Illustration by E. Styfee created exclusively for Tunnel Vision.
For the first time in human history, we have the ability to change the way we experience and participate in reality. While we’ve long been able to alter our perceptions of the world temporarily through ingesting mind-altering substances, we now can in some cases restore hearing to the deaf, sight to the blind, and otherwise permanently change the way the brain processes information. There’s a tendency to greet each of these advances in our abilities as inherently positive, without ever looking at how these advances could damage the individual and collective experience of humanness.
When you imagine someone who has suffered catastrophic hearing loss receiving a cochlear implant and hearing her mother’s voice the first time, you quickly recognize the promise technology holds for improving the human experience. Can you imagine ways that same technology might me applied that would have less desirable effects?
How has the ubiquitous use of mobile computing platforms enhanced and degraded our experience of reality? Do you have relationships that have been improved through mobile technology? Can you recall experiences where mobile technology interfered with a relationship?
We’re just beginning to wrestle with the larger question of how technology impacts the human experience, while technology is racing forward in ways that will fundamentally alter the human experience. I invite you to engage around this larger question of what it means to be human.