A Vivid Reminder From Banksy That Technology Can Enslave Us All

A Vivid Reminder From Banksy That Technology Can Enslave Us All

Every morning you wake up, your hand scrabbling for the smartphone on the bedside table. Is there email, a tweet, a like on Instagram? You're a slave to the phone, desperate for its digital hit.

Everyone does it, so how wrong can it be? Honestly, just like our very own Jesus Diaz pointed out last year, pretty wrong. Technology is wonderful sure: it can make our lives more efficient, allow unprecedented levels of communication, and expand our horizons.

But its draw can be too much. It can suck us in, take over our lives, turn us into simpering, whimpering, Facebook-loving wrecks. You don't need to check your email as soon as you wake up; you don't need to see if someone favorited your tweet as you go to bed. Of course you don't. But you do, you can't help it.

Banksy's not shy of bringing together technological and social commentary, and his latest effort — really just a simple sketch that he posted to Twitter — is a stark reminder that our technology is increasingly an extension of us. A reminder that, sometimes, we rely on it too much.

But it needn't be that way. To borrow Jesus's words for a moment:

Perhaps we should just try be a bit more sensible about it — as with any other addictive substance. I like a good whisky, but I don't have to drink three bottles of it every day. I can do the same with phones and tablets and computers: Play more Lego. Play more piano. Go outside. Don't use the phone at all while I'm with others. Read. Walk. Go to the movies. Create something with my own hands. Get real.

So here's to getting real. Thanks for the reminder, Banksy. [Banksy]


Comments

    We blame technology too often for enslaving us and and often fail to realise that we enslaves ourselves. Technology is simply a medium that we do it through.

    I sold my iPhone at the beginning of July and bought a Nokia 105 off eBay. Been on it since. It's nice to step back in time, experiencing 1999 again but society won't let me stay this way for long. Of course I announced my sabbatical from social networking to my Facebook and WhatApp friends. But that's the point; you can't blame a piece of technology like the smartphone for it. I've tried living without it without too many cravings but the necessity to connect to today's world will eventually drive me back to getting a smartphone.

    Electronic calculators were luxuries once upon a time. Later computers. Then the internet. Today no company can function without connectivity. And resistance to embrace technology will portray the wrong image and the company may see that as a lack of skill.

    Crackberry skills were appreciated by executive rolls. Now will the fall of Crackberry, Apple and Android platform experience is not a bad thing to have. True, there are aspects of social networking that individuals need to keep in check. There is after all the extreme of the rainbow.

    Perhaps take a sabbatical too. And comeback a fresh. The truth is smartphones have become a necessity in today's society.

    There's nothing in the image about 'enslaving' or dependence on technology, it's just a simple depiction that we use technology as an extension of ourselves. The iconography used here is fairly common.

    I've going through a bit of an experiment on this lately. Thanks to a sneaky Adobe CC update while I was tethering my tablet to my phone, I used up all my mobile data 16 days before my billing cycle ends. Virgin doesn't sell extra data in one-off situations so I could either have put up with an extra $200 or more on this month's bill or disconnected for 16 days. I chose the latter so for the past 10 or 11 days my phone has only been good for phone calls and SMS most of the time. I use the Wi-Fi at work but everywhere else, my smartphone is as dumb as dirt until next week.

    It may surprise everyone to learn that it hasn't been the end of the world for me. In fact, I've been surprised at how little it has affected my everyday life. About the only time it has been a real issue is when planning for the weather. Everything else has been easy to put off until I'm on-line with my PC.

    meh, he's just ripping of 90's distopian cyberpunk anime.

    Although I do not connect with my phone much, I enjoy turning my pc on first thing in the morning. It sure beats whatever is happening in this small bland town. If only there had been this technology back in the 70s and 80s, I would have gladly been a 'slave' to it then as well.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now