Inhuman Technology Saving or Enslaving : Blog #6

25 July 2017

Donkey Kong

If Skynet had really offered us a glimpse of our future then we may as well all lie down on the ground with Radiohead’s Just playing on an eternal soothing loop.
In terms of innovating life, enriching our daily experiences and connecting people to the unreachable, technology has evolved so fast, so far, so quickly that we’re now able to embrace exultation and fulfilment in an instant.

But while the advocates and the diehards will persuade you that smart phones, smart TVs, digital music, virtual reality, electronic books, online shopping and et cetera et cetera have enhanced life, improved human existence for the better, there are others who will remonstrate that, far from becoming advanced, we have gone backwards as a species, become slaves, dependant on the function of machines.

At the weekend my six-year-old nephew and three-year-old niece came to stay with me. Saturday afternoon was among the loveliest I can remember. We toured Toys R Us for an hour, munched on the finest McDonald’s cuisine and visited a nature reserve to delight in the Jungle Book activities of various monkeys, reptiles and meerkats. Despite the absence of sunshine the afternoon was the warmest of the year so far, for me anyway, because I got to share and experience feelings that technology can’t evolve ….

But come Saturday evening I was transported to an uncharted island, helping Donkey Kong and his baseball capped offspring tackle exotic marauding wildlife in a relentless quest for power … and bananas. The look on Ethan’s face said it all. He was mesmerised, illuminated, beyond happy – sharing and experiencing feelings created by technology. Seeing him like that made my heart smile too.

In the jobs we do and the lives we lead technology is shaping every moment, every interaction, every experience. Whether or not we use it ourselves, it affects us, we cannot escape technology – not if we want to pursue and preserve relationships, earn a living, indulge a social life, garnish ourselves with earned and deserved luxuries, travel.

But while my nephew was running ragged in front of the TV trying to get the Wii remote in his hand to move a 3D ape up a mountain, my mind’s eye captured a picture of my weekends as a six-year-old – making cardboard dens in the garden to hide from and battle the giant spiders that lived in our shed.

Cardboard Den

As with everything in life it’s important to maintain a balance. While technology does provide us with amazing and incredible opportunities for invigorating our human experience, we must not forget that we are human and that what’s really important is how we shape our own lives - and each others - with the kind of selfless values, empathy and dignity that WILL make the world a better place for all of us.

As revolutionary as technology is, no computer on Earth has a heart. But you do.

Steve Sharma

Published : 25 July 2017 16:02