During our infancy we already have been exposed to different stimuli. These stimuli are either pleasant or unpleasant. Because we human beings are hard-wired into seeking these pleasant feelings and avoid all unpleasant feelings, we tend to be conditioned or “programmed” to like some aspects of our environment more than others. We tend to be “taught” what to like and what not to like by what we experience around us. And what is around us? – Technology.
Anyone who reads previous patents records and try to trace what inventors invent at what time would definitely notice that these inventions are intended to make like easier. From small nifty gadgets to big time complex machinery, all of them try to make life more enjoyable and more convenient. We are of course exposed to these inventions and the satisfaction they bring. Everyone is exposed to technology.
Going back to the psychological perspective, being a human being, we are subject to conditioning. As said earlier, it is the ability to be taught by stimuli. We tend to associate what we experience – what we feel, with the stimuli that we receive. If we experience pleasure whilst using a high-tech gadget we are likely to be conditioned to like that gadget and we tend to search for it in the future. This usually happens unconsciously. Now, being exposed to a lot of technology, we are probably going to be conditioned to like these technologies that give us pleasure and we try to look for them.
So the question; how does science and technology affect our concept of happiness can be answered quite simply: The pleasures science and technology brings and our exposure to it conditions our minds to look for whatever that brought this pleasure. We somehow get “addicted.” Since happiness comes from pleasure, our happiness is based on what gives us pleasure. So now that we are conditioned to seek technology, our happiness now lies to finding these and experiencing the pleasure it brings.
Take for example the people who play in gaming shops for hours. They play because what they do gives them pleasure. They get attached to the technology involved. So now their happiness is now determined by whether they get to “be with” the technology or not. People who are always updated in terms of mobile phone, gadgets, computers and accessories find pleasure with the power of their equipment and the knowledge that they have the latest and it makes them feel “cool.” They seek to always have the latest and they find happiness in it.