Technology has always changed the way that we live; the invention of the wheel, the printing press or your new smartphone – they all have tangible consequences.
Another inevitable occurrence is our desire to know that our lives and our family’s lives will mean something. Technology can help us to find meaning in our lives, but the effort that organizations make to humanize technology will never replicate raw human to human interaction and experience.
Some of the best aspects of technology are just copying and enhancing the basic, bad-ass things that make us human; sharing, connecting, interacting, learning and listening. All of a sudden, it feels like we’re reaching a crossroads.
Our capacity to create more sophisticated technology means we’re winning at being clever-clogs, but are we compromising our humanity by allowing technology to try and replicate our humanity?
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And won’t people just have to work even harder to humanize technology, the more complicated it gets? There are existential questions everywhere at the moment – hey it’s basically like an episode of WestWorld!
Our lived experience is entwined with technology and social media, 68% of U.S. adults have a smartphone and carry another world around in our pocket. Our offline and online worlds are blurred and they’ll only become blurrier.
What is real? Reality is losing its grip. In a sweeping moment of the share button we have determined our role taking part in a multi-part story. It’s the never ending story that lives through us.
And here’s the key thing. It’s our story and we decide who has the starring role. And it should be you, baby!
How we choose to connect is our choice. A lot of people think of humans’ relationship with technology as passive, but we have the power to shape it and humanize it beyond measure. We can take what we learn online and listen to what’s being said and use it in our personal story, face-to-face and human to human.
Reality isn’t losing its grip, we’re just redefining it and we have a choice and responsibility to emphasize the ‘humanness’ in everything that we do.
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In every interaction we have and on every level, our emotions guide us and give us a depth of feeling and clarity. This is what sets us apart from technology and it’s an overwhelming advantage. In a world of increasing automation, machine learning, connected devices, chatbots, virtual reality and augmented reality, our raw human emotion gives us the ability to make choices and decisions that are acutely personalized. Algorithms can’t capture our humanity and depth of emotion.
In a world of increasing automation, machine learning, connected devices, chatbots, virtual reality and augmented reality, our raw human emotion gives us the ability to make choices and decisions that are acutely personalized. Algorithms can’t capture our humanity and depth of emotion.
In Daniel Kahneman’s book, ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’, he talks about System 1 and 2 in our brains. System 1 is automatic, intuitive and more emotional. System 2 is more analytic and rational. And these two systems interact continually. Humans have
Humans have cognitive diversity that simply cannot be captured in the System 2-like state of technology. Our emotion can help us to make better decisions.
A lot of technology’s impact can feel out of our control, so do we simply breath in and share toward a world enhanced by technology, creating more time and space in a deeper humanity?
We always have a choice as to how we use technology and how we embrace it. Our interpersonal relationships will always be stronger and deeper than our relationship with technology. We can make the decision to enhance relationships, rather than erode them.
We must trust the decision making skills that distance us from technology and listen to the emotion that drives our choices.
So, what’s the overriding theme that runs throughout our relationship with technology? It’s trust. That’s why it all boils down to trust. As adults we will learn a new level of trust in each other and the trust we give toward technology.
Trust lives at the intersection of love, connection and our own belief system. Humanity is counting on the right level of trust to survive.
Humanity and technology can complement each other and this balance should be maintained. The balance comes from our decision-making in the face of technology.
Conclusions may sometimes make logical sense, but technology will never be able to replicate the creativity of thought and emotional hypothesizing that humanity effortlessly juggles with.
Sometimes emotion is framed as irrational, but it’s the exact opposite; the only rational way for us to make decisions is to use our unique, human skill that supersedes technology and that’s emotion.
Trusting our emotion is what makes us human.
And this means being able to decide that in many instances, technology can’t be better than human experience. It can enhance or complement, but it cannot replicate it and that’s fine, that’s okay.
As long as we remember that and feel confident in our humanness then we can keep on balancing, feeling and connecting with each other.