Rainy Musings

Technology Makes Us Happier... Right?

January 12, 2018

The meat-and-potatoes of a thought that I’ve been thinking about (it tends to work this way) is that technology tends to be designed and implemented to make our lives “better”. An implication of technology being “better” is that without it, we’re worse off. We can say with high confidence that without technology, we’d spend more time doing things that are tedious.

We all acknowledge the value in a machine that does a repetitive task like laundry for us. I would not, for example, want to spend three hours of my time doing laundry by hand when I could be using that time to watch Black Mirror on Netflix to feel terrible about everything.

But there’s so much that we don’t talk about when it comes to repetitive tasks and the freedom that it lends us mentally and emotionally. Defining what is a”fun hobby” sort of fits into this category.

I’m currently taking a Glass Arts class at the Chihuly Museum of Glass in Tacoma Washington. Glass blowing is an art that is both beautifully mesmerizing and extremely intimidating. The chances of an inexperienced glass blower to burn themselves is very real, and when you watch a glowing ball of molten material plop before your eyes onto a marver, you’d be stupid to not get a little nervous about working with it.

Glass blowing is an art. It is not practical. It’s very expensive. It takes years of experience to be able to do simple sculpting. So why do people even do it? Why don’t we leave it to the factories? Why did I sign up for this class anyway?

What I mean is, perhaps there is no reason for doings things. Perhaps as humans we do things that satisfy our soul. Perhaps we do things because these things are what we’ve always done, and they bring us contentment. If doing laundry, or washing dishes by hand gives you the freedom to think, to feel, and to ponder, maybe you should get rid of your dryer and your dishwasher.

You might find yourself relying on other people more.

A topic for another post.


Patrick Eddy

Patrick Eddy lives in Seattle, watches the rain fall, and likes occasionally muse over things.