by Lewis Manalo
This is what we have become. We not only acknowledge that we are plugged in from the moment we wake up until the moment we sleep, we celebrate it. We take for granted that it is a part of our lives, a part of every small moment that matters to us. Making out in a cab? Don’t forget to check your text messages and email. What identity do we have if we are not plugged in? Do we even exist away from our screens?
Our hearts and minds are half cybernetic. We used to shop for comfortable ear buds, but now our ears conform to the buds. All of our reasoning is now tied to the Machine. If we are lost, we ask the Machine. If we forget who won the 1972 World Series, we ask the Machine. Why worry about remembering if the Machine remembers everything for us?
We used to feel our own emotions as well, but now we have the Machine to supply them for us. Need to relax? Dial up a music search for cool jazz. Need to feel loved? We can find that great scene from our favorite romantic comedy. Then our handheld devices can tell us, “You complete me.”
The world has been moving fast, and those who have tried to remain human have felt a lack, a hole in their souls that they have tried to fill by buying yoga classes, Tae Bo DVDs, expensive shoes, and more expensive cars.
But now we are complete. We are connected. To what and to whom? Who cares? We have bought our serenity in a $199 cell phone and $40 a month in digital service fees. For that small fee the Machine provides all.
We have been assimilated. The singularity is here. Resistance is futile? Who among us is resisting?