A Companion or a Slave Holder?
Nassim Nicholas Taleb once said: “The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free”. My iPhone died before I got home and I did not have a charger. It seemed to me that it was a real tragedy. “How I am supposed to live without music and instant access to the Internet and SNS on my way home? It takes 40 minutes, for Gods sake!”.
And while I was walking for 15 minutes from my workplace to the metro station there was something I realized. I have been working there for almost six months and I have never really made any attempt to look at the surrounding area. I have never paid any attention to the building, nature, small park I was passing every single day, shops and restaurants. And what is even more frightening, this world was always there and it is extremely beautiful.
But I was constantly busy listening to music and looking at the bright screen of my iPhone, a tiny digital monster, that takes up 90% of my time. I entered the train and noticed that almost every person was looking at his small gadget, scrolling the news and watching “not-funny-at-all” videos. Loving couples were sitting next to each other and yet playing with their “companions”, having no time for the one they love.
I was born in 90’s when the Internet was not that widespread and families and friends still had times for each other. But 20 years have passed extremely fast and now we have the digital era when one can not imagine his day without an iPhone or a smart phone or any other type of super cool gadget.
I came back home thinking does the humankind still have the chance to return the offline life? Do we still have the opportunity to live independently from intelligent machines? Are they our companions or have they became slave holders instead? And if there are answers to these questions I would love to know. I would love to know, when the “real” reality has become so unbearable that we prefer a virtual one…