Are technologies at the service of our well-being?
Its precise technology develops flexibility at work. People can now work remotely whenever necessary. It allows many people to manage their personal lives more effectively. Websites such as Google Hangouts, Teams, or Zoom, which has grown dramatically in 2020, allow people to communicate with colleagues remotely. It was making it much easier to organize and attend last-minute meetings. With this flexibility granted by technology, travel time is eliminating. People who spend a third of their day in traffic jams save time. And this saved time helps them achieve an excellent work-life balance.
A way against loneliness
Technology has also developed products to fight against loneliness and social isolation. We are now talking about digital companions and chatbots, or instant conversation in English, tools that are expected to grow considerably in the coming years. The Replika app, launched in 2017, for example, allows users to create a personal digital companion, a sort of virtual friend, capable of holding a discussion after absorbing a large number of text messages. Woebot is another chatbot app that promotes exchanges between a robot and users for a friendly and dynamic experience to reduce loneliness.
Technology and balance are two words that definitely seem to go hand in hand. We understand its multiple assets for a transformed interior, professional or social life. Like any tool, balance also lies in a measured use of the devices. Will man know how to set up the equation so that technology remains in its proper place?
Which lifestyles in 2050?
The perspectives of the current futuristic discourse are not very engaging. Politicians talk more about adapting the present than building the future, which places us in two diametrically opposed perspectives. The multidisciplinary project Promov, a working group on the post-carbon society, allows us to acquire a renewed perspective on the issue.
Five scenarios have been identified, each of which is confronted with highly contrasting individual and collective relationships to time. Based on the idea that changes in lifestyles will be adaptive rather than voluntary. However, they are distinguished by different drivers of change.
The first scenario is green consumerism, which is a continuation of our consumer society but with heightened environmental demands. This model will be based on a developed eco-tax system but with minimal redistribution. Therefore, social tensions will be high, with marginalized bangs and significant spatial segregation: urban areas, comprising 80% of society, will be surrounded by agricultural and leisure areas. This scenario, centered on the value of work, is contradictory, both adaptive and defensive.
The society of the augmented individual promises an improvement in human performance and an extension of life expectancy until the advent of the cyborg. The pivotal value becomes that of understanding. Health is then a moral as well as an economic imperative. 95% of the population is urban, mobility is strongly reduced, we only eat food.
The dual society and plural sobriety paint a worrying picture. It is about a crisis and transition scenario showing an economy in chronic crisis. Sobriety is imposed by poverty, 40% of society has dropped out, and new modes of organization are therefore emerging, influencing the metropolises.
The eco-citizenship scenario is based on the hypothesis of resource depletion by 2030. Society would be organized around miniature autonomous metropolises. Mobility would remain quite essential but would be carried out essentially by soft modes of transport. Solidarity and ecology are central concepts in this vision.
Finally, the knowledge age is facing a vigorous economic and energy crisis. The revaluation of all forms of knowledge will give the economy a boost. Demarketed, the value of productive work loses a lot of its pregnancy, the society turns to cooperation, creativity, autonomy, such as the forms of alternative development that are developing worldwide.
All these scenarios do not allow us to reach the factor 4 reduction of carbon emissions. This objective will require political levers of action in energy efficiency, recycling of raw materials, urban planning…
This document allows us to question the future we want, highlighting the risks of drift and our current society’s potential.