You can find me in Budapest or (think.BDPST)

“Lagom” for everyone in beautiful Sweden
20 March 2019
Cherry Storms in Sorrento
27 May 2019

It is always interesting coming back to some cities, comparing your first impressions and feelings. And especially if this city is Budapest, and Budapest in April. Okay, so that is me. Writing from the plane again. I don’t know what it is about me and the planes? Maybe my muse is working the best when I am up in the sky? Who knows?

It is so fascinating how our phones and social media remind us about where we were some time ago and what we did. Yesterday, my Instagram sent me the photo taken 3 years ago, back in 2016 and I took the exact one at the Hungarian Parlament yesterday, without even realizing it.

I think that April in Budapest holds some special beauty for me: putting aside that it is much warmer than in Ukraine, and everything blossoms, it holds something special. Despite how much I travel and the cities that I visit, it is still one of my favorite. It has beauty in the impressive monuments, art nouveau, Buda castle, rickety trolleybuses and bridges, dear to my heart.

So, this year, I took part in Think.Bdpst 2019 conference, Young Leaders Edition, which was connected with smart cities, new digital solutions, AI, the economy of the new era and just summing up the general ideas of how do we react towards the changes that are happening around us. It was an honor for me, to be the only one presenting Ukraine (and even though it doesn’t impress anyone at my work at the university, sorry, but lately I feel a lot of pressure and I can complain about it at least in my blog, it was really interesting to find the common grounds of work between the other participants.

The main question that was asked is: How do we gain trust in the level of uncertainty? The speed of the nowadays development poses challenges not only on political institutions but also on the level of responsiveness and the way the social values are embedded in our society.

Yes, from one side the new economy will be able to transform industrial products into digital services with an increase in self-employment and lower the barriers to innovations. On the other hand, how will it influence the distribution of goods among all the people?  So I think that it all brings us to a very simple question: What kind of world are we living now?

We had lectures and panel discussions on the technical solutions, but the red line in any discussion contained the one element, which I believe, is crucial anywhere: human interaction. Yes, we might have the robots doing work for us, traveling with the driverless cars, with implemented chips containing the fast access to the universal cloud. We might upload ourselves and continue to live forever in some new form. We might discover the stars and use black holes as tunnels through space and time. But what is the point in all of this if we lose communication and don’t know how to have fun without our gadgets anymore?

We wake up and take the phones to check the e-mails, we eat and watch Instagram stories. It is much easier now to send a message via any program than to make a call.  You can say that it saves up a lot of time – because we are doing many things at the same time. Of course, and I agree with that. But it takes away something else. And sometimes we don’t even realize it. But I am guilty myself of spending too much time on my phone, instead of paying attention to my dearest ones.

Today our phones and computers became a reflection of us. It feels like they are gaining some part of our personalities and habits. However, technology is a good servant, but a bad master.

Therefore, I think what we need now is to think more about how can we keep that element of human connection. How to cherish it and let us blossom in real friendships. Because you can’t notice the beauty of spring Budapest, if your eyes are glued to the screen of your phone and your mind wanders around the social media things. And if don’t change the way how it goes, soon we might be living in n dystopia, in a world that is dominated by technology and disconnect, alienation, loneliness, and dysfunction.

Put your phone aside. The technology will still be there. Let yourself at least 20 minutes of looking around you and noticing that the world is real. It is not digital yet, and if we try to keep it apart from the technology, we will be able to see how incredible it is.

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