Many scientists have said that the mind is the last frontier. There’s more understanding of outer space than our own brains. But our over-dependence on media and technology is affecting more than just our social interactions. It’s rewiring our brains. Our behavior is changing and adapting en masse. Futurists and philosophers have always tried to predict society’s economic and social downfalls and have feared growing tensions between countries as signs of imminent global war. But it's not war that we should be worried about. There’s another battle going on right now for an inexhaustible market.

And the market is us.

‘Social status’ streaming and killer content

Depending on where you live, when we meet others in public there are often some social default conversations. These tend to be about the weather or the government. Sometimes news features. We also used to talk about what’s on television. But with the addition of streaming services and ‘binging’ being updated in our lexicon to include overdoses of television, there’s a new ‘faux pas’ that has manifested. Now it's trendy to say you no longer view live tv. In fact, doing the opposite or not possessing a subscription to a streaming service like Stan or Netflix, is like being imprinted with a backwater stamp. You’re a little behind.

Perhaps by several seasons of different shows.

This social pressure reveals something of the insidious nature and agendas of the television machine where we keep dosing ourselves with the latest and greatest, yet don’t develop any ideas of critical importance. Extended viewing, as well as smartphone and tablet addiction, is also proven to alter our brain waves and social behavior.

CNN shed a little light on this recently when they discovered that several addicted teens received weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy just to normalize. It shows that sometimes we need to unplug.

But added to this dilemma is something that could very much be called a zeitgeist of our digital age: the amount of children’s viewing trumps the time they spend learning.

New Philosopher magazine, in their ‘Education’ issue, said that “each year 900 hours are spent at school, while 2,500 hours are devoted to the ‘media curriculum.’” So children are in fact learning more from TV, the internet, and their devices through their absorption of endless, mind-numbing content. Thus they also belong to a generation that’s far more influenced by technology than any other in known history.

Recruitment’s being killed by technology

As citizens of the free world, we’ve all grown up in a mad world that gears us towards fighting and competing. We did it as youngsters for attention, at school for friendship and peer approval, and finally for alphabetic grades awarded for our academic successes.

Then we entered the world of work. But those who entered the workforce since the 90s were in for a big surprise. Automated recruitment systems were launched. Now we communicate more with companies and businesses through online presences and networks. There’s a marked decline in meeting or networking with prospective employers in person, which has reduced many applicants worldwide to numbers and not people we should be interacting with socially.

To make this issue more relative and alarming, the disconnection and silence many of our young people are receiving through their early career job searches are having a detrimental effect on their mental wellbeing and positive self-concepts. Huffington Post reported that millennials are far more prone to depression, anxiety, and loneliness and that there is evidence of a connection to unemployment.

We also just passed the 8th-anniversary of the death of young hopeful, Vicky Harrison, who committed suicide in the UK at the age of 21 due to a period of prolonged joblessness. Disconnected victims like Vicky are being called part of was is prevalent just as much today, as it was back in 2010.

The age of the scammer

Finally there’s the attack being launched at us through almost every facet of our technological lives. Scamming and spam began as something trite and slightly ridiculous: a letter from Readers Digest claiming you’ve won the lotto. Or a couple of calls on the phone. Now everyone is suffering from a deluge of fraudulent or fake companies, text messages, through our media accounts and online resumes.

And it’s costing us.

According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, Australians lost over 8 million dollars in March alone, bringing that to a whopping total that exceeds the 30 million mark in 2018 alone. A report made recently by US broadcaster, ABC News, revealed the alarming truth: American’s have been defrauded of almost 1 billion dollars last year. It’s clear that scammers have created an enormous money-making machine that costs citizens and business owners significant loss of credit. And where are most of the successful scams targeting? In investment or through posing as debt collectors, government authorities or well-known companies.

But it’s also developing a negative effect on us socially and emotionally, with reports of scamming occurring across every dating site and app, suspect followers on personal Twitter accounts, and fake contacts adding professionals to their LinkedIn profiles.

We are controlled enough through television and the media. Now, the fact that we can be reached at home or through our phones, no matter where our location is, shows that scammers have become more insistent and are lifehacking straight into our personal lives.