It is 2016. We have a new president and a countdown of 1000 years until the end of our species. What. Is. Life.
I started to create this blog a few weeks ago due to my lingering sense that we are living in a post-apocalyptic world. I know that sounds crazy, but every day, as I am going about the menial tasks of my daily life, I think about how we evolved into doing these tasks and what their true meaning is. I think about how I really want to commit to living a more sustainable life, and how my approach to doing so should be within the means of my present life. I shouldn’t uproot everything or throw away my modern life to go live off the land or travel the world. I decided that by understanding the society that I live in, reflecting on this, and making small changes to my daily life, I can do my part to hold myself accountable and hopefully inspire others to make some changes to their life.
Very soon after I started creating this blog, Donald Trump became my president. Days after this, I read that Stephen Hawking has predicted the end of humanity within the next 1000 years. I felt another rush of hopelessness and sadness, as I had right after the election. What was the point of living more authentically and sustainably if the world is ending anyways?
So, as I usually do, when I am experiencing negative thoughts and emotions, I started to try to understand why this all was happening. I truly believe if you can understand the “why” of something, there is always something that you can do about the problem.
These are my thoughts on the “why”…….
We are at a unique point in our evolution, where we have access to any information we could ever want, at any moment in time, yet we also remember a time when this information did not exist. We know things about our world, and beyond our world that our ancestors could have never imagined. We no longer live in a concrete world. We live in an imagined world that we create for ourselves by abiding to all of the entrapments of our societies dependency on technology.
I realize that my generation is the last generation to know a world that existed without the Internet. I believe that this is the primary reason I feel as though I am living in a post-apocalyptic world. I have lived in a time when the only way to connect to the outside world was through a land line, and if the power went out from a snowstorm, we were stranded. I watched television before something like the Celebrity Apprentice ever existed. I saw the evolution of the first cell phone and laptop. Once my generation dies, there will not be one person in the Western world who was alive when the internet was not a huge part of daily life.
We belong to the last generation of humans beings that have a connection to the world before, and after, one of the most evolutionary inventions of the human race. We are all a part of a remarkable time in our evolution. I think that knowing this is so important to the future of humanity. If we can hold onto just a small piece of the world where this technology did not exist, we may be able to delay the inevitable self-destruction of our species.
So I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to not only separate yourself from technology, but do so in a way that is meaningful, rather than evasive. We need to force ourselves to connect with the aspects of our human nature that are inherently good. Look up from your phone and hold the door for someone, pay for someones coffee behind behind you in line, refrain from using technology to keep your children quiet at the dinner table, say please and thank you, take the time to watch a whole sunrise/sunset, compliment a stranger, show tolerance and empathy to everyone you meet, read a book instead of going on social media, try getting ready in the morning without turning the television on, cook meals for your friends instead of meeting them out for dinner. And most importantly, pass these things on to your children and grandchildren, to ensure that these good parts of human nature will prevail through any technological advances of the future.