We Are All Cyborgs Now

Cyborg-gal-avi

Have you ever wondered how healthy your relationship with social media channels is?

Have you ever – if you are a parent – worried about the time your kids spend connected with social media?

Have you ever developed cyber-friendships with people you never met nor talked to?

Have you ever heard of cyborg anthropology, and did you know that you are already a cyborg?

“I would like to tell you all that you are all actually cyborgs, but not the cyborgs that you think. You’re not RoboCop, and you’re not Terminator, but you’re cyborgs every time you look at a computer screen or use one of your cell phone devices. So what’s a good definition for cyborg?”

These are the introductory words of Anthropologist Amber Case, during  TEDWomen 2010.

Contrary to many alarming reports on the dangerous effects of internet technology to our ability to connect and communicate with others, Amber brings a brighter perspective to the matter.  She speaks from an angle that shows evolution – technological and human – as an advantage and not as a curse, reminding us that resisting evolution is not an option; if we still believe in Darwin’s conclusion: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

And it was Amber’s closing words which brought a smile on my face.

” The most successful technology gets out-of-the-way and helps us live our lives. And really, it ends up being more human than technology, because we’re co-creating each other all the time. And so this is the important point that I like to study: that things are beautiful, that it’s still a human connection — it’s just done in a different way. We’re just increasing our humanness and our ability to connect with each other, regardless of geography.

That’s why I wanted to share her ideas with you. If you said ‘yes’ to all my questions above, I trust you – cyborg – will enjoy watching this video.  And I dedicate this post to all of you my cyber-blogger-friends; especially to the cabbage-aliens! You know who you are.

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate slave, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do, when I want.

31 thoughts on “We Are All Cyborgs Now

  1. Definitely a cyborg here! Thanks for sharing Amber’s words that remind us of the importance of human connection, no matter what the media. (You know me, Lucile: I haven’t watched the video, but I’ll try to get back to it.)

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      1. That makes me laugh, because it is so true: maybe it’s because sometimes my brothers drive me crazy with their incessant watching of YouTube videos?

        I appreciate your making the effort. Now I feel convicted and will watch the video.

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  2. Don’t feel bad: it was definitely worth watching! She was very engaging and had amusing photos — and I liked her concern about whether we (especially young people) spend enough time in self-reflection, with all this external stimuli demanding a reaction.

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  3. Very interesting. I’ll admit I’m a cyborg. Sometimes I hate that technology distracts me from real life friends, yet I also see all the good things technology has provided: easy ways to make and keep connections, exposure to diverse viewpoints, etc. There are negative effects to consider, but cyborgism isn’t all bad.

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  4. Oh I always knew I was a bit different than other children. A cyborg actually. And I love being a cyborg. This is a post I love because it doesn’t present the simplified popular perspective that media are bad. Thank you! *happy electronic humming*

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    1. You were not different than other children; you were no children, cyborg.
      That is why I liked her video; it is simple, clear and very balanced. There are people who portray the same type of reclusive and anti-social behavior, even not using technology. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great speech really enjoyed it. It does go against the popular belief that modern technology causes is to be insular and not communicate properly. It’s s balance I think it shouldn’t be at the expense of person in person contact if that makes sense but yes it broadens horizons and allows us to speak to and go to places we otherwise couodnr. I’m a cyborg!!

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  6. “We are The Borg, resistance is futile.” It is amazing how technology and our “connection” to it has evolved so much and so quickly. I do love interacting with people from all over the world. But how much is really authentic or deep. It is not like your BFFs. We probably do not want to be too revealing of ourselves to each other on a public forum. I do think it is not healthy for people to be plugged into this type of communication technology constantly. Like when you see people constantly texting. Texting even when they are with other people in the flesh. When I see people doing this I wonder who are they talking to and why do they need to do it this instant. There has really been a loss of courtesy. It is like when we have company and get a phone call. Sometimes you may take it if it is urgent but you will excuse yourself to your guest or not take it and let it go to voice mail. With texting I see people constantly taking those calls no matter what. I agree with the speaker that it is true that when we are constantly hooked up to our phones, computers and IPads we are losing the precious time for self reflection. Just time to think about anything and nothing. We need that down time if we are going to invent anything new or create any great art or mull over ideas we have read in a book. There is an addictive quality to it as well. People learn not to think deeply about anything that can not be presented in a sound bite with some good video attached.

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    1. First of all, thanks for an insightful comment, which added excellent points to the discussion, which had not been touched in the video.
      Social media bad manners is a fact; I always ask myself though if the same people don’t do that anyways with our without technology at their disposal. The same applies to isolating themselves from others to only connect with their smartphones or computers.
      My simple opinion is that this behavior already existed before, and those antisocial humans will continue being antisocial, because some people either don’t like people or have difficulties to establish relationships.
      From that perspective, I think that technology has helped the latter to give a try, and even if only online, they create connections with other people, and hopefully will get interested or get courage to do that in real life too.
      Nothing replaces face to face human connection to create deep boundaries, and you are right that virtual connections don’t replace our BFFs. But I doubt if we can’t possibly create authentic connections online, which can even become deeper. We are all experimenting these interactions on the blogosphere, and in a while will be able to make our own conclusions, as this is all very new. I for one, very strongly connected to some of you here.
      I side with you regarding self-reflection, creativity and innovation; I get scared sometimes to read ‘strong opinions’, which have the depth of a half paragraph of a text found via Google, without even checking its references. But again I ask myself, didn’t shallow people like that already existed before technology?
      It is up to us to decide if we are going to be part of the problem or the solution.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree that some people are already like this with the behavior but it seems to be accepted more and younger people are learning to be this way from the start. I agree as well that there are people who will take time to think deeper. But I think the technology can be addictive and distracting. And it is true that I have met some people that I feel a connection with. 🙂

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  7. Wow! Thanks for sharing this with us. It’s somewhat provocative that it really challenges common preconceptions of our very connected world.
    Makes me proud to admit i’m a cyborg too ;D earthlings beware, I’m only a wormhole away!

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