“You know, Number One, you missed something not playing with model ships. They were the source of imaginary voyages, each holding a treasure of adventures. Manning the earliest spacecraft, flying an aeroplane, with only one propeller to keep you in the sky. Can you imagine that?
[sighs] Now the machines are flying us.”
~ Captain Picard, STNG S3E6 – “Booby Trap”
I was watching an episode of Star Trek: Next Generation (STNG for you Trekkies) the other day and there was a scene that struck a cord with me. Captain Picard and Commander Riker are sitting in the Ready Room. The Enterprise is trapped in preverbial minefield of “booby traps”, devices which drain power from trapped ships and converts it to lethal radiation. Feeling helpless, the captain and crew struggle to escape…
So I ask myself. Is Picard addressing the issue, “Are we as a society slowly turning ourselves into slaves of technology? Are we becoming over-reliant of technology to automate our lives?” Or is it that we are losing a bit of our humanity (imagination, ingenuity, emotion, courage)?
My answer? I think it’s a possibility.
While I can recognize many of the great benefits technology is providing (such as my prior post, The Future is Here), I can see how technology can be a burden or crutch in a certain sense. I know personally I spend a lot of time working with technology on a daily basis (which I will address in another post). But for me, it’s really about living life in moderation. We all from time to time need to remind ourselves there is more to life than our devices.
While we utilize technology to make our lives safer and easier, I think in the same respect we as humans embrace challenges…endurance…the unknown. This is why we continue to evolve.
Not only do we evolve, we adapt. If we recognize as a global society our technology is shadowing our humanity, it’s my belief man (and woman) will roll with the changes…however severe they may be. It’s that never-ending notion that “the show must go on | never retreat, never surrender”.
For me, I do enjoy “unplugging” from time to time. I’ve had the opportunity of learning how to fly an airplane. I occasionally get to drive/pilot a boat. I never turn down an opportunity to take my motorcycle out for a spin. While it may not be as adventurous as being the captain of a sailing ship or the test pilot of a new plane or spacecraft, I do enjoy the emotion of freedom and excitement it provides.