The twenty-first century saw the birth of Humanoid Sophia, a spectacular display in the advances of IT and the digital world we now find ourselves in. We are all partial to having things made quicker and easier and, with the help of our phones, gadgets and apps, we have access to a vast amount of information in just a few clicks.
The future is no longer the future; it’s now in fact our present. Just ask Google! I’ve recently been introduced to the wonders of Google Assistant. (S)he knew where my hometown was and that got me thinking, how does (s)he know? I was very impressed and somewhat bemused by the fond connection I was experiencing with this artificial intelligence. Google knows me, and I liked that feeling.
Designed to keep us informed, connected and entertained, technology has gone above and beyond it’s call of duty. Once used to explore outer space, the same technology now surrounds us in our day-to-day life with its light, non-invasive and addictive presence. We feel a pull towards that new gadget with facial recognition, as it makes us feel secure knowing that our device will be harder to break into; if the face, voice or finger print doesn’t match, access is denied. We get a sense of ownership and connection through our prized possession; it makes us feel as though we are delving into our secret diaries, as we tap and swipe our way through the digital world, scrolling through each others photos and videos.
We may have 24 hour access into each others’ world, being digitally connected at all times, yet studies by The Royal Society of Public Health suggest that thousands of teenagers are facing anxiety, depression and isolation. So, rather than being a thing of the future, Artificial Intelligence is in our present, creating our current challenges. Teenagers are facing an illusion of connection rather than experiencing real connection. Social media has become a black hole to become lost in.
Social Media Addiction
Here’s how… Have you ever posted something on social media and then repeatedly checked out how many comments and likes you were receiving, in effect becoming a ‘likeaholic’? Does your mood change according to the reaction you receive from your online friends? If no-one reacts to your post you feel a little depressed, but as the acknowledgement of your post increases, you become more and more elated. This indicates that modern technology has quite a hold on us!
Technology provides a favoured form of entertainment. After all, there’s never a dull moment in cyberspace. However, trying to leave our mark on the digital world can take its toll. Our daily interactions are noticeably more strained and pressured when we come back to reality. There’s also an element of our online persona being different to the person we portray in our daily life. Perhaps it’s more confident, better able to express our views, leaving us feeling lacking when communicating offline. It’s this stark contrast between our online and offline persona that leads to feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation.
I believe technology has been created to care about us and make everyday life easier, just like Sophia. But this begs the question, why aren’t we closer as a result of technology? One challenge we all face in modern society is not having enough time. This could be one answer, yet think of all the time we spend online! Maybe, it’s because we are too busy believing the intelligence outside of us, rather than looking inward for answers and prioritising the cultivation of true connections.
Imagine if we used technology for care. Perhaps we could have A.I.s in nursing homes. If robots are being created to ‘care’, then who better to be there for those that really need it? They could even care for those mistreated by other humans, who therefore couldn’t accept the level of care they require from another human.
What if there’s no such thing as good or bad. It’s such a question of perception. The same goes for artificial intelligence. It may seem that right here, right now, artificial intelligence really does cause some of our issues; if we allow it to manage us it’s a problem, yet it doesn’t need to be that way. With more thought we can manage A.I. and use it to our advantage; not the perceived advantage of having connection at our fingertips, which comes at a cost, but one that truly benefits us all.
About the author:
Sidra Jafri is the author of The Awakening: 9 Principles for Finding the Courage to Change Your Life She is a healer, The Awakening Facilitator and a much sought after Timeline Specialist. In the last nine years Sidra had facilitated over 100,000 people and spent over 11,000 hours facilitating healing across the globe. She has now formed an online community for those who are inspired to live consciousness in their day to day life. Visit SCHOOLOFAWAKENING.COM to know more about Sidra’s ongoing work for raising the consciousness of ourselves, others and the planet.