04 Dec HI TECHNOLOGY, YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME
“You are not the boss of me”, a sentence so many of us have used in our lives when we felt unfairly told what to do by others. A sentence that became the embodiment of us standing for our rights and believes, as it lets us stand up for ourselves. But if we are so good in expressing what we believe is justified regarding others, why do we let tech tell us what to do, without putting up a fight?
It was last week that I stepped in my sister’s car to drive to the city when I detected exasperation all over her face, while the seat bell alarm loudly penetrated the peace. When I asked her, what was wrong, slightly screaming to rise above the noise, her answer putted the finger on the sore spot.
“ That seat belt alarm just makes me recalcitrant, since when does technology tell me what to do? Moreover, I do not even have a chance to make my own choice in this, which is ridiculous”.
It got me thinking, yes I do that sometimes too, and I concluded that we do let technology tell us what to do, without even realizing it does. The seat belt is a perfect paradigm for the way technology is overtaking our self-determination. Firstly, it was a personal decision whether to wear a seatbelt of not, after that only the driver seat was equipped with a seat belt reminder, then the passenger seat followed, and now there are vehicles that have seat belt reminders for all seats. Initially you would think it is a good thing that we got this friendly reminder, but the fact that we cannot decide to make another choice outlines or golden cage of bossy technology perfectly.
Or what about our phone, as soon as it bleeps at least 80% of us feels obligated to grab it instantly to see what it has to you. I even dare to claim that this little device is so powerful it manages to creates a Pavlov inspired reaction, even without getting you a reward. It is as if our phone just said, “he you, stop with whatever you are doing, I just told you to pick me up and look at me”. Worst thing of all, we all just do it, not even wondering why we feel so much pressure to listen to a device with no soul.
The internet, more specific social media, which might be defined as quadratic technology as it is actually digitalization, nevertheless it happens here as well. Facebook, Instagram and even snapchat tell so many slightly insecure girls that their boyfriend should not be trusted because he just liked a photo of a random girl. It does not mean it is just a random friendly like, no, tech is telling you your relationship sucks and he is most likely cheating on you, and you let technology put these delusions in your head, without fighting it.
Lastly a very confronting example of technology being to the boss of us, the self-healtification trend. We use apps, smartwatches or other high-tech tracking equipment to motivate us to a better person, but we also let apps tell us when to go to bed, we give smart watches the power to make us feel bad about ourselves because we skipped a workout or we let our smart work-out shirt tell us that we are way too fat and should stop eating right now.
Although these examples are just a tip of a much bigger iceberg, the optimist would try to fight my point of view by saying that all these examples are situations where technology is used to protect or even improve human lives. I agree completely, I am an optimist myself, but on the other hand I do not believe that means we should lose or right of self-determination because somebody “means well”. That is exactly what is happening right now with the embedding of technology in every aspect of our life.
I stand for technology that support our human beings, that simplifies live and that strengthens our core skills, but maybe it is time to insert a “you are not to boss of me” button. A button that gives users the opportunity to choose for their own believes and wishes, even if that might not always be the best choice. Because in the end Humanity, with all its flaws and imperfections, should come before Technology, in every single situation.
Want to brain about this subject, or do you have a totally different point of view, I’d love to hear from you. Just drop a line and we’ll get into it