On my daily elliptical workout I usually will watch either sports or movies to divert my attention away from the boredom of the repetitive movements. As I was turning the channels thjs morning I found a sort of ridiculous movie starring Luke Wilson, Dax Shepard and Maya Rudolph. The movie was about an average intelligence soldier (Wilson) and a Lady of the evening (Rudolph) that were in an experiment involving them being placed in some sort of suspended animation. They were supposed to be brought back out in one year but circumstances went awry and they wound up not being “unfrozen” until the year 2504. They were shocked to see a very degenerate society where the technology was incredibly advanced yet all of the people, including the President and his cabinet members, were all idiots.
Although this was a universally panned picture, I did find myself thinking about what our world will look like (if it still exists) in 500 years. In my 66 years of existence, I and my generation have witnessed amazing technological advances: Communications such as mobile phones and video conferencing, IT such as the internet, electric cars, and the list goes on and on and on. If 60-plus years brings these advances, what does 500 years hold for our future generations?
But here Is the question: Does this technology make us “smarter”? Well, for those of you watching the progress of your children and grandchildren in school, do they write any better than you? Do they “problem solve” as good as you? Are they as motivated to succeed as much as you?
Let’s turn this to the health arena: Are we “healthier” now than before this technology existed? In some ways “yes” as advanced treatments for cancer and other diseases has prolonged life for many. BUT, the average life span is actually dropping now after increasing for decades.
Focusing on weight control: 60 years ago, before any of the advanced technology existed, our obesity rate was 3X than it is now. With all of the step counters, apps that log our food intake, calorie counts on every item we buy, how is this possible?
Let’s all take individual responsibility on this: Take a step back and honestly evaluate how YOU (and perhaps your children) are utilizing advanced technology and see how this is impacting your health and wellness. If you using your cell phone apps to text Dominos with emojis your pizza order, this is not helping. If you are logging your food intake into an app then this is a positive use.
The movie I saw, however bad it was, does make a valid point: Continued negative use of technology will result in a society of idiots as well as a bunch of very unhealthy people.