I will be the first to admit it. My phone, my tablet, my laptop (yes, excessive, I know)- I love them and could not live without them. They are mine and I am theirs. This is not a wayward or injudicious romantic declaration. What my technology and I have is special. You see, I am part of our new evolved species.
We are cyborgs.
Okay. Let’s take a step back. First, a definition. What is a cyborg? A cyborg is a biological being enhanced and dependent on external and internal synthetic parts. Second, some parameters. For the purpose of this argument, we’re not going to consider devices such as pacemakers, continuous glucose monitoring devices, artificial joints, contact lenses, (even cars and airplanes) to demonstrate the necessity for external synthetic parts to go through our daily lives. It is our smartphones and the internet -the technology we love and cherish and are completely addicted to- that makes us cyborgs.
Our smartphones are the first things we reach for in the morning and the last thing we look at at night. Technology is ubiquitous to our existence. Technology has changed the way we interact. Technology has also changed who we are.
Descartes said: I think, therefore I am. This is precisely why we are cyborgs. We are self-defined by our conscious. And our thought-processes are indivisible from our virtual neurons, our computers, our internet caches, our phones. These are our exobrains. They are a core part of our functionality. We need the internet to complete reflections, queries, problems and considerations. “Googling it” is not a single event, but part of our consciousness’s algorithm.
So, it’s not a question of being ‘addicted to technology’. It’s a question of evolution. Darwin acknowledged that it was our ability to adapt that makes humanity great. Ergo, cyborgs, connected via our exobrains to the wealth of information, discussion and community of the virtual world.
And with this, I sign off for the night. Me and my smartphone have to get ready for bed.