Are we more civilized with our cell phones, or just more rushed?
From various behavioral and sociological points of view, Societal Evolution was fairly linear and progressed from very simple beginnings into more complex ones, in our past.
And, further, the evolution was believed to be mostly positive, with the earlier years being the least civilized with various forms of brutality towards other denizens of the earth.
Technology was thought to be a minor influence on those changes towards a more beneficial future, in many theories. For instance, Charles Darwin’s theories had no technological influence, but one caused by the challenges of nature on an organism. Later, further defined as challenge and response.
Yet, the invention of the compass was a huge technological shift on cultural expansion.
Human exploration across vast bodies of water became more common. And, exploration of land masses took place in North and South America due to faith in directions provided by the compass.
Well, “Katie, bar the door!”
Enter Present day!
Come into this century, and any of these earlier theories would be blown away by the impact of the Cellphone, Internet, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, GPS, and so forth.
Technology, is indeed, a mechanism for societal evolution.
We have a rush to change, a challenge and response, our societies have never had to experience. Changes take place not in years, but in weeks.
No longer is the evolution towards civilization a predictable, mostly linear path.
On a daily or hourly basis, one can see the challenge and responses accelerating in a mode that could only be described as a rush.
It is a heady time indeed to be alive. It is an exciting time.
But, it is also a time of perverse fear, where something unproven can sweep across society, to cause panic in a very short period of time.
Facts are presented after the fear burns out of control, in many cases, to paint Fear without just cause.
Fear leads the challenge and response faster than our society can respond to.
For instance, if a fire burned out of control in California, 200 years ago, how long would it be for someone to hear about it in England, France, India? One year, two?
How long does it take today? Minutes? At the worst, Hours?
Another example, if a murderer decided to harm innocent people in England in the 1880s, how long did it take that knowledge to reach New York City? Two weeks, Three?
How about today?
As quick as turning your phone on, is the answers.
The bigger question is,
“is our rush to Societal Evolution truly beneficial to our civilization?”
That question will have to be answered in many multiple directions for future generations.
But, there is an obvious string of unexpected consequences, some of which are negative.
Yes, the Rush is on.