The Fate of Our Future
The human experience and too much technology are not fungible
A few days ago, I heard that The Gap is going to have NFTs of its sweatshirts? I’m not even sure what that means, but there is clearly a move to build even more of a virtual reality than we are currently experiencing.
At this point, you don’t have to be a futurist to see that beyond our smartphones, social media, gaming, various forms of VR and AI, and our now-Zoomified existence, the idea of cryptocurrencies and buying things like real estate and art in some parallel online world seems on track to become more mainstream and, sadly, in my opinion, the norm. We must be super-conscious about how we want to exist with and use all this technology.
I am not a full-on Luddite, but I am definitely on the spectrum, and I admit to being a recovering technophobe/slow adapter to technology. But without even exploring the whole Metaverse thing too deeply, all I know is: 1.) We need to be MORE human, not LESS, and 2.) I did not make the effort to come down here (in a traumatic birth scenario no less!) with all the messiness it means to be a human to live in some nonhuman way. I’m sure there are plenty of other planets or planes for that, but Earth is the O.G. for organically growing and getting dirty in the literal and figurative mud to evolve ourselves with more bang for our soul’s personal growth-and-healing buck.
Now, some may argue that consciousness is consciousness and it can be expressed in a variety of ways and forms, but then what would be the point of these miraculous meat suits we don? So many people are already not fully inhabiting them, i.e., they live nearly exclusively in the mind/on the mental level so they forget they have physical, emotional and spiritual realms to enjoy, explore and utilize as well.
This to me is the core of the many problems we are currently facing as a species (and therefore one of the most common things I work on with clients). The whole NFT/avatar version of yourself just seems like another drug/escape to take you further away rather than more deeply into who you are and all you are meant to experience, emote and express.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover the magnificence, healing and beauty that Gaia demonstrates and offers in all her glory, and how we relate to and enjoy — or destroy — her. If we don’t fully experience her in our bodies IRL, we won’t truly appreciate the gifts she gives us or know in our bones that she is her own sentient being of which we are an extension.
Who knows how it will all unfold, but there is no doubt that the train has left the station, which brings up a ton of questions and ethics. Like everything else since the dawn of time, any new tools created should be used by humans to enhance our lives, not destroy them (directly or indirectly). Let’s not be deceived by the bright, shiny “magic” of emerging technology and instead remember that we have our own innate primordial wiring that we can use right now to improve our lives and the lives of others, no app required.
And there is nothing more powerful to put our lives in perspective than acknowledging the fact that we only have a limited amount of time on this Big Blue Marble. As Denzel Washington said years ago to admonish our overly consumeristic focus and resulting material accumulation, “You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.” In 2022 and beyond, I would add that there is no WiFi where you are going when you die, so how do you reconcile your existence if most of your life was lived online? Would you be happy with the opportunity you had been given?
With so many people passing over these last couple of years, we are now reminded of our mortality on a more regular basis. If we let it, each loss can bring us back to the remembrance of how precious each breath is and that we must treasure the time we have in these bodies as fully as possible while we have them.
For related thoughts on this topic, read my essay The Magic Touch
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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 14 years has empowered individuals to make lasting professional and personal changes aligned with their true passions and talents while fulfilling their role in the world at large.With a holistic and personal growth-oriented approach, she has helped hundreds of men and women over the past decade improve their job performance, enter or re-enter the job force, change careers, better manage their time and stress, and live happier, more meaningful, balanced lives. Her specialty is working with people who feel stuck or are in transition and can help you clarify exactly what you want to do, identify blocks, issues, and patterns in your way, and offer proven ideas, resources, and action steps to get you there.
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