A digital world…..

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Having just finished watching ‘Her’, I have to say it left me a little cold. I’ve been a digital specialist and lover of all technological developments for years now so I was surprised at how empty this film was. It is very possible that I missed the whole point seeing as it was very slow, long and extremely beige in colour, but it did start to make me wonder how much (or indeed, how little) emphasis we put on the real, physical elements of our lives.

Nearly all of us have Facebook and Twitter and most of us have Instagram. However, it seems the more technology is created, the quicker we become bored of it and seek out new realms of pleasure. The latest one I’m seeing people rave about is Tinder. This is a dating site, akin to Grinder, but for straight people. I can’t say I’ve been on it, but from what I hear it sounds a bit like a sticker album of singletons – a place where physical beauty gets you selected and anything less than that leaves you on the shelf. I may be being too critical here, but it is the same premise as ‘Her’. The main protagonist is unable to have real, physical relationships without picking holes in his significant other and, inevitably, pushing her away. Instead he turns to an ‘OS’ or Operating System.

He gets to choose her voice and the topics of conversation they have and ends up falling in love with, what is essentially, his own creation. The scariest thing about this whole movie is that I can see this happening. People are already able to command their computers and consoles with voice activation so how long will it be before we can create virtual partners? Someone who is always there when we need them, has access to the whole World Wide Web to obtain any information we require, and who has studied human behaviour so closely that they know exactly what to say and how to soothe us. The female OS in ‘Her’ is a bit like the robot in ‘Short Circuit’ – able to read books in seconds and offer advice based on what she has gleaned from her vast knowledge bank. She is even able to feign emotions based on studies and scientific research she has digested and spit out.

The whole film makes you realise what fools we can be as humans. That we are not as evolved as we make out and that all we really want in life is to love and be loved in return. The problem is that life and love are not that simple. I suppose that is what makes it fascinating, overwhelming and crucial to our existence, however, it is terrifying how much we crave to be a part of a couple and don’t, truly, feel content as an individual. We seek reassurance in everything we do (sometimes without knowing it) and we want to be the best at everything, including being the best partner for somebody – their one and only.

This film was really educational for me as it made me realise that we need to place more emphasis on being the best version of ourselves (I’ve mentioned this in other blogs and am sticking to my guns on this point!) We need to mend the cracks in our own selves before looking to someone else to do it for us. Relationships often fail and this is just a fact of life, but the relationships that last, and are good, do so because the people entering into it are content in themselves. They don’t feel the need to change the other person and accept their flaws along with their strengths. It is about finding someone who reinforces your strengths and doesn’t judge you for your weaknesses. This is what makes a lasting, loving relationship. It has taken me a long time to work this one out and is something I’m still working on, but I know that whatever happens in my own relationship I will be OK because I know myself and I never forget what I was like before that person came along. I know that my partner enhances me and my life, but he doesn’t make me who I am. The same can be said for him and how I am towards him. I accept him, warts and all, and don’t bother trying to change him (even though aspects of him truly irk me!) because he is who he is and if he can accept me, warts and all, then we are a good team. We support each other as best friends and don’t just concentrate on the outer shell. By trying to preserve what is INSIDE that shell, we have created something better than any computer system could replicate…….reality.

Reality is scary, but it is also tangible and losing that would be truly heartbreaking. Maybe we should focus more on what we can do ourselves rather than looking at technology to do it for us. I’ll always love technology and am fascinated by how it can save lives through operations and 3D transplants, as well as offering light entertainment. However, I’ll always love reality and how it makes me feel. Without human emotions we would be truly lost.

Light and love, people. Mimi Cat xox

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