Every day, the race to digitize ourselves just picks up steam.
A commercial for Grammarly, the writing assistant program, just caught my eye. It’s just one person after another talking about their inability to write a coherent email, paper, or note, and how without Grammarly downloaded on their machine, correcting all of their mistakes as they made them, they’d be lost.
People don’t know phone numbers. They don’t learn history. They can’t do math. And they certainly can’t write (despite, ironically, all of the texting they do to each other).
Why would anyone learn all those things when we have computers to do the work for us? With the help of artificial intelligence and lightning fast computing, machines are able to do all of those mundane things for us so that we can use our time for more important pursuits: like playing video games, texting with people across the table from us, and watching the videos that other people who are experiencing their lives in real time make for those who aren’t.
The smart phone is quite possibly the worst and most destructive invention of the last 100 years, if not ever. Sure, many could and would point to all of the good it does: holding a pocketful of information in the palm of your hand. Being able to contact anyone from anywhere. Playing games. Taking pictures. Ordering goods and services… and food.
But is any of that critical? There’s nothing in that list that wasn’t being done before the smart phone. Sure, it took more effort and knowledge. But wasn’t it that effort and knowledge that made it all the more satisfying and worth it?
More and more people are passively going through life, allowing the more motivated and active among us to live it for them, or instead of them.
Unfortunately, some of those people are bad people, and they’re taking advantage of the passive in their desire for control. They just keep tweaking and improving the algorithms that feed you the digital nutrition you need to keep you quite and looking down while they take away your freedoms and liberties.
We’re losing the battle against the digitization of our soon-to-be former selves, and if we don’t put the phone down and get outside soon, we’re going to be trapped indoors for the rest of our lives.