Cue Rod Serling: “Submitted for your approval. A young man is addicted to being on his phone. He cannot bring himself to separate himself from it. He is on it day and night. He sits in class and tries to catch a look. His teacher attempts to take it away, but he refuses to give it up. He abruptly leaves the classroom. He loses all sense of self and walks the streets in a mindless malaise of idiocy, escaping deeper and deeper into his pathology and phone. He becomes delusional and cannot separate fantasy from reality.
He starts to act out in immoral ways. His mother tries to take away the phone and the child feels his rights are being compromised once again. One day the phone starts to turn on him. The only relationship he knows and it tells him to do things he could never see himself doing. He is told to participate in aberrant behavior. He loses himself so much in technology that it ends up being his undoing.
He is surrounded by destructive acts as technology overtakes others. There is a robotic response to acting in immoral ways. The fabric of society is torn to shreds as leaders lose a sense of right and wrong and discernment. There is no accountability for lies.”
A great “Twilight Zone” episode. Unfortunately, it is reality. The movie, “The Social Dilemma” interviews the very people responsible for our tech addictions and brings to light the severity of technologies infiltration of our lives.
Our social networks know more about us than we know about ourselves. They know what we think, what we feel, what we buy, who we’re related to, who we cannot stand, what we need, what we think we need, what we don’t need, so they can tell us what we think we need etc…
What started out as a good idea of bringing people together has bloomed into a nihilist dilemma on the consumer and a cultural enslavement that is out of control. We are unable to truly separate ourselves from the grips of fantasy.
I’ve asked the question in class. Can we know truth? More than once my students have challenged me saying there is no way to know truth. Scary proposition. If truth is unable to be discerned what compels us to act in a moral way at all? We can rationalize any immoral act and justify the right to act in such a way. The halls of justice are filled with scenarios where people are justifying immorality for their own gain.
In a speech given at Berkley in 1962 titled “The Ultimate Revolution,” Aldous Huxley talked about the enslavement of humanity through technology. Huxley stated that humans actually love their enslavement and referenced his book “Brave New World” along with George Orwell’s “1984.”
Both books allude to this idea of a projection into the future where control was exercised by terrorism upon the mind/body of individuals, but Huxley posits that his book identifies the easy way in which society can be controlled and described in his book. “A nonviolent revolution… a scientific dictatorship is in the making and taking over the world.” Get people to submit to the state of affairs and being amenable to their own servitude, you can control society much easier.
Both “The Social Dilemma” and Huxley mark a Pavlovian animal instinct and demonstrate the techniques. Huxley talks about falling in love with servitude.
Huxley noted that these Pavlovian conditioning techniques have happened in China and I think it’s safe to say that we can see these methods of conditioning being carried out here in the western world. The question remains, how far gone are we?
The social dilemma asks “What incentive is there for us to turn this around and break people from the hypnotism of consumer servitude?”
Our democratic process is being called into question. Families are being torn apart due to political and differences in social ideology. The pews are empty of young people. Our ability to discern what is right and wrong is falling by the wayside. We accept what is fed to us with very little questioning of what is right and what is wrong.
We refuse to follow the money trail and see that there are interests out there whose only concern is exploitation for one’s own gain.
One day we are going to have to deal with a person who is unwilling to relinquish power as result of losing an election. How far from truth is that when it is happening today?