We are by nature, creatures of habit. We are living in a time when change is occurring daily and just as we comprehend the new ways of the world that are being dictated to us, they shift and morph into another animal all together.
While I use computers, for me it really is just a tool. It it is frightening how fast we have become a slave to this technology though. On certain fronts, yes, it is fabulous. On other levels, however, I wonder what it’s doing to us as a collective being.
I have been watching a number of documentaries as of late. One was documenting the use of the new must have, the iPhone and / or Smart Phones. The waste being produced by outdated technology…well, I don’t need to tell you how alarmingly high the rate is. So if you think global warming is going to get us first…think again. Could well be the plastic pollutants and their chemically based counterparts that create our demise. On the show they were opening up dead fish and birds that had been found and they were full of plastic debris.
Cell phones alone produce a dizzying amount of waste.
The debris now beginning to wash up on the shores of British Columbia, which is my home province, from Japan’s earthquake a few years ago and the tsunami that it produced is devastating to see. And it will apparently continue on for years to come. The long terms effects? Unknown.
The other concern is social behaviour as a result of this technology. Go into any coffee shop and you’ll find the familiar glow of a laptop on several faces. I see tables of young people not talking to each other but texting on their phones.
Indeed, when I come across someone simply reading a book it is a relief of sorts.
Yet the age of electronic and computerized technology continues to devour us.
And here I am still trying to get it together emotionally. They say there is an APP for everything. Not one for healing emotional traumas. I wonder if somewhere someone is actually working on such a thing? I am sitting here envisioning myself going in for a session with a robotic psychologist. And you can pick if you want a female of male inclined robot.
Here is a brief re-enactment of what I am imagining at this moment.
I enter a barren room. A white leather sofa sits in the middle of the room. Two armchairs of a rich red material sit facing each other on either end of the sofa. Mr. Loco my robotic doctor sits on a slightly elevated platform directly before the seating in a white metal chair. For him (and I use this term only because he has been fashioned as a male) comfort is not an issue. The walls are white and the floor polished concrete. There is a carpet in the sitting area.
“Hello Nancy, please have a seat. Would you like some water or would you prefer tea?”
“Hello Dr. Loco. A glass of water will do fine. Thank you.”
A door opens from his abdominal area and an arm protrudes moving first to the water cooler then toward me with the cup of water in hand. I press the release button on the side and take it from the arm. The arm withdraws back into its cavity.
I have a weird obsession with this arm thing. It can move to any place in the room within a 20 foot radius. I wonder if Dr. Loco ever malfunctioned what kind of damage that arm of his could do. I slap myself mentally. “Stop this!”
“Tell me how you have been since our last session?” He inquires.
“Hmmm. Hard to say. I’ve been okay I suppose. I find all this a little strange. I know I signed up to be a test subject but lately I have been having some second thoughts about all this.”
“There is no such thing as a second thought Nancy. All thoughts are created equal.”
“Easy for you to say.”
He does not respond.
“Are you ready to get started then?”
Begrudgingly I agree. From the back of his head another appendage emerges. It is shaped like a small disc and is attached to a delicate metal cable and it rounds over his head then moves over to mine and hovers above. A few electrodes move out from the disc and attach themselves to strategic points on my head to measure my cognitive functions.
“Are you comfortable?”
“No but let’s get on with this. As I have expressed before, sitting here with this contraption on my head will never feel comfortable.”
“Very well. I am programmed to ask this though.”
“I know you are. Please proceed.”
Dr. Loco makes a few buzzing sounds as he assessed his memory bank.
“We will work on early childhood trauma today. We have been reviewing the results and I believe you are ready to access these memories.”
I grimaced then nodded.
“Nancy, I will require an audible reply.” he reminds me.
“Yes, okay.” I mutter.
I felt the odd sensation as the electrodes were activated to record whatever the hell was going on in my grey matter. An image flashed before me then another. Memories better left forgotten began to emerge. I am a child. Crying, pain, hurting, frightened, hiding, wanting, desperate.
“Stop now!” I tell Dr. Loco.
He waits for a moment til everything stills then asks, “Tell me how those memories made you feel?”
I felt a rush of resentment at the tin can sitting in front of me. Then again, when I had done this same thing with a flesh and blood doctor years before, I had felt the same resentment. He waited silently. They always do.
How do I feel? I looked at this automated creature that doesn’t feel and has no idea what it is I am telling him. He simply collects the data and somewhere, unseen people program him to ‘fix’ me. It is a pilot project designed to clear the neuropathway’s of all the repercussions of trauma that can occur to the human race. It sounded intriguing at first. Now, I’m not so sure.
“Raw.” I begin, “I wanted so much to please my father, thought that the reason I wasn’t was because I wasn’t worth it. But I tried…at least in the beginning, in my early years. Wasn’t quite so jaded then. I believed in God. Thought he could fix things. I prayed every night for the fighting to stop. Always things would quiet for a bit, then the tension at home would start to build again. I remember asking my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Potter, if God answered everyone’s prayers. She smile sweetly and told me that he only answered those that were worthy. That confirmed it. I wasn’t worth shit. I’ve spent a lifetime denying myself of what should be given naturally.”
Pausing I looked back at this and just felt so empty and alone. I was never prepared to go out into this world and yet, somehow I turned it around. Somehow I managed to get to this point in my life.
“And how do you feel about yourself now?” he inquired.
Foolish. What had I hoped to get out of this experiment? Did I really think being examined by a machine would help me finally lay all of this to rest?
“Just ducky.” I replied.
For a moment I heard the buzzing as he tried to comprehend my repsonse.
“Could you rephrase your answer?”
“No, I can’t.”
“So what you are telling me is that you feel like a duck?”
I smiled at this. “Yes. I feel like a duck.”
“Why do you think you feel this way?”
“Because ducks are goofy but everybody loves them.”
“So you feel good then?” he responds.
“As good as I would were I a duck I suppose.”
Dr. Loco processes this for a moment. “We can explore this revelation at another time.”
I don’t respond because he misses some of the little oddities we have in our speech. If I come back he will surely have been programmed to understand these little euphemisms. In all fairness, he does catch quite a few.
“I think I’ll leave now.” I tell him.
“We haven’t finished our session though.”
“I need some time to process what I am feeling.”
“The purpose of this programme is to record what you’re feeling, Nancy. By leaving now, we will have to access…”
“No, you won’t have to access anything. I will certainly recall how I feel and these memories have surfaced….they won’t disappear again.”
“Still it would be of benefit…”
Again I cut him off. “The benefit would be for the program…not necessarily me.”
I am feeling agitated. “Can we end this please?”
The disc and electrodes are still attached. A second stretches into two. He makes all of this little buzzing noises then I feel the machine as it withdraws and watch as it recedes into the back of Dr. Loco’s head.
Standing, a thought occurs. “Has anyone ever cursed at you? Sworn. Used profanity?”
I don’t know why this is of any importance. Just a random thought.
“Of course.” he replies.
That was it. “Good bye.” I respond as I turn toward the door.
“Good day, Nancy. I will see you next week then.”
I don’t answer.
I’m not too sure where this little drama came from but such are my imaginings. I wonder if such things are being explored in the technological field. We are a strange animal, that much is certain. I hope we never lose our individuality. I hope we never lose our wonder.
And for me I will continue on this path to where I am content to just be. So much more to learn, so much more to feel. But I’ll get there.
Enjoy your weekend everyone. Namaste.