We have seen the articles and watched the news where Stephen Hawking and other great minds are stating that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be the destruction of mankind.
Tonight as I was driving my 14 year old son to his mother’s house, a thought came to me: 25 years ago whenever I was his age, we didn’t have smartphones. For the most part, we didn’t have cellphones at all. That was a luxury for the rich people. Computers were huge! Apple II/e was the platform that the high school where I attended was still using.
People had to get out and entertain themselves. If you were on a long trip, you took a book. In the late 80’s Nintendo did release the Gameboy. The Gameboy wasn’t backlit so if you were to take it on your trip, you had to purchase an external lamp that attached to the device. The contraption actually included a magnifying glass as well so that you could really see the game in the dark.
We had cassette tapes, CDs, and vinyl records (33s for the albums and 45s for the singles). Back then, we had conversation with the people who surrounded us. Whenever we went to dinner, we paid attention to our server and our servers paid attention to us!
Whenever we wanted to read a new book, we either bought a copy of the book or went to the library to check it out. Whenever a new movie came out of the theaters, you had to wait usually a year before it was released on VHS. After the release, if you wanted to watch it, you either bought it or you rented it on VHS for $3/day.
If you missed a new episode of your favorite TV show, you had to wait until a rerun. This always made the few hours of television special and worthwhile though.
Today, you can do everything that I mentioned from a smartphone in the matter of seconds. You can download the latest episodes of your favorite TV show, rent the latest movies, listen to new music, play video games, read books, and most importantly – and my least favorite of all, withdraw from your family and friends – spend more time with that device in your hand than time spent with people that you care about. You cannot go to a restaurant somewhere without seeing at least 40% of the people occupying their time on a smartphone.
As time progresses, we are seeing a lazier, ruder people as a whole. This is, in my opinion, because of the lack of family time, the lack of physical activity, the lack of person to person interaction.
As a computer guy, I am seriously considering throwing all of the computers, tablets, and smartphones in my house and us going back to simpler times whenever you had to interact with the person you were sitting by if you felt lonely. You had to go outside and enjoy the beauties of nature and not rely on pictures. If you wanted to talk to somebody away from the house, you picked up a phone and you called them.
Thinking serious about going back to basics here.