Scientists are hard at work finding ways to prolong human life, or even eliminate mortality in general. Most of this work can’t protect humans against things like being hit by a bus or slayed by a psychopath (Happy Halloween, all!), but they could stop cell decay and aging as we know it. That being said…do you want to live forever? So much of how we build our lives, pace our activities, create goals for ourselves, and interpret information is based on the knowledge that we will someday die. Imagine if that just…went away. It’s almost impossible to comprehend all the parts of your life that would touch. And it may not be as pretty as you think. Here are reasons you actually don’t want to live forever.
Younger people get more and more annoying
If you’re a generation X individual, then you already know how obnoxious millennials can seem. If you’re a millennial, then generation Z folks probably drive you a little nuts. Now just imagine being alive for countless generations that come after you. You’ll never understand anything they’re talking about and you won’t relate to any of their views.
You would get sick of your significant other
You could probably handle being with your significant other for 80 years, 100 years, 150 years…but forever? I don’t know about that. It’s better not to see how that relationship would play out over thousands of years.
You’d watch people abuse your legacy
You will likely have a legacy. Maybe you’ll invent something that becomes valuable for generations to come, or create artwork that people admire for centuries. But eventually, your invention will become irrelevant and your art won’t speak to the people.
You’d have to parent your kids forever
If you live forever, and your kids live forever, then your job as a parent will never be done. Think about that for a second. You’ll never be out of the woods when it comes to lending your child money or having to take her in after a divorce or breakup.
You would get sick of your family
Let’s just come out in the open about this: all of us get a little relief from the idea that we will get to enjoy some years on this planet without our family drama. There is calmness in the thought that these persistent family fights won’t live forever. Not so if we all live forever.
You’d need to keep making money
You’ll need to have a consistent stream of income. For now, you may have some investment that could yield returns for your entire life. But that stock could shut down. And you’ll need to find new streams of revenue every few decades. Funding eternity won’t be free.
This place is getting too crowded
We are facing a pretty big overpopulation problem. The planet is already sustaining several more lives than it can, and we just keep creating more people. If you keep living, there will come a point when you’ll just have to live in a teeny, tiny room—that you share with another person—because nobody will die off.
A world without Prince, Petty, The greats…
Some pretty wonderful artists have passed away already. Can you really handle eternity without some of the greats? And there is no guarantee that many more greats won’t die in some tragic way.
Your body slows down
Just because you live forever doesn’t mean you’ll live well. You may still develop conditions like arthritis and other chronic conditions that make living a real pain in the a**.
Reaching goals won’t feel as gratifying
Many people have a goal they’d like to reach in a lifetime. Once they reach it, they feel like they can relax—it’s a motivation for retirement. But if you live forever, you won’t feel like you get to just chill after accomplishing something—you’ll just have to keep going.
What if your friends don’t?
What if your friends don’t live forever? Friends are what make life worth living. You’d all wind up in a paranoid state of knowing that only you can screw this up. So don’t get hit by a bus or eating by a shark or something.
There will be no urgency to your goals
The knowledge of impending death is what drives people to get things done. If you know you’re going to live together, you won’t feel any sense of urgency to do, well, anything. You can always put it off for another decade.
You can’t look gorgeous forever
Eternal life isn’t the same as eternal youth. Would you really want to stop aging at, say, 70, and then just keep living? With the wrinkles and the posture and all? Admit it: you’d only want to live forever if you could look good while you were at it.
You’ll always have to learn new technology
You know how elderly individuals are struggling to understand iPads and Facebook? Imagine always feeling that way. Imagining having to learn new technology every decade or so, just so you can keep up with the world.
It could drive you insane
What are you going to do with all that time on your hands? You’re just going to end up thinking…and thinking…and thinking. You’ll contemplate your existence until you go insane.