It is a growing custom in New York for people having dinner at a restaurant to pool all their cellphones at the end of the table. First person to answer their phone pays the entire bill.
It’s part of the growing recognition that our electronic gadgetry is destroying our ability to communicate intimately. Children are texting each other half their days. Adults walk down the street totally absorbed in their phone, oblivious of traffic and other hazards. Sometimes you see someone riding a bird scooter while peering at their phones, and of course no helmet.
A New Addiction
The smart phones are addictive. Both Google and Facebook have apps that tell you when your usage exceeds a level that you set. Every once a while a teen-age male develops a blood clot in a leg, after sitting at the game console way too long. Some even die.
More to Come
You can expect things to get even worse as Artificial Intelligence really kicks in. Siri keeps getting smarter and smarter. Won’t be long before you are able to have an “intelligent” conversation with her on just about any subject. Within a few years you will have you own circle of Artificial Intelligence friends who talk with you, show empathy, give sage advice, and commiserate with you when things go wrong. You will find them much more satisfactory than your human friends, who often criticize you, betray you, gossip about you and behave badly in many ways. Your Artificial Intelligence friends will even post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media and will read and comment on your posts about them.
Want a taste of this?
Try SKAM-Austin, a soap opera about teens in Austin, Texas. These fictional characters post on various social media. The posts are real. Gives the show an aura of reality. Pretty soon you will be able to actively participate in the plot of a show like this, become one of the characters in your own soap opera.
Think of all the possibilities. An Artificial Intelligence program under development keeps an accurate record of your persona, everything about you that make you a unique human. Your speech patterns, your biases, your interests. How you react to things that happen, how you interact with other people. In other words, a pretty accurate simulation of you. Something to leave behind after you are no longer around, so people can still talk with you posthumously. Give you the chills.
The end result of all this is that people will find it much more rewarding to converse with computer simulations of people than with real, live people. This will literally change that way our brains function. After a relatively small period of time spent in artificial reality we will lose the ability to deal with the ambiguities, difficulties and frustrations of real life. Just like an alcoholic loses that ability to function without alcohol. It will be an interesting world.
Not All Is Not Lost
There are solutions. One is to focus on happiness. Not sure how to do that? Access my FREE audios on Happiness. Click here to access.