The future is now, sadly

Nicole Daughhetee

Nicole Daughhetee

Life As I Know It

by Nicole Daughhetee

I am an avid fan of The Big Bang Theory. If you’ve not seen this show, I highly suggest it — especially if you like to laugh. Older episodes are syndicated on TBS, so if you’ve never seen it, you can “catch-up” and pick up the premise — all of which, in my humble opinion, makes the show even funnier.

As much as I enjoy this show, my piece this week is not about The Big Bang Theory. My idea was sparked by creator Chuck Lorre’s “Vanity Cards,” which are quickly displayed after each episode. They remain on the screen long enough for me to read the first line or two and have my interest piqued, and then they are gone.

Thanks to the magically all-knowing tool Google, I was able to find and read the cards that sparked my interest in their entirety.

Aired Feb. 7 was Chuck Lore Productions card #407 — one that I feel compelled to share in part:

“As I feel more and more alone, my phone confidently connects with everyone. As I feel more and more lost, my phone calmly knows how to get anywhere. As I struggle to remember mundane things like the name of that movie with the boat and the guy with the lip, my phone smugly recalls literally everything. As I increasingly lose the nouns, verbs and adjectives that once stood ready to articulate my thoughts, my phone taunts me with its instant access to all the words there have ever been. There is only one possible conclusion. Slowly, without realizing it, I seem to have outsourced my mind to my phone. And to make matters worse, the d–n thing knows it… Several times during the day I feel it buzz in my pocket, alerting me that some vital information has just arrived. Then, when I look, there’s nothing there. No email. No text. Nothing. Was the buzz in my mind? I don’t think so. I think it’s purposeful. I think my phone is mocking me. And it’s not just my phone. It’s all of them. They are working together, systematically robbing us of our intelligence, our humanity. And then, when we are made stupid and helpless, they will take over. It’s just a matter of time before the next generation of iPhone is equipped with an opposable thumb. Oh yeah, they’re smart alright. Evil, world domination smart.”

As I read this, I was blown away by how poignantly accurate this depiction of technology might be. I am not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination; however I am often saddened by the fact that we are increasingly dependent on machines, and that dependence is phasing out people.

This week I was asked to write another story on another bank closing, and the more I thought about it, the sadder it seemed because of the reasons I suspect this bank is closing too: people have become replaceable. As a society, a world, we seem to have lost sight of how important human beings are — and no matter how many technological advances we create, they can never replace people … yet we allow them to because it is more cost effective or more efficient.

It is maddening that when I have a problem and I make a phone call, I have to go through an army of electronics in order to speak to a living, breathing person. And reaching an actual person isn’t always a guarantee. By the time I can reach someone I’m frazzled, whereas if I had been able to talk to someone human from the get go, I feel quite certain the call would have been more efficient.

When I was a kid, portraits of the future depicted a world run by computers and machines; sadly, I think we are already there in many cases and we are only going to continue our reliance on technology instead of the people who genuinely make life interesting.