I have a nagging suspicion that we have been invaded and we don’t even know it.
It’s feels a little like “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers“, but instead of aliens hatching out of pods and taking over our bodies, technological advancements designed to captivate, distract, and ultimately isolate us are permeating the culture and turning human beings into technology slaves. We love our iPods and cell phones more than we love other people, and accordingly prefer to spend time with them. Instead of popping our head into our co-worker’s office we to say hello or ask a one sentence question, we text them, allowing the “technology God” to control our human contact.
In most science fiction movies that involve aliens taking over mankind, the first thing the aliens eliminate is emotion and normal human contact. I find myself walking through the city, purposely isolated from contact with others by my noise-canceling headphones, totally fixated on the sounds coming out of the hard drive clipped to my belt. People around me stare straight ahead, chatting mindlessly on their phone, oblivious to everyone around them.
Today I walked by an Apple store, and people were lined up around the block for an opportunity to purchase the new iPhone. It reminded me of a scene from a recent sci-fi flick that had people giving in to the aliens, lining up to get the pods that would suck out their brains and replace them with alien intelligence.
The initial promise of all these advancements was that our lives would get easier. We would be more productive and therefore work less and have more free time. But that is certainly not the case for me or anyone I know. We all just work more because technology brings the work home with us. Our entire offices and communication systems are now portable and follow us everywhere we go. I have friends and relatives that carry Blackberrys with them 24 hours a day, fully prepared to drop anything in their lives and work at a moment’s notice. I can’t break my e-mail addiction. I’m tethered to my laptop as if it were an oxygen machine I must cart around to keep me breathing.
Have we been conquered and we don’t even know it? Is Steve Jobs actually an evil war lord from the planet Apple. (Pod – iPod – is that just a coincidence?) Is Bill Gates really just an occupying General from The Imperial Army of the Planet Gorf? Could be – they’ve both always looked a little strange to me.
It’s time to fight back. Smash your Blackberry right now. Jump up from your desk – raise your hand high with that evil device clutched in your fingers – scream “destroy the invaders”, and smash it on the floor. Jump up and down on it and laugh hysterically. Your co-workers might think you are nuts, but perhaps they will thank you someday.
FIGHT THE MACHINE!