Written by Ken Ho
Technology has played an important role in advancing human civilisation. Without technology, we would still be cavemen hunting with primitive tools. There would be no skyscrapers, no television nor air-conditioning.
However, every good stuff always comes with a catch. Technology brings us closer to one another, but it makes relationships also more complex. Technology has changed our social interaction with others. While we only knew the people who lived nearby before, we are now connected to everyone else in the world with access to the worldwide web. It is true that humans are social beings, but the current scale of interconnectivity exceeds human capacity and makes having real and meaningful connection difficult. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it is actually not.The quality of connection is more important than the quantity thereof. We humans do not have an unlimited amount of empathy and careful rationing is the norm and not the exception. This explains why urban life for some can be too hectic, and they may wish to retreat to the countryside. However, the growing network of interconnectivity brought forth by technology is de facto urbanising every part of the world.
Human warmth, empathy, solidarity and so forth are universal values we are striving for. However, the effort to execute them might as well be undermined by technology as human’s empathetic capability is pushed to the extreme. A rubber band breaks when stretched too far from its original position. It is time to ponder and take note of the saying that less is more.