The word environment has a growing new meaning for most individuals, especially those who are in the politically active. However, the focus on the environment in our modern world is growing increasingly limited compared to other times in our history. It is constrained to climate change and pollution. Those types of discussions are what the media focuses on when it thinks about the environment. Those debates and arguments have their place; they are not the only discussions that we should be having. If a person and their family was slowly they would be outraged; however, this depends on them knowing. That is what we are increasingly being denied.
Social Breakdown And Social Decay:
People are growing increasingly unhappy and by the measurements of the past, failing. Resouces, especially before the pandemic even for the poor, are greater than even the richest of the past. Yet something is deeply wrong that sees an increasing number of fellow citizens drug themselves due to mental illness. The growth at this point cannot be just a surge or a slight increase. Individuals certainly exist who require those treatments, but the growth should be concerning for all, especially with the current opioid crisis tearing across America. Obviously, our society, for whatever reason, is more mentally straining and terrible than other ones. The fact so many people are miserable is part of our environment.
Human interaction itself is breaking down. Numerous individuals have commented that those out for dinner with each other will spend a large amount of time with others looking at a phone to find out about others who are not there. Pair this with changing social norms that are becoming inconsistent and fracturing in the commonality of society are passive in all our lives. A question remains how many people before the pandemic were locked away, not interacting with anyone and not attending any social functions. Lost human potential is an ever present part of our society. A break of the human interaction is the environment that our own social interactions must exist within.
Cluttering Of Home:
While the ability to purchase products is not equal as people have different amounts of money, the steady consumption of products that sit in homes is real for many. Some of these have clear usage or enjoyment, but the popularity of minimalism and other less strict approaches demonstrate that a growing number of people are unhappy with what they own. Another element of this steady stream is that quality has been decreasing as the expectation of replacement has become ingrained in consumer mindsets. While this used to be justified with low prices increasingly even expensive products are not built to last instead are designed for short lifespans. Repair has been exchanged with replacing, and this environment plays with our perception of worth and value.
Our time and free time have also changed. Now people are generally expected to be reachable any time of day if needed. Cellphones and computers mean that individuals often continue to work at home. Another element is that people now have to manage a social and non privacy side to themselves on their social media channels. The impacts of the internet on individuals is extensive, and they remove some of the privacy and seclusion of home. On our computers we also experience clutter. Numerous tabs and folders and accounts are aspects of how we interact with the internet. We cover the decrease of attention spans with are also part of the environment of the internet and by extension the home in our blog located here;
Sad Modern Design:
Modern art is well known for its critics. The changing of styles is a natural part of history and can often say a lot about the society that inspired the adoption of a style. Brutalist Soviet Architecture has left its mark from Berlin to past Moscow. Yet thinking about an era’s style is more than just the buildings that it makes. Automation and digitisation are a crucial part of our modern society. However, questions remain how many people actually enjoy these new styles. The environment of the buildings and media often reflex the people but do not always need to. It is quite possible that the modern environment is against the people.
When this has been done, it has primarily been used as a force of oppression or social change. The merits of these policies have an extensive debate and often harsh criticism. Reshaping peoples culture seems to be a taking a key part of their freedom but increasingly is becoming more acceptable as the goal of creating better environments are sort. The goal of manipulating the environment is not a conspiracy and is done for numerous reasons. A restaurant chain wants to make the environment good so that people come back. Yet on a societal level, it is likely that conflict of interests is taking place, leading to a mixed end result.
Benefits Of Better Environments:
Streets lights are an ever present part of our cities, and it is due to the link between lighting up an area and a reduction in crime. Good environments stimulate human creativity and help human potential. They can help solve and lessen problems. Our modern world has quite a lot of issues, and a focus on the other elements of the environment may be a pathway to address some of these. Even problems such as wealth inequality are linked to the environment. Reducing environment to climate change and pollution is robbing us of one of the most powerful tools of change.
Changing environments is made up of lots of small choices. Numerous spaces in our city are no longer serving the original purpose. Malls are the best example of this. A decaying mall brings an entire area down. Yet new projects in those same shutting down malls can bring light back to an entire area. For too long people have accepted a steady decline of our environment. We cannot expect this to not have an impact like if the air slowly is made more toxic. Our future is going to involve us thinking about our environments more as our societies change. However, technology also provides us the ability to construct infrastructure that would have been unthinkable.
Ruining debate and conversations around topics may feel good and may help particular causes however, it is not good to solve the issues. Questions remain about how long we can delay or ruin solutions before the causes themselves are not worth it or the consequences become catastrophic.