All Our Devices

We are never going to become human again unless we put down our technology.  I know this will never happen.  We are too far along.  We are too engrossed in it.  After all, it was probably inevitable that at this point in history we should be so steeped in technological advancement.  And, sure, there is much that is good about it.  We have infinite information at our fingertips.   We are able to immediately contact one another.  These devices occupy us and make us seem a little less worthless and a little less alone.

However, I can’t help but noticing that our little handheld devices separate us from people who are right before our faces.  Our interactions with people are constantly diminished, divided, and interrupted.  We can’t simply have a cup of coffee without simultaneously planning our next move with some other friend group.  We nervously keep our virtual world affairs in order.  This person said that to this other person who is now doing what and am I still connected enough?   Am I visible?  Am I noticed?  Will I be asked to a party?

Strip us of our iPhone for a month, I dare you.  We will all be Existentialists in two days.  I’m afraid that very few of us know how to enjoy the world as the world.  How will we function left to our own devices?  I want to know how to love the world.  I want to focus fully on the friend-at-hand.  I want to get rid of illusions. 

If we will not be human again, what will we be?  Cyborgs.  We already are cyborgs, and this is not entirely negative.  Glasses, pacemakers, bicycles, paper, etc. are all technologies which enhance our natural abilities.  We incorporate them into and around our bodies as part of ourselves.  We are able to accomplish so much more with this.  My concern is not so much the technologies themselves but rather the neglect of our emotional and social needs along the way.  Manufacturers are clearly not interested in our long-term well being.  They will produce whatever we can become addicted to while throwing our money at them.  How shall we solve this problem?  Certainly there is more to say.  I just want to submit this idea to consideration for now.

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~ by falleninparadise on April 12, 2013.

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