Technology is a tool.
Let’s consider the hatchet, one of our earlier pieces of technology. A hatchet is helpful if used properly– it can help you do something that would otherwise take a while, or even be impossible. It can also be unhelpful or harmful if you don’t know how to use it, or aren’t paying full attention to its dangers (which may be unique or unprecedented in experience).
This is true whether we’re talking about farm equipment, nuclear fission, or the internet. We alone are the ones that decide when we are ready to use it. We alone bear responsibility for our usage of it. That is your human power.
I’m not anti-technology– I don’t know how well I would have made it through my teenage years without being able to submerse myself in Civilization or Baldur’s Gate. There are times when its usage enables us to live more fulfilling lives. It’s simply important that we don’t blindly trust that that is always the case, else we lose track of what it is that we’re working to enrich.
Though I’ve said my identity before on this blog, and it’s true that you may know my name, it’s also true that you don’t know “me”. To be clear, I don’t know me. Who I am is on the path of who I will become, as it is with each of us. Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.
That said, I realize there is a very real human connection that exists outside of the clouded webs, perpetuated by instances of shared electrical patterns, or thought. As you read these words, we walk together down the same synaptic path, our identities merged in fleeting moments of time. This effect is even more profound when you remove the concept of time (and let’s never forget: time is a concept) from the equation, enabling the realization that when you read a dead author’s words, you read them with the minds of every brain that ever traced the same electrical route.
Energy is never destroyed, nor created, after all.
We may not know each other, you and I. But with our magical brains and eusocial hearts we share something special.