I’m a Cyborg and that’s OK

Just a few random thoughts occurring to me today. As far as blog posts go, this one will win no awards (as opposed to my other stellar pieces of work…..) but I’m working on the meatier blog posts in my head so please forgive my tangents for this one. Still getting into the habit of blogging regularly!

As a few of you will know, I’ve been having some phone trouble lately. My fancy shmancy HTC Desire smartphone apparently can’t take the heat. Literally, it overheats when you try and carry out complex actions like sending three text messages in a row or checking the time. Recently it’s gotten worse, leading to me spending all of yesterday without my mobile phone.

“Shock!” You say!

“Horror!” You cry!

“THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!”

Actually, I did. Not having a phone didn’t sit well at all with me, considering my son is less than a month old. What if something happened to him and he needed me? I’d be out of contact save for Facebook messages, and the thought of being reliant on Facebook of all things made me feel horribly stooge-like. A new phone is a necessity.

Think about that for a second. A necessity. I cannot, at this point, carry out all my responsibilities and live my life comfortably without this piece of technology. My life is carried out using biological and technological parts. I am a cyborg, and unfortunately for me, not even a cool one.

My newly-realised cyborgery isn’t a new thing though. Neither is yours. The phone made me realise it in more stark terms, but we’ve all been reliant on technology for some time, very probably since we were born. The processes that created the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, all the things we deem essential for our survival, were created by technology. We are almost inextricably reliant on it. Some of us actually can’t live without it. I wonder how this will grow and expand. Will we have designer eyes and more bionic biology in the future? Not sure how comfortable I am with the idea, though the first scientist to offer super strength will find me first in line.

Do you have a prized piece of technology? What’s the best machine mankind has made? For all the physical aid technology gives us, it’s the tech that helps us broaden our horizons that means the most to me – the freedom of information granted by the internet or the glimpse into what we can achieve with things like the space programme. My favourite piece of tech that I own is probably my iPad, for convenience and comic reading. Internet is the new television, and I can see tablets and online-capable products being far more common in the average household in 10 years time, especially with more functionality and ease of storage and transport. But for my favourite piece of tech ever, the space shuttle wins hands down. Not just for what it does, but for what it symbolised. As a species we went from horse-drawn cart to walking on the moon in the space of 100 years. We looked up and set our sights – and more importantly our resolve – on the moon. And we got there. What’s Mars like this time of year?

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8 responses to “I’m a Cyborg and that’s OK

  1. Yeah, my phone is basically my portable brain, and I’m sure I stole that from an article about the phenomenon somewhere. It’s not even so much as a phone – just that I can check facts, and be in contact with people via Twitter, and take photos of stuff so I don’t have to remember it. There was a study done recently that said that “kids today” are worse at remembering facts than people used to be, but much better at finding them – there’s a movement away from it being important to know things, and towards being able to find things out, which I find fascinating. All to do with the fact that information is so easily available now.

  2. You realise all this was the inspiration behind the Cybermen back in the sixties?

    I’m ridiculously attached to my iPhone, although it’s helped my blogging productivity enormously. I’ve noticed, however, that it’s making me a bit anti-social – I keep glancing at it when I’m with other people, which is just rude. I think this might be an unintended consequence of the internet’s combination with mobile technology – everything’s so tailored to us and our individual tastes that it starts wrapping us in a bubble. Then the ubiquity of the technology means we find ourselves using it in places that used to be fairly free of it (like pubs), and suddenly there’s a danger we’ll divorce ourselves from the physical world in favour of the virtual. Thing is, the physical world is where we’ll encounter things that are more likely to challenge us than the self-selecting virtual environments we create for ourselves…

    • Eilidh and I were just discussing the social interaction aspect of technology! And you may have just handed her the argument (thanks for that…)

  3. As much as love my gadgets, I still think moveable type and the printing press trump them all in terms of the impact on society.

    It’s difficult to tell whether my smartphone has made me anti-social, because I suspect I was already anti-social. I refused to get a mobile phone until last year becase it seemed an expensive proposition given how infrequently I call people, and I didn’t like the idea of creating the expectation that I could be reached anytime, anywhere. Now that phones do more than make calls, I see more value in them.

    Not to sound too old school, but my parents didn’t have cell phones (or even 911) when I was growing up, and somehow I survived (despite getting into all kinds of mischief and mayhem.)

    • Hi, thanks for subscribing!

      I was thinking something similar recently. People raised kids and got by just fine before mobile phones and being able to check twitter as and when they feel like it. Good God, they didn’t even HAVE Twitter!

      Ultimately, I think it’s a matter of proper utilization without over-reliance. I’m working on it….

  4. Pingback: When The Night Has Come « Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

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