I Think I Love You… Just Not as Much as You Want Me To?

Love. A concept that has existed from the beginning of time, something that everybody has sought after, but how has technology changed our understanding of it? In this TedTalk, Helen Fisher argues that technology has not changed love, while Esther Perel claims that our need for love has not changed, but how we love has. In the book, When Old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin discusses how a husband discovered his residential telephone was tapped and used this information to prove to the court that his wife was cheating on him. In another scenario, a man was about to ask if he could court a woman, but right before he managed to speak, the phone rang and another gentleman beat him to the punch.

These scenarios aren’t that far off from what occurs today. Cameras and tapped phones are still used to investigate questionable significant others and one text and/ or DM can change a person’s entire day’s plans and potentially even relationship status. The chapter does later go on to say that “despite the artifactual efficiencies of electrical media so admired by professional experts, they, too, attached greater weight to the irreducible face-to-face encounter as a more trustworthy guarantor of integrity” (page 87). Fisher claims that millennials value being a good parent more so than having a good relationship, while the latter is more important to the parents and grandparents of these millennials. She also mentions how she believes that the shift to egalitarian relationships has caused more of a change than technology has. Now that women can support themselves, they no longer need to search for a suitor with a good socio-economic status, but are free to make choices based off preference. Perel then added that though this is true, technology has broadened one’s horizons.

People have more accessible choices for a partner now than ever before and while this excites and entertains many, it also ensues a bit of dread. People have a fear of missing out, of choosing the wrong partner and yet, they also have a fear of being alone. Fisher made the point that people are consumed with getting to know every little detail about their partner that “where marriage used to be the beginning of a relationship, it’s now the finale.” Though comical, both speakers made compelling points that our society is becoming overwhelmed by choice and, as a result, is choosing to live a lukewarm love-life. We have so much access to another person’s personal life that, by the time of a first date, you probably already know where that person grew up, who their friends are, and what they value. The spontaneity and romance is dying as people become more fixated and critical about the details.

As the saying goes, comparison is the thief of all joy. We can go on our social media feeds, compare one couple’s highlights to our mundane and become completely jaded towards our partners for not living up to our high expectations. We are slowly sabotaging our relationships by remaining fixated on the world around us. We are forgetting to water the plants in our own garden, which leaves us feeling desolate. Technology is only going to keep advancing and I’m not claiming that we should all go live under a rock, but rather, we should take a step back every now and then to appreciate what’s in front of us.

Just some food for thought,

Stir Fry

 

 

 

Siri, You Are My Best Friend…. “That’s nice.”

This is a photo of Susan Bennett in a voice recording studio repeating nonsense phrases for Apple, without her knowing that her voice would one day be one of the most recognized voices in the world.

If you’re wondering what you’re looking at, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Siri… or rather, the voice behind Siri, Susan Bennett. She is a voice-over artist, who can now talk to herself (as long as she has an iPhone).

Many people are under the impression that Steve Jobs is a technological genius and invented Siri from his imagination, when, Siri is actually an old concept. In my digital studies class, we discussed ELIZA, a response system created to help solve all your problems (in moderation). Even the article, “Building the Star Trek Computer”, discusses CALO, yet another technological program made to help make your life easier created long before Siri.

People rely so heavily on technology that they lose sight of the world around them and yet, this technology was created by another person, just like you or me.

If the internet were to shut down today, most of the world would go mad, and I say “most” because the internet doesn’t touch remote areas. We view technology as an all-knowing god and yet, there are people out there that have probably never even seen a camera before, let alone a phone and they’re doing just fine.

People don’t know everything and yet, they are able to program these machines that are believed to. It’s understandable why much of the older generation holds angst towards millennials creating things to replace people. Have we really become so bad at listening to others, that we’ve invented machines that’ll do it for us?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of Siri jokes, but maybe if more people got together without their phones, we could have more Thomas Edisons or Albert Einsteins in the world.

Just some food for thought,

Stir Fry