Why are people constantly trying to make life simpler?
For the masses, it really is just because. We love it because it makes everything easier. Really. Who wouldn't want that? There are really no severe drawbacks. You could argue vehicles and machinery kill people daily but the contributions they've provided for everyone on earth definitely outweighs the accidents.
But personally I see it as progress towards greater goals. Previously when our food source and shelter was our main problem of the day, we didn't really have time to think about other things. What we thought about was how to make the process of surviving simpler. Then when food sources and shelter was solved, we went on to set our minds on other things like ease of transport, commerce, arts, etc. By simplifying time for mundane things, you make room for other things - Things we may never even dream about right now. People 200 years ago wasn't concerned with what they'll watch on tv or whether this certain particle accerelator could destroy earth. Imagine 50 years from now - the kind of problems would be solving. The kinds of goals we would be striving towards. We don't even know what we don't know. Who would've thought humanity would even have the guts to say that they could go to Mars a few decades from now.
When I see things get simpler, I get excited because the next question arises - What will we do next?
"Why are people constantly trying to make life simpler?"
Because it's inevitable. As Robert Heinlein said, "When it's time to railroad, you railroad!"
What he meant was that progress (or simply change, if you prefer) is , ultimately an unstoppable force. Using the advent of railroading (the transportation kind, not the principle of framing someone for something they didn't do) as an example, he explained how it would have been impossible to "invent" it until all the various interconnected technologies had been developed.
Even if some ancient Greek genius had envisioned the steam engine and all its working parts, from valves and pistons to firebox to the shape of the undercarriage, tracks, ties, rail beds and all the rest, railroading would have had to wait until mining, metallurgy, riveting, gauges and sufficient population numbers came about, not only to justify building railroads but to be able to devout sufficient labour to the production of railroad "stuff" without mortgaging too significant a percentage of the total available workforce in a given society to railroading.
But more importantly, he stresses that when all the elements come into existence, railroading becomes inevitable.
Life itself is a very sophisticated word. It revolves around time. Since birth until senility a person has very little time to fulfill his dreams. Lucky ones are those who are able to materialise their dreams. In such a short time frame, life offers a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. People face a lot of challenges on the path to their passion and fulfillment. Hence, life needs to be made simpler. Some people intend to keep their relationships strong to make their life more meaningful. Telephone along with a hot cup of coffee in the balcony keeps them engaged. For those who like exploring the world, the Internet has been of immense help. Moreover, there have been instances wherein complex surgeries were carried out easily with the help of computers. People say "Time is Flying". It's actually these advancements in technology that make them feel like that.
Without computer and Internet there wouldn't have been any Quora, and it would be very difficult for people like me to spend time.
I actually had this conversation very recently with my German mother-in-law.
Her and her husband always had a bit of a skewed view of the US, and thought that everyone was rich and lazy and didn't work hard. Well, not entirely that black and white, but kind of.
Then she came to visit
She pointed out a lot of things around that were easier like:
- having a garage door opener so you can just click a button and the door opens and closes
- Having two Amazon Echo's so we can control the lights around the house with our voices
- Having Echo's and also integrations with Siri to play our music through the Apple TV or Echo with just a few words
- Things are bigger: roads, bathrooms, cars, stores
As opposed to being negative about it, she was actually really impressed. She said "You definitely have an easier life here"
And why not?
I was a little defensive about this assuming she carried over her previous prejudices , so I started to think about it. I said, yes they are easier... but so what?
Why would anyone make their life harder voluntarily? If you could make something easier, wouldn't you?
She said yes, of course she would. She liked these things that made life easier, and she understood why we enjoyed life in a different way than she did.
To make life easier is to make progress
Almost everything we create and invent is to make something in our life easier. Whether it's turning on the lights, or calculating millions upon millions of transactions on wall street.
Doing so allows us not only to have a nicer life, but as Mr. Rosdi mentioned, it allows us to focus on bigger and better things!
I love life and always want to make it better more than anything else. One way that makes it better for me is to make it easier. The paradox part that I find really fun is that in order to make it easier I have to try hard and think constantly, I have to devote myself to the perceptio of reality that I fell in love with. If I went hedonist (as some do) and divulged in psychlogical and physical carnal pleasures, I would not enjoy reality, pleasure would become a means to escape it, and be infected by clouds that end up ceasing it to exist.
People can have all sorts of other reasons, though I'm yet to find one that makes them truly happy, so that they not lying when they say they're truly happy. I've had people convince me even for years, but this never lasts.
I think part of what makes us human is that we can conceive of a reality different from what is currently in front of us, and work towards it. We see possibility, we learn for the sake of learning, we find purpose and meaning in creating things or making things better (for ourselves, the world, whatever).
In a sense, the answer is "just because". We got to where we are because of how humans are, and we're not just going to stop being that because we've arrived at some arbitrary "destination".
But even if most of us in the developed world have all the things you listed, there's still way more people in the world that don't. And everyone's good enough is different.