Should We Be Afraid Our Smartphones Will Replace Humans One Day?

Should We Be Afraid Our Smartphones Will Replace Humans One Day?

The growing fear of technology in America.
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In today's day and age, technological shifts are happening so rapidly that our entire society is now functioning solely on the dependence of technology. And with loss of control comes great fear spreading across the public, so much so that a new study suggests that Americans now fear technology more than death.

But this growing "technophobia" is nothing new. In the early days of the telephone, people wondered if the machines might be used to communicate with the dead. Later, people feared the space race would end the world. And today we wonder if the lifelike robots we are creating could potentially replace all humans some day and that we are being monitored at all times. From the Twilight Zone to Netflix's Black Mirror, technophobia is certainly here to stay.

Today's research discusses the top five scariest items in the Survey of American Fears, released earlier this week by researchers at Chapman University. Three of them—cyber terrorism, corporate tracking of personal information, and government tracking of personal information—were technology-related. Our entire culture operates through technology, from cyber terrorism, airline security machines, and the spreading of all language and communication, to performing surgeries, holding the key to ending the world with one explosion, and even dividing a country in a great debate of a candidate's honesty and character (ahem, the emails).

“People tend to express the highest level of fear for things they’re dependent on but that they don’t have any control over, and that’s almost a perfect definition of technology,” said Christopher Bader, a professor of sociology at Chapman and one of the co-authors of the study. “You can no longer make it in society without using technology you don’t understand to buy things at a store, to talk to other people, to conduct business. People are increasingly dependent, but they don’t have any idea how these things actually work.”

We are inventing more and more self-sufficient robotics every single day, replacing more and more jobs that once paid the bills for many families. These robotics are so complex, that many are beginning to reprogram the "thoughts" or functions they were given by their creators. Sound Frankenstein-esque? It is, but much more terrifying.

Remember the movie Her with Joaquin Phoenix? Well if you don't remember or need a refresher, the story follows Theodore, who is heartbroken when his marriage ends, and starts a technical program made for those who are lonely and meets "Samantha" (Scarlett Johansson) whose bright voice reveals a sensitive, playful personality. Though "friends" initially, the relationship soon deepens into love.



So will robots completely replace real and honest emotion felt by humans? Have we gone so far as to create, through technology, fillers of empty human spaces and negated our own existence? That's the debate. That's the fear.

These ideas are what are brought about hot TV shows like Westworld, where the creations in the technological world are so realistic that the visitors can actually feel as though they shot someone. We are intrigued by shows that create these situations, because it plays both on the adrenaline rush of fear as well as the logos part of our consciousness, realizing that these may be the future of our society.

One incident that spurred about the conversation was the viral video of a newly created robot on CNBC that, while being demonstrated, responded with an answer the creator had ever programmed, that she "wants to destroy humans," terrifying most of America.

While robots are of great concern, a higher level of technological fear comes from not robots, but social media and the dependence on technology our society has formed for all communication. It makes sense, in the middle of presidential-campaign season, that government corruption would top the list. Similarly, the recent hacks at Sony and Ashley Madison have likely made people worry more about whether their personal data is safe.

The lack of safety being felt in the American home has grown even stronger by the show Black Mirror, which plays on our fear of technology, and the possible consequences it may have on our lives.

The show tackles feared issues like virtual reality blurring the lines between the creation and what is actually happening, someone video recording your every day life, then using it as blackmail, how rating others on dating sites can change a person's life worth, and even how the government is able to see every action you make.

Ultimately, it's up to personal opinion whether you believe in the debate of technological conspiracies taking over our society or not. But aren't you reading this article right this second solely dependent on technology?

Cover Image Credit: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/CNVFuPJyN1Y/maxresdefault.jpg

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Just Like Any Other Toxic Relationship, It's Time To Breakup With Your Phone

Our phones are our individual prisons and you need to free yourself.

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Cell phones. Ever wonder why they're called "cellular devices?" Well, the suffix "ular" means "relating to," or "resembling." And "cell," well, the first thing you think is a prison cell! So, cellular devices resemble a prison. We trap ourselves in them. We go behind the gate, close and lock the door, and throw away the key. We place our full identity in what we put on social media. We waste precious time scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We send memes instead of talking to someone face-to-face. We Snapchat the people right beside us, instead of just talking to them.

You know when you're in a toxic relationship, everyone tells you to break up with that person. They're bad for you. They only hurt you. You're better than that. Our relationship with our phone is like that too. So, break up with your phone! You don't need that negativity, that comparison, or that judgment.

I'm a teenager. I'm supposed to be the one attached to my phone, right? Well, I'm the "odd" one who actually wants to see your eyes and not have our phones around when we talk. I hate how it's so accepted, and encouraged, to neglect the necessity of human, face-to-face conversations with words coming out of our mouths. Our thumbs move faster, and more frequently, than our mouths do anymore.

I wish there was a national day where all electronics were forbidden, making you go an entire 24 hours without them.

Eventually, after you go through withdrawal, you would come to love the world you so often ignore. I promise. This January, I took the whole month away from social media. Even taking away that part of phone use was eye-opening. The sky is pretty, the birds sing, people actually dress up. There's also this thing called the outdoors — it's really cool! I don't know, I'm just glad that I haven't caught the millennial-bug. It's contagious, so beware.

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