Why We Should Never Be Satisfied with the Technology We Have

Many, if not all of us, were taught the importance of being thankful for what we have. In a society that endures the pressure of needing to “keep up with the Jones’”, there is great wisdom in being content with the opportunities you do have; we know that this is where lasting happiness resides.

So how is technology any different?

On an individual level, it isn’t. A person will experience hardly any change if he decides to not upgrade to the latest smartphone or if she is content with her used sedan. New technology is meant to make our lives more efficient and enjoyable, but each year can be perfectly fulfilling without the newest gadget. However, on a societal level is where we see a lasting impact.

Detroit of 1950

In the mid-1990’s, the city of Detroit was enjoying all the benefits and opportunities a booming auto industry could offer. More and more people were pouring into its suburbs, and this city boasted a population of 1.8 million in 1950, making it the 4th largest city in the nation. Unfortunately, Detroit never moved past the auto industry of 1900’s and the city has experienced rapid decline and deterioration ever since, leaving it at a low population of 677,116 in 2016.

Detroit of 2016

In contrast, we have the story of Dubai, a small fishing village in the Middle East with less than 40,000 inhabitants in 1950. This community had been ravaged by economic depressions and geological problems, and it didn’t look like the future would be much different.

Dubai of 1950

Even after the discovery of oil in the 1960’s, it would take thirty more years for this city to make the giant technological strides that led it to currently house almost 2.8 million people and be one of the most technologically-advanced communities in the world.

Dubai of 2016

New technology can be frustrating and daunting to learn. It’s unfamiliar, foreign, and new. But like most great opportunities and achievements, it is worth our investment. What if the people of Dubai chose to stick with fishing because that’s what made them most comfortable? Dubai wouldn’t be the success story it is today.

As a society, we need to be continually searching for and embracing better technology. That doesn’t mean we can’t be pleased with the Bluetooth system in our car or the high definition of our flat screen TV. Rather we shouldn’t be afraid of the unknown in technology. If society never strives to progress and improve, we’ll never know what we are capable of.

Your choice: Detroit or Dubai?

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