“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they’ve been fooled.” — Unknown.
We all know about the stereotype that our generation is addicted to technology. Duh. The choice is now- how, when, where and what to consume? Or not to consume at all?
Let me start by saying within the last 7 years my fears did a complete 180. It is no longer the monster under the bed that gives me the heebie jeebies, nor the zombies, werewolves, or vampires. The shift occurred when fear- which was originally wild imagination- turned into present reality. Fear is now sitting next to me on the train, inserting the supposedly safer ‘chip’ into the credit card machine, and every single one of the people running for a political position. This fear is both exaggerated and masked by the consumption of technology in all its double-edged glory.
When discussing technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want to show you where it might do the opposite.
Where does technology exploit our minds’ weaknesses?
The people building technology start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities, and limits of people’s perception so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano. Technology plays on our psychological vulnerabilities (consciously and unconsciously) against us and for us in the race to grab our attention.
I grew up in Western Culture, but have had amazing opportunities to live and travel outside of it. By experiencing both the inside and outside perspective, it seems to me America is built around ideals of individual choice and freedom. Millions of us fiercely defending our right to make “free” choices, while we ignore how those choices are manipulated upstream by decisions we didn’t choose in the first place. If you have never seen “The Wizard of Oz” I suggest today is a great day to see it.
Fear is an important aspect of technology that has affected us in ways we cannot even comprehend yet. Technology keeps us “friended”, swiping faces, and subscribed because of that little but poignant fear of missing something important. If I convince you that I’m a channel for important information, messages, friendships, or potential sexual opportunities — it will be hard for you to turn me off, unsubscribe, or remove your account — because (aha, I win) you might miss something important. Yet when we zoom into that fear, we’ll discover that it’s unbounded: we’ll always miss something at any point when we stop using something. However, once we let go of that fear by actively unplugging, we wake up from the illusion and that fear no longer has its claws in us.
The fact of the matter is that technology, especially social media, is temporary; as is everything that exists and is posted on them. If they cease to exist, and we have no raw backups, we will have lost all of our memories and are only left with the things we remember in our mind that are often distorted or are erased after a period of time. While it is without a doubt both innovative and progressive that technology has come so far over the decades, we should do our best to not let it consume our lives. We cannot let it invoke fear causing us to miss out on special moments and not fully experience occasions for what they are because a phone is stuck in our face. Unplug from fear!
We all know about the stereotype that our generation is addicted to technology. So I ask you, how, when, where and what do you consume? Or not to consume at all? Are you consciously choosing to consume or are you a part of the stereotype?