Lives run by technology

It is nothing new for people’s lives to revolve around technology.

I can remember half a century ago my mother talking on the phone for an hour or more.

In the 1960s television started to dictate people’s lives – it wasn’t uncommon for meetings to be scheduled to avoid clashing with programmes like ‘Peyton Place’ (incidentally a programme I have never seen, my family were late acquirers of a goggle box).

In the 1990’s cell phones and texting started to play a part in many people’s lives. I remember when conducting an IT training course in the early 1990’s and a Telecom employee had to show how indispensable he and his brick phone were.

By the turn of the century teenagers and young adults of my children’s generation ran their social lives by text. The old practice of going to the pub to find out where the parties were became obsolete.

Gradually smart phones took over many people’s lives, transfixed to Facebook or Twitter. Dating apps replaced socialising as a means of hooking up with someone.

Then ‘activity trackers’ became popular. Now you don’t have to remember what you have done, it is recorded for you. Recently I saw someone post on Facebook not just how far they had walked and how long it took, but how many calories it had used, and it included a route map. They also posted a sleep map – instead of just saying ‘I had a crap sleep last night’ they showed virtually every toss and turn in detail.

How long will it be before we see root maps? Probably already popular somewhere in social media.

These activity mappers are now also activity prompters – not just telling you what you’ve done (or haven’t done), but also suggesting what to do next.

I’m not sure that handing over your life that much to technology is funny. It may have some benefits, but it also has dangers.

How long will it be before devices say ‘it’s half a day since you have bought some junk food, act on your craving NOW at xyz‘. Maybe they already do.

It could just as easily be used to sell alcohol, drugs, toys.

People would probably buy the latest craze for kids even if it kept popping up prompts like ‘It’s now time to pester your parent/s for gizmo#35, series 11′.

It would only be a slight variation on common marketing techniques for apps to learn parents’ weaknesses and tell kids how best to coerce their latest fix.

Robots may be already slowly taking over, disguised in many forms of technology.

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8 Comments

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 26, 2017

      I can’t see much point in having a robot being fed Eng Lit and other such things-it couldn’t appreciate them and would be recording, not learning.

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 26, 2017

    Many people are indistinguishable from robots as they submit to group think. Nothing new in that. Technology just hitches a marketing ride on that.

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  December 26, 2017

    I wonder if some things like the sleep record will be short term fads. There have probably been many such things, now faded into obscurity throughout history.

    Television never ruled the house when I was a child, thank goodness. I was brought up to think that it was the height of bad manners to have it on when people were there. I still do. And I see no point in having it in waiting rooms-who’s there long enough to make it worthwhile ? Still less is there any point in having it with no sound.

    People were probably saying that adding machines would mean that nobody used their brains to do arithmetic and that typewriters would be the ruin of good handwriting. I know that when radios became common, scathing remarks were made in print (and undoubtedly spoken) about how families no longer talked to each other, they just sat around the radio instead. I have read comments about the lack of consideration of those who took wind-up gramophones out with them into public places..then it was battery radios…

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 26, 2017

      And when wheels were invented, there would have been some stick-in-the-muds saying that the human race would forget how to walk. Feet were good enough for THEM to travel on !

  3. Zedd

     /  December 26, 2017

    I watched a show on Al Jz, about recent A I issues:

    1) human looking ‘androids’ talking & responding to speech & visual input.. ‘I Robot’

    2) new Algorithms that are ‘Learning’ & have data access to the internet. I heard they had to shut one program down, because it had ‘exceeded its program’ & actually rewritten it own ‘language’ ? Oh Dear

    Scary staff; “We are the Borg…. resistance is futile !”

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 26, 2017

      If the own language is the one I saw, the language was nonsense.

      The androids will never be able to replace humans as far as feelings go, surely, they’d have to be programmed. I know that humans are that, in a sense, but the androids couldn’t have feelings and emotions and individuality.

      What happens if their batteries run down at the wrong moment ? I always wondered what would occur if this happened to those fake barking dogs that supposedly act as burglar alarms...WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF WOOF….WOOF..wooffff…wfff…wwwwww…..w

  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  December 26, 2017

    I can’t imagine life with no computer. Or with no microwave.