We’ve all seen friends and family members post that they are “taking a break from social media”.
It can be overwhelming sometimes to be “always on”.
I get it.
While I think like Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living”, I think the world of social sharing of our every waking minute is something else entirely.
It is one thing to evaluate your life and be open and honest publicaly.
It is another to share your address with the world.
I am in favor of social media having an appropriate place in our world.
But it shouldn’t be at all times and shouldn’t be everywhere.
Take the bathroom for example.
Please leave your phone outside.
I know I need to.
Or while driving.
Please, until we have self-driving cars, don’t use your device in ways that take your eyes off the road.
Now I only try to use my phone handsfree to make calls while driving, but I still look at the phone for things, but I am getting better.
The point being that sometimes we just need a break...
Or do we?
Possible Spoiler Alert
Yesterday I went and saw The Circle with my wife.
I don’t intend on reviewing it, though it seems to have been getting bad reviews, nor do I intend to spoil it, but I do want to discuss some of the points the movie makes, which may possibly spoil something for someone… so, you’ve been warned.
My hot take on the movie is that it got bad reviews because people like movies that make them feel good and not have to think.
The Circle doesn’t do either one.
In fact it probably got bad reviews because it address the topic of technology's ever more invasive role in our lives, which most people probably want to ignore or are just generally unaware of.
Or maybe it’s just a bad movie.
But I don’t think so…
However, I am partial to dystopian type literature and as such, found some parallels in the archetype story line that is typical to the telling of story with similar subject matter.
Books worth looking into that come to mind, and please add your suggestions in the comments, Ayn Rand’s Anthem, Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and of course George Orwell’s 1984.
Also the movie Logan's Run comes to mind.
The point being that if you are a fan of the genre or slightly cynical of technology then you may enjoy The Circle.
The Circle takes on the question, as the image above suggests, of the idea that “Knowing is good. Knowing everything is better.”
The Circle is a fictional corporation that is an amalgamation of the major tech industry players such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.
There were elements from all the corporate cultures that stood out to me in the film.
The heart of the issue, however, was their pushing for the development of cameras that are essentially everywhere and collecting and analyzing data on everyone and everything.
Hence, what I call “Techsploitation”, the exploitation, the action of making use of and benefiting from resources, through the use of technology.
The problem is that we are bring this upon ourselves by willingly paying for the technology to be part of our life.
Some seem dead set on taking it even further IRL:
"Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Thursday confirmed plans for his newest company, called Neuralink Corp., revealing he will be the chief executive of a startup that aims to merge computers with brains so humans could one day engage in “consensual telepathy.”"
Though he says he is wary of AI…
And see also the “Secretive” Google AI project.
This is really happening and so The Circle sorta addresses the topic, though poorly because movies are not a good vehicle for discussing ideas.
If something can’t be worked into dialogue or shown on screen, then it gets left out.
So for the deeper ideas, you have to read books or I guess blog posts…
After the first hour or so of The Circle building a backstory, then the action sets in, as in most movies and a conclusion has to be quickly reached and then we go back to our life and walk away and hopefully “got what we paid for” which for most people wasn’t this movie.
However, I think, because I like to think, and if you do too, that the movie brings up relevant topics that matter in today’s world.
Ideas such as “Is Full Direct Democracy the best form of government?”
Now that technology makes it possible? And we can vote from home… and maybe even be required to vote and participate?
Does 51% majority make right? Or is there such thing as morality?
Do we have a “right” to privacy? And where do we draw that line? Especially when we trade it away for the use of software and other “neat tech gadgets”?
Anyways there is so much here and so I will either put my thoughts down elsewhere or can discuss what I think, if it matters, with you if you want.
But for now, I leave you with this:
“He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother” ― George Orwell, 1984
I think this is a wonderful and interesting time to be alive.
What do you think?
The future together is bright.
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