Sunday, November 19, 2017

Is technology impacting on human joy?

It's an interesting question and this topic came up in a conversation I was having last night at a party in London. There is a lot of seemingly mind-less-ness when it comes to digital media. I don't know about you, but I often find myself scrolling mindlessly up and down my social feeds and following links and reading things that I am neither particularly interested in nor remember once read. It's not healthy and I aim to keep this habit in check by asking myself what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

Not only that, but with every login comes a decision on passwords, how much data to share, who has access to the data, what will my friends see or think of me if they see this, who should I share my picture/status/blog post with, wondering what's in the privacy agreement I just agreed to, clicking on products you might buy and then never buy and perhaps were never really interested in, or you buy and regret. And there are many, many more.

These are often micro decisions that we barely notice but they are decisions nevertheless, and I think make us more prone to decision fatigue (definition here) which makes us, in turn, more prone to make poor decisions. Research from Cornell suggests that we make over 200 decisions about food on a daily basis. Ramp that up with decisions about what we wear, what we do, what we watch, where we go on a daily basis and that ramps up quickly.

I'm wondering how much that decision fatigue is impacting on our human joy. Does it lead to poor decision making about the things that we know make us feel good or feel better such as spending time in nature, hanging out with friends and enjoying creative pursuits?

I'm not sure if that's where JoyTech are going with this survey but it was an interesting exercise to complete it this morning. It got me thinking about whether or not technology brings me joy or not. I think sometimes it does - I enjoy writing (well, when I'm in 'flow' at least) and I enjoy getting inspiration for sewing and fabric projects from craft blogs and instagram. Although on the latter point, I know I spend too much looking at other people's work rather than working on my own projects. And I think that's partly down to decision fatigue and partly down to how powerful the digital dopamine hit has become.

Anyway, check out the survey yourself. They will share the results with you if you're interested at the end of November.

If nothing else, by reading this post, hopefully you'll reflect a little on what brings you joy and act on it.

Day 18/30 NaBloPoMo (posted a day late)

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