Paradox of Progress

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Paradox of Progress

Postby Atlantis » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:02 pm

Please consider my essay written for my college Psychology class... feel free to comment


Jonathan Tellez
Atlantis (aka SilverDragon)

The technological advances within this era of financial and industrial globalization have consequently shifted the psyche of human beings, which as a result to the unscrutinizing individual, have completely rendered it oblivious to the plight of modern man. I am in complete and utter agreement that, despite the technological advances of the twentieth century, though extraordinary, they have not led to a direct and noticeable improvement in our combined wellbeing and contentment (Lloyd and Weiten 4). By deconstructing the method of thinking that “more is better” or “technological advancement is the key to the future”, we can then begin to understand that there is genuine change needing to occur within our psyches in order for ourselves to feel psychologically complete.
Throughout the centuries, we as human beings have experienced true happiness and tremendous tragedy beyond belief, and as a result, subjected to adaptation and psychological adjustment allowing ourselves to cope with our everyday existent. Since our psyches have gone through countless psychological detrimental experiences throughout the past centuries, our collective unconsciousness have only ambushed our ever exceedingly necessity for psychological completeness. I believe this is so because our collective unconsciousness is the component of our psyche that encapsulates the cumulative knowledge, experiences, and images of the entire human species, and as a result, we inherently transited the useful, as well as the not so useful, adjustments from one generation to the next.
It is rather fascinating how society has become more depressed within the last fifty years despite all of the technological advances man, as a species, has created in the attempt to make our lives more fulfilled (Lloyd and Weiten 3). With the advancement of technology, “our ideas have, however, the unfortunate but inevitable tendency to lag behind … because, so long as nothing changes in the world, they remain more or less adapted and therefore function in a satisfactory way” (Jung 71). Not only have technological advances developed into the sources of social quandaries, they have consequently produced psychological detriments within the psyche of modern society that have become the plight of the modern man. Although these technological advances created qualitative material happiness, which usually are only surface deep, they have created deep-rooted psychoses, in effect covering up psychic disturbances rather than uncovering their origins and treatment of the psychoses.
If we were to look closer at the technological advances of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we would discover that the majority of advances promote social isolation rather than external socialization. For example, the computer: Although it has brought many advances within the medical field, it has enabled humans, especially introverted beings, to become more isolated within their own psyche, thus consequently evolving the technological construct as a double-edged sword and ultimately damaging our interpersonal abilities. As the technological construct advances, “[the modern] man in the most developed industrial societies becomes more … enamoured of technical gadgets, rather than of living beings and processes of life” (Fromm 36). Through hedonic adaptation, which is the shift of the mental scale used to judge experiences, modern man has grossly altered their expectations unrealistically to where man infrequently achieves unadulterated happiness.
Regardless of any advancement technology has brought modern man, it cannot be overlooked that it created social and psychological problems, which to the unscrutinizing criticizer, is relatively unobservable and unimportant. If the majority of modern society is in effect sightless to the ever-growing need of psychic rejuvenation, how is it that society can ever be able to deconstruct the current hermeneutics of our current time and ultimately correct the fabric of our modern society? Thus, the progressions generated by scientific and technological advances have not improved the quality of our lives, but only complicated our existence and deterred the viability of our happiness. Therefore, the benefits of scientific and technological advances are merely facades to the underlining factor that the psyche of modern man is yearning for psychological restoration through real analysis and genuine effort.

Works Cited

Fromm, Erich. On Being Human. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company, 1994.

Jung, C. G. The Undiscovered Self. New York: New American Library, 1957.

Lloyd, Margaret A., and Wayne Weiten. Psychology Applied to Modern Life. Belmont:

Thomson, 2006.
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