“We are all cyborgs now”

Really? Being a cyborg, in Sherry Turkle’s sense, apparently just means always being connected (or within easy reach of a connection) to social networks. Newsweek wonders if that’s going to make us crazy. “New research,” once again construed with alarm, is presented to alarm us about our devices, the time we spend with them, and the time they take from more traditional pursuits. It’s an old story by now.

So, no. Some of us are crazy, many are much too obsessed with technology and social media, but we can’t blame it all on the Android or the Apple, on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or whatever. We’re still running our own programs, if we ever were.

That’s what I thought about on yesterday’s walk in the cool interregnum before the marvelous arrival of yet another rainfall. (And it’s raining right now, again.) Smart phone in hand, occasionally receiving my dictation and occasionally speaking back to me, we (the dogs & I) strolled pleasantly through the neighborhood, following our whimsy and our intermitent trains of thought. They were more zen about it than I, of course, letting the “thoughts” come and go without much troubling themselves to make larger  sense of anything.

But if they were to trouble themselves, I think the pooches would agree: the  simple prescription for sanity in this brave new inter-digitized age is to move away from the big screens, and pocket the small ones often enough to smell the flowers and follow the breeze. Turn it off at the dinner table. Seek out real “facetime” with real people.  As Mr. Bradbury kept reminding us, and himself: You’re alive! Be your natural self, and you’ll be  human (or canine) enough. The Internet can’t make you crazy unless you’re already crazy enough to let it.


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