The comedy of technology is that the vast majority of its users have NO idea how it even works!! I can’t even explain how a toaster toasts let alone the complexity of nanobots. My understanding of the inner mechanisms of my phone is juvenile, yet my addiction to it is extreme.
Humanity has created a habitual and emotional dependency on technology to the point where we feel naked without it. It is something we use everyday both consciously and unconsciously, and have come to view it as a necessary element of existence. If you ever want to see someone freak the fuck out, hide their phone.
Even though modern technology affords us more time because we don’t have to walk two miles to get water or churn our own butter, the question then becomes what do we do with that extra time? Do we read 500 great novels? Do we learn 40 languages? Do we become masters of painting portraits? Or do we stare at Facebook?
There is this assumption that social media/cell phones/computers bring us together because they have created real-time instant communication possibilities. The harsh reality, however, is that even though we may have infinite access to every human who has access, that doesn’t mean we feel any less alone than if we were living off the land in the open tundra. Being able share interspecies cuddling videos or “liking” pictures doesn’t mean we are actually connected to each other.
This is why I wanted to talk to Sherry Turkle about her research regarding the psychological impact of modern technology, and the philosophical implications of how we use it. I think we all know that our brains are being shaped by constantly checking the many different platforms we are a part of, yet the seduction supersedes our logic to look away.