Who’s In Charge? The Machines, Or Us?
Are we liberated by technology, or its captive?
I love my handphone and I congratulate myself, as I’m checking my email in the middle of some dusty Indonesian kampung, that I have harnessed technology and not the other way round. But sometimes I wonder.
A recent poll by Siemens callled the Mobile Lifestyle Survey (no URL available, I’m afraid) indicated that more than half of the people in Indonesia confessed that if they forgot their mobile phone at home, they would go back for them. If you’ve seen Jakarta traffic you’ll know that’s no small chore. Two thirds of Indonesian men and women see their mobile phone as an extension of their personality, directly reflecting their moods (whatever that means).
And just in case you think it’s just handphones that we can’t live without, the British Press Association quotes a survey by pollsters MORI that one in three adults and 44% of youngsters class their machine as a “trusted friend”, while 16% of adults and 13% of 11 to 16-year-olds said: “I often talk to my computer.” And I don’t think they’re using dictation software.