Technology vs. Human Instinct

What is the difference?

I have a love-hate relationship with digital technology. Every aspect of my life is either controlled or guided by technology. From telling time, to communicating with friends and family, to even nourishing myself using recipes found online — it genuinely feels as if I cannot live without technology.

The problem that arises from this heavy reliance on the digital world is that I find myself losing touch with my human instincts. It is as if every facet of information that passes my mind is influenced not by human interaction and experiences, but by information seen online.

For example, a good friend of mine from high school texted me last night seeking help to a personal problem. Instead of telling her what I ‘felt’ she should do to rectify the problem, I immediately typed in her problem into Google, copied+pasted the first link that popped up into our conversation, and pressed send. We consulted the list of “Do’s and Don’ts” and began to decipher the problem together, not even realizing the gravity of what we were doing. Where did our ability of using human instinct to find a solution to a problem go?

The multitude of problems in this world seems easily solvable because of the Age of the Internet.

For example, Chat Bots are used to help lonesome humans fill their nights with idle conversation that only ephemerally fills a void. They are used to aid those who are in severe distress, or even to help navigate through a dense site. Our reliance on such technologies seems like a sure fire way to avoid human interaction as these bots present a logical solution to the problem at hand.

However, the human “gut feeling” of reassurance is lost in the process. Humans are cognitively diverse because we think, feel, perceive, process, and act in different ways.

It is true that computers are indeed more logical than humans as emotion-based judgements do not hinder any decisions.

However, will the ubiquitous ways of problem-solving through a computer be feasible to every human being? Is it really possible that every human occupation can be taken over by a machine? Is it possible that this humanesque gut feeling can be translated onto a machine? Can emotions and the ability to ‘feel’ be afforded to a computer?

Only time will tell.

For now, what I remind myself is to stop relying on the Internet to validate your views, go with your emotions to a certain point. Trust your instincts.