Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Section 9 - Future of Coexisting with Technology

The Future of Coexisting with Technology
            Iconic movies like the Terminator series, iRobot, and Wall-E all portray their own version of a seemingly fantasy dystopian future. Each of these movies showcases the evolving relationship between humans and technology in their respective movie worlds. Without a doubt, humans are inevitably going to continue to integrate with technology. What is yet to be seen is how we will continue to do so. People may not realize it, but we are already deeper connected with technology than people of just a few decades ago could of ever imagined.
            As of 2016 over 88 percent of people living in the United States use the Internet, while about 80 percent of people living in the United States own a smartphone (Smith, Evolution of Technology). This may not seem significant to many people, however, if you told somebody living in the 90’s that we have the ability to talk to anyone in the world and have access to just about all information that exists in the matter of seconds they would look at you like you are talking about a science fiction movie.
            In a world driven by innovation we are quickly approaching a future not too dissimilar from those of the most popular science fiction movies. Cyborgs from popular media like General Grievous and Darth Vader from Star Wars, Iron Man from the Marvel Universe, and Geordi La Forge from Star Trek all exemplify technology physically altering their appearance and abilities. While all of these examples are from fictional universes the idea of cyborgs being a reality is not that far fetched.
In fact, the modern smartphone is often considered to be an extension of ourselves (Lynch, Leave my iPhone Alone). Leaving the house without a smart phone in your pocket is a thought that frightens many people, especially the younger millennial and Z generations. This problem has become so rampant there is actually a term for the “fear of being without a phone” called nomophobia (Valdesolo, Scientists Study Nomophobia). Not only do we rely on our phone to talk to those closest to us, we rely on it to get answers to just about any question we may have. Essentially the phone is acting as an extension of our brain, with the power to relay messages to people across the world near instantly, very similar to telekinesis. The phone also gives us the power to be “all knowing”, or at least very close to.
What difference does it make if you have the information you require already in your head versus being able to have just about any information in the palm of your hands in the matter of seconds? None. Information is information, and knowledge is knowledge. Whether the information comes from your brain or your phone is irrelevant as it has to come from somewhere, and if the same answer is given from both places in the same amount of time there is no conceivable difference.
No matter what direction the coinciding world of technology and humanity is heading in, the results will undoubtedly change the world as we know it. How we continue to coexist with technology is yet to be seen, however, I believe we will continue to integrate with technology on a physical and mental level only thought to exist in the world of science fiction.

Works Cited
Lynch, Michael. “Leave my iPhone Alone: Why our Smartphones are Extensions of Ourselves.” The Guardian, 19 Feb. 2016, www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/19/iphone-apple-privacy-smartphones-extension-of-ourselves. Accessed 19 Apr. 2017.
Smith, Aaron. “Evolution of Technology.” Pew Research, 12 Jan. 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/. Accessed 19 Apr. 2017.
Valdesolo, Piercarlo. “Scientists Study Nomophobia.” Scientific American, Scientific American, a division of Nature America, Inc., 27 Oct. 2015, www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-study-nomophobia-mdash-fear-of-being-without-a-mobile-phone/. Accessed 19 Apr. 2017.

1 comment:

  1. "What difference does it make if you have the information you require already in your head versus being able to have just about any information in the palm of your hands in the matter of seconds? None." I'm not so sure. It's not just generic "information" we're missing now, it's the capacity to think and arrive at informed judgments and critically evaluate them. As Wall-E illustrated, mental muscles also atrophy from disuse. It's the difference between processing information and thinking that's at stake.

    But I wouldn't go back to the pre-information age. I just worry we're forgetting that we're the tool-users, not the tools of our technology.