Smart city draws on modern technology and the Internet in an effort to make people’s lives simpler, clearer and easier. Perhaps everyone in their own experience recognizes that modern conveniences can improve people’s quality of life and the environment in which they live, provided that people take a healthy approach to these extras. This competence appears to be absolutely vital for achieving a healthy lifestyle, well-being, a sense of life satisfaction or happiness, or to find an individually meaningful sense of life if you like. It seems that especially now, at a time of unparalleled prosperity, we are suffering and are not happier. Many find out that when they stop at the end of the day and put aside their tinsel and technological lures, they encounter feelings of senselessness and emptiness, lack of life fulfilment. V. E. Frankl’s notion of existential vacuum in this context takes on real dimensions. Why this is the case and how does it relate to the technical advancement of the world?
…at a time of unparalleled prosperity, we are suff ering and are not happier.
: Be “smart” enough
If we considered a smart citizen and focused narrowly on the sense ofb eing „clever“, we would think of the subject in terms of innate dispositions and a stimulating social environment, including quality education. But do not be fooled by this association with intellect and acquired knowledge; they are not the most important factor. Many of the commonly available technologies are, thanks to their intuitive control, also made available to the illiterate or even to small children who sometimes cannot even yet communicate verbally with their surroundings. In the context of the present day, a diff erent quality of the human appears to be a fundamental condition for his or her satisfactory functioning in society... maturity and self-control. Hence, not only technical literacy, but above all the ability to use information and communication technology prudently plays a major role. While previously we primarily worried about life, today we are scared of an insuffi cient supply of information, a loss of data. The struggle for physical survival that had dominated the past of mankind has been in this excessively technicized era replacedwith a desire for high performance and at the same time maintaining mental equilibrium... a diffi cult task indeed. Today’s world lures people into a lot of traps which they did not have to resist before and which, in view of their degree and frequency of pressure, are demanding in terms of their competent management and maintenance of overall health. More than ever, we are exposed to a plethora of content items of varying quality, pressurizing us not only at work but also in our private lives. Often, we are not quite aware of these infl uences. All those urgent alerts, advertisements, news, talks, tweets, texts we search for, but also funny posts, etc. permanently attack our attention and occupy our mind. Continuous absorption of information does not strengthen us in any way, rather the opposite, especially when we are not able to make eff ective use of this information.
The eff ect of new technologies is largely contradictory. On the one hand, they help us better structure the environment, speed up mutual interactions, provide an infi nite amount of information and simplify life. They make us more agile and faster; we become multi-tasking champions; our activities are more eff ective and productivity rises. On the other hand, however, they plunge us into virtuality, unreal online life, and thus into solitude, forcing us to process a great deal of often useless information, which neuroticizes us and only diverts our attention from what is essential, eroding our ability to survive without it. Imprudent handling of smart technologies, the Internet and informational surfeit, in turn, reduces our performance and causes an all-pervading feeling of dissatisfaction, spiritual misery.
: The main thing is „not to go nuts“
Even if modern technologies were most advantageous, it is necessary to perceive them exclusively as a tool for improving the quality of your life. They should not bind you more than help you. If you are not sure, whether you are not „walking a tightrope“ a little bit, or if you recognize yourself in the previous text, try to follow the following recommendations:
: Don’t be greedy; review your value system. Do not want to know everything, to have everything, to be everywhere and to experience it preferably right now. Surely you have a solid general knowledge and detailed expertise in your own fi eld, but do you know yourself? And do you know your real priorities that make you inwardly happy and that you never want to lose? Stop feeling frustrated withnon-essential things and falling into nihilism. Regularly recall your essential values and dedicate yourself to them. Think about yourself, about the world, about how things are evolving; this way, you will set up your own value list. Values cannot be taught, they must be lived.
: Take a technological break, eliminate impending addiction. Put down your mobile phone, close the laptop, or even turn it off ... yes, even these buttons exist. Learn to really relax during the day at least for a while without keeping your brain busy with technology and try to reserve one day in theweek that you will spend without work, according to yourself. The Bible says that we should work for six daysand rest and celebrate on the seventh day. There is something to it.
: Act responsibly. Do not accelerate your own degeneration; revive your instincts and traditions. Modern life need not be the equivalent of technocracy, the loss of inborn patterns of behaviour, contact with nature and the continuation of human traditions. A blackout would certainly check our ability to survive and naturally integrate into the human community, but it would undoubtedly be a painful experience. Enjoy the freedom that constant development brings, but remember that true freedom cannot exist without responsibility that is the basis of our own existence.
: Do not get overwhelmed. Strengthen your will, procrastinate purposefully. Today, we receive every day an amount of information that is comparable to a whole year’s amount 100 years ago and it is not going to get any better. Tolerance towards suff ering diminishes, the excess of information and tasks is often paralysing. Do not get driven into a corner. Identify objects of your interest that you will pay attention to and ignore unrelated topics. Divide your big tasks into smaller, more digestible ones and strengthen your will by overcoming something every day, even if it is a small thing (to get up early, to exercise, etc.). You cannot change right away, but if you persist, the results will come.
: Build a strong relationship base. The human is naturally a social being, destined to live in a community that cares about the quality of this coexistence (see Aristotle – Zoon politikon). Unfortunately, even a person who does not live alone can suff er feelings of loneliness. Let alone people with a mere virtual company, communicating applications and online friends who are physically distant. It is often not the number of close people or their constant proximity, but their quality that matters. Go ahead and use an Internet application to look for a partner, but do not live your relationships there. The ever more pervasive virtual space will always win the battle with the less glaring everyday reality, especially with the worries associated with it. There will always be something we can fall for, that we can become addicted to. The only thing that really matters is the degree of this dependency. Technology is changing the world, and it can be assumed that the future will take on the character of a science fi ction movie. It is certainly not possible to stop development, but more than ever, we must not neglect „authenticity“, spontaneity, our human nature that is always closely connected with nature, and develop a mature and responsible approach to all artifi cial systems. Suffi ciently self-regulated psychosocially mature personality has the greatest likelihood of being able to competently cope with the demands of their environment. Where do you stand?