Skydiving is not complete without checking the social media profile.
The tech industry must have read The Hidden Persuaders in figuring out that transforming information into a consumer product and interfacing the content with sleek personal handheld technologies would continuously engage the end user and benefit each party invested in the piranha feeding frenzy delegating the allocation of financial fortunes. Simply replace a cigarette with a smart device, swap endorphins for nicotine, and the addiction cycle is modernized with this grossly simplistic blueprint describing the crux of modern society.
The digital persona has served as an extension of the individual for the last seven or eight years, profoundly influencing at least the younger generations, and while muddling the concepts of self-expression, interaction, recreation, and reality with the sharp blades of an industrialized blender, the processed diabolical sludge overwhelms everything good and fair under a shallow sea of confusion. Within this convoluted mess, however, appears an ostensible epiphany resonating with the naive, and suddenly the clock begins ticking in opening a portal to hell three decades from now.
This contemporary bone chilling riddle epitomizes the nightmare facing traditionally resilient adults in processing the brazenly surreal events shaping events prompted with each rising of the sun. What can go wrong when a despondent teenager electronically handshakes with a smart kitchen appliance? The simply answer surrounds the spy infested context of perpetual connectivity and ceaseless and aggressive data collection signifying everything hitting the fan at once, but from a terrestrial domesticated first world issue, a slightly amusing, yet frustrating explanation emerges as a terse warning.
In a desperate attempt to maintain her digital “brand”, a 15-year-old Kentucky girl officially “grounded” from social networking by her mother, engineered a devious plan of evasive maneuvers and actually bolstered her reputation, reports CBS News. Utilizing the smart home technology available and the LG refrigerator equipped to search for recipes on Google, in a desperate leap of faith the teen connected with the Twitter through the search engine and pronounced to the world her unjust and unbearable predicament. So Hal has finally invaded the kitchen and the future of midnight snacking hangs in the balance.
The offending LG indoctrinating social network equipped fridge proudly manufactured in South Korea, but with ties to Beijing…part of the SmarThinq line.
Of course, the internet exploded in a collective wave of passion, and the girl became a viral sensation in earning her 15 seconds of online fame for defiance and showing other young people of how to escape device and account prison. The lesson for parents, every smart appliance and home sub-system is now a potential pathway and access point for disgruntled youth who have no apparent interest in enjoying the height of Summer and participating in the many outdoor activities that require real-life interaction. While this scenario on the surface this is no different from the teenager of the 20th century devising schemes to gain telephone access after a parental enforced ban, in a world separated by IP addresses and servers, the potential ramifications are far more serious. This conundrum is evident by workshops offered to college students and younger professionals teaching social skills for individuals who never developed interactive tendencies outside of the head buried constantly in the screen.
Other than contributing to the campaign in wiping out the survival and courtship instincts, the incessant texting, gaming and social media engagement in shaping a precarious future once the leadership of the world is handed over to the digital addicts, there is absolutely nothing to worry about, until a significant societal crises has to be dealt with. As parents are flummoxed on how exactly how to manage smart device usage at home while encouraging healthy physical and social activities for their children, a news story where a teenager finds the Summer boring without the addition online stimulation creates a disheartening reality of how humanity and the tech industry are failing to effectively integrate the electronic universe into culture.
The false notion of a glittering future (cue the ethereal string quartet) and one world conjoined by tendrils of data as the solution the problems afflicting homo sapiens is beyond arrogant. While digital innovations have vast applications for improving certain areas of life and industries in representing progress, the paradox remains that with the onset of growing complexities, redundancy is sacrificed- a harsh lesson that illustrated by the choice of 15-year-old girl to remain in her room and interact with her friends at the beach through an online social community, rather than actually physically venturing to the beach. Traditions are popular for a reason, and no one can say with a straight face that the current trajectory of youth happily trapped in a digital prison without intervention bodes well for the future, unless one runs a billion dollar social network empire and endures the perpetual echoes and memories of a painful childhood marked by solitude and social anxiety. But let’s make society pay for these festering grudges.
Read the CBS news story here.
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