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We are the robots

I’m a technology lover. Always have been, always will be. To me, technology is like magic.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke

Too damn right Arthur. I love technology.

But then I got to thinking about what technology is doing to us. To me and you. To humans.

Is technology making us slaves?

It’s a stupid question maybe, but I don’t know. I mean I watch Black Mirror, and love it. Black Mirror asks these sorts of questions, and the latest series (Season 5) has an episode where a guy stages a hostage crisis to talk to the fictional equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg.

Is technology making us slaves?

I ask this question as that program got me thinking. The program is all about being hooked on our telephones. We ignore everything around us to be on our phone. With our friends. Even when our friends are all around us.

Is technology making us slaves?

Is social media actually antisocial?

I’m a culprit of this phenomenon. I go and travel the world and most of the time, the last thing I want to do is to talk to people, be with people or do things with people. I’d actually much rather sit in my room, watch Netflix and text folks through Whatsapp, Messenger and such like.

Is technology making us slaves?

Is social media actually antisocial?

Then I realised that what started out as automating all business activity has moved to automating all social activity. We want our conversations to be in devices and not face-to-face. We want to WeChat rather than chat. We want to share through the network rather than share over a coffee. We want ot be in our isolated but networked social space, rather than in a space where we have to look at someone.

Is technology making us slaves?

Is social media actually antisocial?

The real thing hit home when I got to land the other day at an airport where the taxis were self-driving and that hotel was an automated check-in. I sat in the driverless car and spent the thirty minutes immersed in my antisocial online space. I arrived at the hotel and checked in without a hello or goodbye. No smiles, no handshake, no nothing. Just Pepper the robot and a Tesla ride.

I’m a huge optimist about the technological future, but please don’t let technology make us slaves and social media make us antisocial. We are all human after all.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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