EDER 679.25 Blog Post #3 – TED TALK Amber Case: We are all Cyborgs now.

While listening to Amber Case speak, about a million different ideas were zipping through my brain.  She spoke about computers and cell phones as extensions of our mental selves.  I often think to myself, “How would I get by without my iPhone?!?”  It holds my schedule, email, contacts, Facebook, reminders, task lists, photos and videos of my family, and those are just the things I use daily.  There’s also Apps for the every day little things that help me get by like Yellow Pages, flash light, coupons, meal planning.  The more technology I incorporate into my life, the more I’ve become dependent on it.  I only got a smart phone about 3 months ago and now I wonder how I got along without it.  The convenience of having everything in one place is irreplaceable.  I don’t have to carry around a giant bag with a camera, a daily planner, a grocery list, a phone book, etc.

But when we become to dependent on technology, what happens when it fails?  Do I automatically shut down when my battery dies?  Do my friends evaporate when my contact list is somehow deleted?  I’ve noticed at work before when the network goes down how the entire university seems to shut down.  We can’t work without our email, spreadsheets, databases, etc.  I worry about losing my phone or having my photos and files deleted so I am continually backing everything up.  I have a copy on my phone, which is synched to my computer, which gets backed up on an external hard drive, which I occasionally burn additional copies of important files onto CDs.

Amber Case also spoke about our “second self”, our online self.  This is a very important topic nowadays when so much information about ourselves is present online.  I know there is a new wave of people having 2 Facebook accounts:  one for personal and one for work.  We can connect instantaneously to anyone that we choose.  But with this power comes great responsibility, or so they say!  We need to manage, maintain, and present ourselves in certain ways to certain people.  We need to be aware of what information we are making available to others.  I have become very conscious of this since I had my kids.  Not knowing who is able to see pictures or information about them, I am very careful of pictures and other information that I choose to send out into cyberspace.

Technology has certainly made our lives much easier.  It lessens, or even eliminates the barriers of time and space.  Communication is instantaneous and almost effortless.  Storing information and files online is more efficient and eases access.  Technology is only going to continue to evolve, because as Amber Case said, it is adopted not because it works but because people use it.

TED Conferences, LLC. (2010). Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now. TED Conferences LLC. Retrieved August 23, 2011 from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now.html.