Every transformation in history has offered great opportunities and unforeseen mental, emotional, and physical challenges. The epic human transitions: Stone Age – agricultural age – industrial age – the information age – all had their unique set of amazing breakthroughs combined with overwhelming impacts on humanity. The digital age is no different. It is offering the greatest technological advances in human history. On the flip side, the expansion of “digital age toxicities” is a looming threat that must be confronted and dealt with immediately. There are three interrelated areas of concern; physical, mental, and emotional health. This article will identify the potential problems and offers suggested solutions for each concern. First, it is important to remember how far we have come as a society while also identifying a chilling trend that should be a wake-up call for everyone.
The Greatest Time in History to be Alive
In Expansion Mindset and Humanity Upgrade, we explored in detail how this is the greatest time in human history to be alive. Steven Pinker, in Enlightenment Now and Yuval Noah Harari, in Sapiens, go into exquisite detail on how this happened and why it is accurate. I urge you to read the articles, and, if you have the time, both books; it will give you a fundamentally different and elevated outlook on life. In the words of DeWitt Jones:
“When we focus on what’s right with the world, we have the energy to fix what’s wrong.”
There is much to be grateful for in this world. Gratitude and vigilance will continue to move us forward. We must also have an accurate assessment of reality. There are some alarming trends developing that must be confronted immediately.
An Alarming Trend – Why isn’t Life Expectancy Skyrocketing?
Amid this amazing progress is an alarming trend. For the first time in a century, life expectancy in America is declining. Not since World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, that killed 675,000 people, have we seen a decrease in life expectancy. In the last three years, life expectancy has either stagnated or declined. This is blamed, in part, on the opioid and suicide crises. In 2017, there were 70,237 drug-overdose fatalities, with opioids accounting for 47,600 of them. Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in 2017 at 44,965. With the great advances in medicine, health awareness, mental health, public safety, and food availability, it is a sobering fact that life expectancy is decreasing. It should be the exact opposite. Life expectancy should be skyrocketing.