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Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Philosophy on Facebook # 7 - Socialization of Tech

When I talked about the future and how our childhoods will seem horrible compared to our childrens and grandchildren I never even considered the social aspect of tech. Unfortunately based on the way we live currently, the future will seem bleak in my opinion. I feel like as technology gets more advanced and becomes even more developed the more the way we socialize with people will change. I feel like we will become more reliant on our tech for socializing with others than actual physical interactions. Look at it in the views of our parents and grandparents. Some of our grandparents dont even have computers and of those that do rarely use it and probably dont know how to utilize it to its full potential. Most of them are reluctant to trust technology to do things that they used to do whereas kids nowadays always want the next new shiny toy to play with. I recently got the droid phone running the google android os that basically allows my phone to do whatever the heck i want it to do. Most adults just want a phone to make calls. I find it funny how tech has developed the phone into being more of a texting device than something that makes calls.

One of the most important topics coming up in the next years will be human-computer interactions and the way humans interact with their technology and what they use it for. It is pretty ironic how the first "computers" were actually people doing computations. The first computers werent machines at all rather human beings. That sure changed when people like bill gates and things like the ARPANet came along and started paving the way for the tech we have today. As tech becomes more advanced we will use it to basically take the weight off of our shoulders and take responsibilities off of us. They also are used to make things easier and faster. I think people in the future will find new and creative ways to use technology. The social part will be greatly affected because it is basically becoming like a moderator between humans. There are millions of people on facebook and other social network sites who use tech to connect them to all their friends. As time goes on we will become more dependent on technology for our social interactions and might actually interact less with people face to face and more through our computers and technology. I envision something like in the movie Wall-E where people become so dependent on tech that they cant walk and instead use hover chairs and become so fat. While im not advocating it will be as drastic as this you can start seeing trends of this taking place. America's obesity rates are growing rapidly and technology is a major factor in this as kids spend less time exercising and outside but rather sitting down on a couch or chair watching tv or chatting with people on facebook.

This is pretty depressing because i'd hate to see my child sitting inside all day instead of going outside and getting fresh air. This is also because I have a bias and my parents taught me that you need to exercise and go outside. I feel like it will be less important to our children and their children because they wont be born in a society where you have to go outside. Even now you could still live a life (whether happy or not or even healthy) without ever stepping foot outside. You can have food and whatever commodities you could ever need delivered right to your house from the internet. You could also socialize plenty on facebook skype xbox and other mediums. I would never want to do this nor do i think it should be done but its possible. In the future you will have even more outlets of things like entertainment and at some point to people it may seem even more appealing to stay indoors then go outside. This is why i feel that its important to integrate a healthy lifestyle into technology. Things like wii fit are great for exercise but still dont really do the trick. I feel like technology companies should start integrating things that provide incentives for living a healthy lifestyle.

If we dont do things like this we could be doomed because laziness will surely ensue as technology makes our lives easier. This i believe can screw society over as people will be less likely to be motivated to do things. If important people in history suddenly got lazy they probably wouldnt have done anything. If isaac newton got lazy and didnt decide to go outside and sit under the apple tree heck we might not even have calculus today. It is paramount that we teach ourselves and the other people around us to be motivated to do what they dream. Technology as it advances will definitely hinder this natural drive in humans to change the world around them because the tech will make it seem as if that person has everything they could ever want around them. Hopefully we can change that.

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