Monday, January 30, 2012

Kids these days and their damn technology

Dear Sherry Turkle,

The title of my post is meant to be taken as a joke, and reflects the way that I have begun to feel. The irony is that I am still only 22 years old, but I believe that speaks strongly as to the point I am trying to convey. As my parents grew up, they experienced technological advances that changed their lives and the society in which they lived. The major difference between then and now is the rate that technology is advancing and improving itself. It took many years to develop the first cell phone (which we all know was about the size of a small house) and now only 15-20 years later we have smartphones that can do more than many people probably ever imagined. The generation most affected by this ever-evolving technology is the kids that are in middle school and high school. Facebook and Twitter have literally taken over the way those kids view the world around them. I know because last week on the ride home from a funeral, I was talking to my two younger cousins (both female; one is a junior in high school and the other is a sophomore). Without explicitly saying it, they made it apparent that life revolves around Facebook and Twitter. They use is for EVERYTHING and are on it constantly. They both have iPhones (who would have guessed) so needing to be on a laptop/computer is no longer an issue. They can access the sites from anywhere. They are constantly updating their status's and tagging their friends and discussing all of the drama that surrounds the site. If I had no interjected I'm sure they could have talked about it for hours on end.
On a different note, but still relevant, the idea of robot husbands/wives sounds fucking absurd. The fact that people would even consider a robotic significant other over another human being gets me real worried for what is in store for America's future. Is it a cool concept? Of course it is. Most people would be very interested in a legitimate form of artificial intelligence. One small example was the introduction of Siri to the iPhone world, and the large, positive response the AI received. While I think the concept of the AI is cool, I dont think it is a reasonable replacement for legitimate human interaction. Like you stated in the article, the AI will not have the ability to feel or empathize or do any of the essential interactions that create love and bonding. At the end of the day, the robot will still be a robot, and I don't see how people find that to be a reasonable replacement for anther person.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?

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