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Day 129: Cyborgs



http://www.putlearningfirst.com/br/cyborgs.html

Today I started the day with a list.  A list of what I hoped to accomplish today.  It was a very peaceful time.  I think I will go back to morning lists. Usually I start with the internet. I lie in bed with my Kindle and check my email, my Facebook, my bank account. It gets my brain moving. And then I move my body.  But I have been feeling for sometime that too much internet time decreases my motivation in the real world. And last night as I rode the bus home, I put on my headphones and tuned into OPB. It was the "Ted Talk" hour. This week they have a series called "Screen Time"  Last night was part two.

The talk was by cyborg anthropologist Amber Case.  I couldn't resist the title being a bit of a science fiction geek.

I googled "cyborg".  Here is the definition from Mirriam-Webster Dictionary: "in stories : a person whose body contains mechanical or electrical devices and whose abilities are greater than the abilities of normal humans."

But from the site where I found the above picture, the definition of cyborg is:
"cyborg, n. a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device." (http://www.putlearningfirst.com/br/cyborgs.html)


As I mentioned before, I have been pondering too much screen time in our society.  Especially me. As I write this blog!  Don't get me wrong. I think the internet is an amazing invention.  I love being able to access vast amounts of knowledge with a click of a button!

But personally, I need some Zita unplugged time.  I always have. Even before the internet. I needed personally time alone.  Preferably outside.  Amongst the trees. In fact, there is a Japanese term "Shinrin Yoku" which literally means "forest bathing". I discovered the therapeutic value of a walk in the woods as a young person. We had a small forest behind our house.  I spend many a day sitting up against a tree reading, lying on my back looking up at the clouds in the sky, or climbing trees and making forts with my little brother. 

The simple things in life.   But I digress!  If you are interested in what Amber Case had to say, you can hear her talk at http://www.npr.org/2015/09/11/438944317/are-our-devices-turning-us-into-a-new-kind-of-human

Here is an excerpt from the transcripts:


" I would like to tell you all that you are all actually cyborgs, but not the cyborgs that you think. You're not RoboCop, and you're not Terminator, but you're cyborgs every time you look at a computer screen or use one of your cell phone devices.
 
 The other thing that happens is that you have a second self. Whether you like it or not, you're starting to show up online, and people are interacting with your second self when you're not there. And so you have to be careful about leaving your front lawn open, which is basically your Facebook wall, so that people don't write on it in the middle of the night -- because it's very much the equivalent. And suddenly we have to start to maintain our second self. You have to present yourself in digital life in a similar way that you would in your analog life. So, in the same way that you wake up, take a shower and get dressed, you have to learn to do that for your digital self.

And so there are some psychological effects that happen with this. One I'm really worried about is that people aren't taking time for mental reflection anymore...And really, when you have no external input, that is a time when there is a creation of self, when you can do long-term planning, when you can try and figure out who you really are. And then, once you do that, you can figure out how to present your second self in a legitimate way, instead of just dealing with everything as it comes in --  I'm really worried that, especially kids today, they're not going to be dealing with this down-time, that they have an instantaneous button-clicking culture, and that everything comes to them, and that they become very excited about it and very addicted to it." (https://www.ted.com/talks/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now/transcript?language=en)

On that note, I am going to do some yoga stretches and unplug for the day.

Happy Tuesday! :)  

 

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