Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Dhu al-hijjah 9, 1445 H
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Accelerated physical, mental and virtual changes…


The sooner we recognise that changes are going to last, is better. Many times it is wiser to embrace than to fight against them. Or as some would say: just go on with it!

Changes are constant — can take weeks, months, or even decades, but when these changes are fast and profound, individuals might challenge or repudiate. People’s different perspectives, the listening, and learning have to be on the table. Changes go hand-in-hand with engagement, participation and understanding. The processes of consultations when not considered might have risky consequences.

But why should we care that many aspects of our lives, the way we knew it has already been modified? Simply because our interactions and relationships have been refashioned. Cultural and social institutions have been adapting to a new sphere, and as a consequence, so our lives.

We are chasing the sun — metaphorically speaking about social and cultural changes. It reminds me of Icarus, in Greek mythology, who thought he could escape the island of Crete by flying towards the sun; well, he ended up dead — drowned in the sea.

Let us put the sun apart for now, and look into more realistic and down-to-earth structural changes. For example, working from home has become a 24/7 routine. Virtual meetings are increasing substantially. The need for individuals to own and use a smartphone. Besides, if one does not have a smartphone with an Internet connection, he/s cannot buy or pay for services.

Banking, driving licence, medical appointment, booking hotels, groceries are just some of the changes we are having to cope with — we are pressed to learn and apply it quickly, otherwise, there are consequences for not being updated on payments, registers, and so on. We are being made dependents on smartphones! Fortunately, Chile has the largest lithium reserves in the world! Everything seems to be for yesterday.

The tomorrow — ah, that might be too late; things might have changed by then! With so much hurry to catch up with the latest telecommunications technology, surveillance technologies, software able to read deleted messages, high level of tracking social activities and health data, something is being overlooked and that is deliverance. How many times we have heard “we call you back” or “we will contact you” — and nothing happens! Every business initiative is running after profit: making money, develop, grow and with this in mind, the rush to sell, to have contracts signed. Failures of service performance can be translated into losses. It is noticeable that today’s consumers are highly impatient. Perhaps, it is a consequence

of the steamy changes happening around us.

An upside-down view of the world these days is greatly confusing. For a long time, physical activities have been linked to a better healthy life. Then, we are told the parks, gyms, beaches, are all closed to protect our health. How to make sense of the changes that many times do not fall within average rationality? Many will drink more, smoke like a chain, sleep all the time, sitting all day! Without mentioning domestic violence.

Now, should we blame the accelerated changes to the fact that the earth is spinning faster around its axis — and probably affecting the human’s brain? For the first time, scientists talk about a possible negative leap second subtract. If it comes to that, in June 2021, data applications, telecommunications systems, time distribution services will be highly affected. So our smartphones! The moon and the sun can still be reverenced, but nature is setting the stage. It doesn’t matter the size of the boat or how good a swimmer is, the increasingly complex social structures between the physical, mental and virtual world point to one direction: changes are inevitable, but it

would be helpful to adjust to them in a slower pace.

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