Here in Maine we have had torrential rain for the last two days. Yesterday I drove into town and on the way I saw a young woman walking in the downpour, holding an umbrella while focusing on her cell phone held a foot from her face. I could not help but wonder what world her mind was in.
In 1970 Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock pose the proposition that man could not adapt to rapid change; that like evolution, social and environmental changes must occur slowly in order for humans to adapt. This is now easily disproved.
The most massive changes in human history has occurred over the last forty years and man not only adapted, but led the demand.
During the 1980’s basic personal computers became available. These computers were able to run simple word processing programs and games. Since that time, we have the internet, a truly world wide web, extremely powerful personal computers, cell phones, social media, GPS and now driverless cars. Changes have come so fast that often a product is outmoded before it’s released. People will wait in lines all night to buy the newest iPhone.
This technology has brought about a rapid cultural change. People have become less personally interactive as they live vicarious lives on social media. A recent study claimed that people between the age of 16 and 35 will interact with their cell phones an average of 150 times a day: e-mails, social media, blogs, text messages, phone calls, games, photos, special aps – the cell phone now tends to regulate our life.
This constant obsession of being plugged into technology has got to be rewiring our brain and, perhaps in a dystopian fashion, leaving us vulnerable to programming by those that would control us.