What does is it mean to be a human? What makes us different from animals and computers? One answer is that we are the only ones who reflects upon our own existence, and therefore can do something about it.
A rabbit may get anxiety from living in a hole in the ground, but it must accept the situation. A computer can drive a car better than a human and IBM's supercomputer Watson can cure most diseases, but a computer can’t get anxiety, be happy or sad. It is simply unaware of its own existence.
We humans, however, are controlled by our emotions. And unlike the rabbit, we can do something about it when we feel bad. The two best ways to feel good are friends and exercise. In fact, it works out quite well to smoke and drink rather frequently, if you just exercise occasionally and make sure to spend time with your friends and family.
Today many people use Runkeeper to keep track of their running or cycling and Tinder to find someone to hang with. Both apps are created on the basis of Gamification.
By playing with our phones, we find motivation and feel seen by others. I am confident that play and the tools that help us play, will become even more important in a world that is becoming increasingly automated and digitized. Well, someone might think: Is there no more meaning than that too our existence? I don’t think so. Because when play is at its best, I feel fully present in the moment. I do not demand more from life than this.
By Viggo Cavling