings. Technology, the internet, smart phones/tablets, apps, email provide a level of efficiency and productivity that no other generation has had in history.
And yet a very real crisis exists for our us: the very things that provide the means for this unparalleled productivity exist today as our achilles heel.
Never before in history has there been so much activity and information and entertainment that is vying for our attention and mind’s energy at every moment.
Never before in history has there been so much eye-candy, or rather heart-candy available in so many different forms that satisfy all our senses from our taste-buds to our reproductive organs.
Our world is a world of unceasing distraction, and endless novelty, of ever-shifting fads and of incessant curiosities and delights.
The most recent Time Magazine’s cover article ‘Mindfulness’ recognises that “distraction is the pre-eminent condition of our age.”
And I find myself a mostly distracted individual, without the ability to stick to a task and complete it, both in a broader life-goal and directional sense, but also in the smaller day to day tasks. And while I may be good at many things on a shallow level, I lack the depth and substance with any one thing, so ultimately I can be of little use. I suspect this is true for much of our generation and even truer for those younger than ourselves.
So I see it going one of two ways. Either we harness the power of technology and social media or it consumes us. And for some of us it will go one way – the path of life, of positive influence, of productivity and creativity and growth. And the world will see a generation of those who are disciplined and focused, harnessing all that is available, who will affect the world for the greatest amount of good ever seen. And for others of us we will descend into a world of distractedness and lukewarm-ness. There will be ceaseless drifting in all the currents of the day – with no real achievements or accomplishments because we are too busy flitting from one thing to another. I’m not sure an in-between path exists, or if it does – it will most likely look more like the latter than the former.