Are we already robots?

Recently I was watching a Dutch program called ‘Tegenlicht.’ One of the episodes was about digitization, big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and more of this. It is not that I live under a rock, and I know that these things exist but when I watched that episode, my mouth fell open further and further in disbelief.

There are a lot of people who are afraid of the development of robots. Are they taking over our jobs? Are they going to kills us? Can we trust them? And more of these kinds of thoughts. The man who was interviewed on the topic said something I got intrigued by. He said: “We should not be afraid of robots taking over, we should be worried of us becoming robots.”

He didn’t mean this literally. It was more in the sense of not thinking for ourselves anymore, not showing our feelings but doing what the system requires, being monitored all the time and living in the online world. A kind of living on the autopilot all the time, like a robot.

Well, I thought, a lot of people are doing that already to some extent. And then he started talking about the Metaverse or Meta World and how we all will live in that world. Interesting assumption that we, ‘all of us’, will live in this world but more surprising to me was that already more and more people, especially younger people, start ‘living’ in that Meta World. More and more things are going digital such as art, work, money, relationships, shopping, etc. And suppose we should wear VR glasses all the time. Really?

So, the people who escape in the Metaverse, don’t get out of their home anymore if it is not necessary because they can work from your home, order everything online and get delivered at home, and have online relationships. They even spoke about having kids online and what the consequences of that would be. I was flabbergasted.

As I looked up what that Metaverse or Meta World is, one of the descriptions was: ‘Dedicated to all communities, giving opportunities to create and life out your own story line.’ What? And how about your story out here, in ‘real’ life? People only know you as an avatar. Which probably will look as you would like to be or look like???

If I understand this correctly, on one end people are making rockets and are researching to go and live on Mars and on the other end people ‘disappear’ in the Metaverse. I know we are making a mess of this world, and the media want us to believe that we are doomed. However, I believe that there is still so much good and beauty on this blue marvel we live on.

I know that there are forces trying to create a world where you have to fit into a system where you are told what to do, where you are discouraged to think for yourself and where you can be followed on every step you take.

Escaping to Mars, where you cannot live outside, or disappearing into the Metaverse, will not solve your problems or will not contribute to cleaning up the mess we made.

I love technology to some extend, as long as it adds value to my life. But I truly believe it cannot replace the world and nature we live in where we enjoy all our senses, we don’t need tech for that.

If you don’t want to turn in a robot-like unhuman thing, go out there, be who you are, celebrate life and enjoy the good and beauty of this world, there is still plenty around every corner. It is much better for your physical, mental, and social well-being.

Take care of yourself.