Tuesday, November 18, 2014

We, robots

In the book review titled “We, Robots”, the author reviews a book in which the author initially encourages the use of the internet as an open network for individuals to try on personalities like clothes, but later rejects and cautions its use as it distracts from human interaction. The author first agrees with the latter argument. However, slowly he grows to conclude that the new medium may perhaps be just another tool for human interactions to continue. I believe the technology in this day and age is well beyond what we as people know how to handle thus far. Congruent with the author’s point, we don’t send as many letters, we don’t pass as many notes, and we look to technology to avoid human interaction because it is much easier and “less dangerous”. He mentions a study conducted by MIT which revealed psychological stress was reduced by online interactions. However, personally I experience less stress and longer periods of happiness when I am not on social media or using my phone; some of my happiest vacations have been when I leave my phone in the room and enjoy the moment.

This passage moved me to consider the long term implications of using technology. It made me think when it discussed how robots might alter our relationships much worse, as we have a robot girlfriend there at home. These were all insane consequences I had never considered that actually moved me to write a letter home just for the sake of taking the time to write a message that wasn’t instantaneous and didn’t light up a screen for three seconds before being forgotten. The author is correct in stating the internet is just another accessory for communication and interaction, however it cannot be allowed to be the only one.

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