Thursday, February 11, 2016

I Miss My Pre-Internet Brain

Are our minds and the Internet connected? 

At first you would probably think they're not.. but you should reconsider that thought.

Before the Internet, people actually had to remember directions, equations and the proper spelling of a word. Shocking, right? As technology progresses, our minds digress and we slowly but surely lose our humanity to the monster we have created. 

The new, younger generation in our society doesn't recognize the control the Internet and technology has over them. They have become slaves to it. Online social media has ruined real social interactions and has caused the upcoming generation to fear showing their face beyond a screen. In FEED, everyone is affected by this issue, even businessmen like Titus’ father. When Titus’ father visited him, he immediately tried to chat him, instead of speaking to him—taking away his ability to show his feelings through tone of voice. Titus claimed “He stood there staring at me for a few seconds, and I was like ‘What? what?” He seemed surprised, and then blinked. He said, Oh. Shit. Yeah, I forgot. No m-chat. Just talking” (Anderson 55). It seems ridiculous to us that a respectful businessman would speak like in such a tone, but in a world where all communication is virtual there is always a chance to autocorrect a message before clicking send. 
People today will constantly tell you:
“It’s just a book, it’ll never actually happen”
but it is real, and has already started. 

Even in my own household I witness this disconnect due to technology. When my younger sister picks up the phone, if she picks up the phone, she will simply say “Hello…” and nothing else. She has no concept on how to keep a verbal conversation going. Whenever someone asks her a question, her response is usually short and distant since she is usually distracted watching TV or scrolling through her feed. I have even noticed that she completely zones out when she is surfing the Internet, almost as if she is stuck in a trance by what she is seeing. The Internet draws her attention so securely that she cannot even hear someone talking to her, even if they repeat themselves or yell. This relates almost exactly to how “Calista and Loga were staring into space, watching something on the feed” (33).

The FEED, as well as the Internet in general has caused wan extreme lack of social skills. Although people still try make some ounce of effort to meet up in person, they take the time they have together for granted. In today’s world, when people get together to hang out, it’s basically guaranteed that more than half the group will be on their phones. There’s essentially no point in being together if everyone just ignores each other. I have to admit that I am guilty of doing this…. even texting a person right across from me instead of using my voice to communicate. This is exactly what Titus does to Violet at the party. Titus “looked across the room and saw Violet talking to Calista, and both of them were frowning. I was worried that something bad had happened, so I m-chatted her, like, Hey, beautiful. What’s doing?” (83). In this situation, Titus is in the middle of a conversation with Quendy when he sends this message, showing how little he is focused, and how lazy he is to not walk across the room. 

The book FEED becomes more noticeably accurate the more you look into it. 

The FEED is a chip that is inserted into a person’s brain and gives them the ability to connect to the internet through their mind. The whole idea sounds so bizarre and impossible, doesn't it? It should be. 

In 2013, our own society came unbelievably close to reaching this level of technology. Researchers at the University of Washington used direct brain-to-brain connection to allow paired participants to play games with one another by transmitting signals from one brain to the other through the Internet. During this experiment, scientists also used noninvasive technology to send brain signals over the internet to control the hand motions of another person. The person receiving the information moved their fingers involuntarily, as the messages were being sent from another person’s brain. This experiment blossomed from another brain experiment, which had people activate and control devices with their minds. The research group has many plans to further their findings and are hoping to find a way to communicate two human brains without using such extensive measures. This technology will only progress and continue until it is perfected. 

The internet is becoming a part of us just like the FEED. Who knows, maybe in a few more years the FEED will become society’s new norm. 

Kirsten K. Prompt 4.

Bach, Deborah. “UW team links two human brains for question-and-answer experiment.” Washington U, 23 Sept. 2015. Web. 10 February 2016. 

Anderson, M.T. Feed. Somerville: Candlewick Press, 2002. Print.

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