New technologies are changing the way we live and work with a speed and scope unlike anything humanity has experienced before.
So in many ways, we’re experiencing an amazing time in human history. A time where emerging technologies will provide us with new means to make life easier and contribute to making the way we work and produce anything more sustainable and cost-effective.
Like the bodies autonomous nervous system – our control system that acts mostly unconsciously and regulates essential bodily functions – technology has the potential, when it continues to become more performant, to be our control system that will help us to adapt (C. Kromme) with more ease to our environment and over time even anticipate our needs (S. Fan).
With adaptability being a key component of evolution we can thus take in consideration that technology might be just part of a natural process. An evolutionary process comparable to when single-celled organisms started to collaborate and evolved into multicellular life forms because cells who were working together benefited more from doing so than they did from living alone (C. Choi).
On the other hand, while technology is, and will continue to contribute to our adaptability and evolution, there are however some adverse effects that need to be taken into account and acted upon. Here are three that are at the forefront of my mind and which will cause additional stress when not addressed during the digital transformation:
The adverse effect on jobs:
When work processes and production of goods are increasingly being optimised and become more efficient, fewer people are needed to perform the same task. So some people will lose their job and require to learn new skills which in itself isn’t without its challenges.
The effect on security:
There are many ethical aspects to be considered regarding what is done with the data that is collected as it can be used for other purposes than for our benefit.
The effect on health and well-being:
When more and more parts of our life are automated, we may not forget to keep stimulating the brain. The brain is just like a muscle – use it or lose it – and losing brain mass means it becomes less resilient, it has an effect on memory, creativity, productivity and behaviour.
In Digital Transformation without Stress: Part 2 I will elaborate further and address the importance of learning and applying (new) stress management techniques to stay resilient enough in body, mind and spirit to cope with the exponential changes and challenges that are upon us.