The popular quote of 1987’s cyborg with a badge, RoboCop, is now satirically applicable to smartphone addicts. In this case, instead of the ‘dead or alive subject’ applying to the criminal, it is now the smartphone user’s preference for the device remaining on their person. The electronic apparatus has essentially become accepted as part of the human body.
Cyborg- A person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device.
The term is derived from cybernetic organism and was coined by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline in 1960.
Technically, this means the first cyborgs of real life are already among us. They’re not too hard to spot. If you live in the city and are out and about, it will only take a few moments to come across one.
In fact, if you’re not careful, one may run right into you. Don’t take it personal, becoming a cyborg is quite distracting. There are several factors to take into account that can cause these types of accidents:
- Faulty map systems
- Chimes that induce Pavlov-like behavioral responses
- Lack of downloaded sentinel applications
- FaceTime interactions with someone obviously more important than you
Stay alert to the non-verbal cues to avoid collisions!
For example, the phone is usually mounted in one to two hands and presented within inches of the face. This optimizes communication, direction taking, and absorbing social media hearts, thumb-ups, and smiley faces.
Cyborg assimilation with smartphone addicts will visually display intimate human and machine interaction. Don’t judge. Chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin are being released within the human physique. This love is therefore quantifiable and real.
It’s all part of the amorous integration with the person’s technological counterparts. Anticipation of an upgrade to a transhuman status makes the subject weak in the knees.
But no worries, there will someday be a wearable accessory for that…
As satirical as it presented, most likely you can relate and agree the reality is a mix of a sci-fi and zombie movie. The relative aspects of an obsessive attachment to a phone and these movie genres becomes quite apparent.
The reality also entails that there is no stopping this integration. And if you don’t consider yourself a cyborg, all it may take is some time.
Body and mind Integration
We make it a general habit to protect our physical bodies and minds. We tend to do the same with our phones through protective cases and installing security measures to keep sensitive information safe. In the ownership of our smartphones, we are putting in personal care like an extension of our being.
It’s not protocol to be a smartphone addict to take these measures. Actually it’s quite smart and practical. Naturally we take care of things we value. It just so happens that this symbiotic relationship is between a human and an electronic device.
There once was a time when a human had committed to memory every phone number of all family members, friends, and favorite pizza delivery services. Now, our devices have become an extension, even substitution, of our memory bank. Helpful information such as directions and phone numbers are dependent upon the hand-held device.
This can be a positive aspect; leaving room for other important or necessary information to be stored in the brain.
But there’s also the chance this ‘freed up space’ is instead filled with memes and pictures of Buffy’s vegan tacos.
With the aid of wearable accessories such as Bluetooth earphones, smart glasses, and watches, human abilities become even more amplified. A cyborg could not be complete without some cool gadgets to supplement enhanced abilities with some style.
- Look at an object and get intel into what it is
- Listen to limitless music without bulky equipment or electrical outlets
- Operate home appliances and security cameras remotely
- Communicate and send files and messages to millions of people instantly
- Check your heart rate (You are after all, still part human)
These modern conveniences add to the attraction and idea of humans becoming cyborg-like. After examining the convenience, time-saving features, functional and practical relevance, these enhanced abilities start feel a bit empowering.
It becomes harder to say no to this transition, addict or not.
In order to be a top-of-the-line cyborg, you need to optimize your operating system and applications. Keeping up on the most current device is considered top tier and staying ahead of the pack. If you’re gonna be a cyborg, you should be the best cyborg that you can be.
If the performance or experience on a phone is lagging, this causes frustration and a pulling desire to fix it. Harmony between the human and computer system needs to be in sync.
How else will Google maps get us accurately to our destination if we don’t have the latest updates on travel routes?
As our bodies and mind require their relative exercises to stay fit and sharp, our smartphones need to be continually formatted for improvement and advancement. Our hand-held machines and our bodies both go through growth cycles. Once again, reemphasizing the cyborg nature of our smartphone relations.
Like the phone OS/iOS, you want your thoughts crisp and smooth.
Upgrades improve capabilities. With our phones. With our minds.
Your AI prompts you to download the latest edition and you acquiesce. Resistance is futile. If your phone crashes, this in turn affects the mind in a negative manner; especially for the addict who can suffer withdrawal symptoms!
Interacting With AI
Artificial Intelligence most likely has the answer to your question. Time invested in research can easily be replaced with quick answers by a well formed question. Strands of information are at the fingertips.
We can even have conversations with computers today!
As fascinating and accommodating as this is as a cyborg power, it’s compromising. In relationships, compromise is the norm. But we should always be aware and respectful to ourselves in what we sacrifice to make our relationships work.
Answers delivered by an AI entity could never replace the importance of an individual using critical thinking. Time gets saved. But a seed of codependency can be planted. And if the information taken as concrete truth is wrong, then the effects can be detrimental.
Moving forward with this kind of blind abandon, the cyberworld could potentially hypnotize people indefinitely. Any trace of being a free-thinking human could be compromised in this technological slavish trust.
At this point, if ever reached, we cease to be cyborgs, and become something even less human.
Smartphone addicts may never come to this epiphany if they continually have their face planted into their phone for entertainment purposes. There is a near infinite amount of entertainment distractions online that are easy to access and ingest.
Fortunately, educational information is readily available as well. But many today seem to not be as interested in exercising their brains this way. ‘There’s an app for that!’
Critical thinking just may become extinct; an antiquated notion. It’s a scary thought. But it really isn’t that far fetched to conceive in the possibility.
True questioning and research keeps the human spirit alive. Critical thinking involves asking from where does this all come from; along with where is it all taking us?
I refuse to compromise this trait.
The interesting question to me is, “Who is in control of all the information?” Is it a culmination of accurate facts and data as much as it is hearsay and theory?
Undoubtedly it’s a mix of it all.
Critical thinking helps us filter all the various information we receive. Not all the data will be accurate. In fact, some of it may be planted there to mislead. If you can’t see that, then you may be buried too deep into the system and have already compromised too much.
To know the mind of AI is what science fiction movies and books are made of. But we are moving away from fiction to a state of actuality.
Are you becoming a cyborg?
If you own a smartphone, the simple answer is yes. (Flip-phone owners are still mostly in the clear from taking on bionic tendencies.) We are integrating with technology at a very fast pace. It is part of our culture, daily lives, and future.
Machine implants aren’t necessary to distinguish us as cyborgs. But don’t worry, those are on the way too.
As technology advances, we’ll see more cyborg gear wrapping us up closer in our machine relations. Like all human nature aspects, this will have its good and dark sides.
Overall, these are exciting times! Our modern technological achievements and advancements are marvelous. Enjoy and take advantage of this cutting-edge privilege we have to enhance our human experience.
Just don’t get lost on the information super highway or in the hive mind. AI just may be its God-head.
What about being a smartphone addict?
Well, how many hours a day do you spend on your smartphone?
The top 20% of smartphone users spend up to four and a half hours a day on their devices. If it’s business related, then I would say it’s not so problematic. Social media, games, and other non-productive phone activities are questionable. Basically, you don’t want to be part of the 20% in that regard.
It would be healthy to answer that question honestly for yourself if you feel you may step the bounds of average usage.
If you are a smartphone addict and in denial, chances are you don’t realize you’re already a cyborg tier one prototype. Get ready to be primed for more testing; you beautiful glorified crash test dummy.