The other day, I’m looking out the window on the street in front of our house, and see this elderly couple walking by our house. That happens all the time, of course, but this was different: both of them had Bluetooth headsets on their ears.
They looked like they had been married for a long time, like they were retired, and they were on a very normal afternoon stroll through the neighborhood. They didn’t look like the people who were on an urgent conference call while taking the kid to the park. Or like they were expecting a must-take call any minute. (both of them?)
They looked like they put on their headsets every morning as a matter of course, calls or no calls. I do that, too, some days, when I’m expecting to be on a bunch of calls and on the move (because I always misplace my headset on the move). But I don’t do it as a matter of course. And they were a generation older than me.
There is this transition between when something is a tool that I may or may not use, to something I attach to my body and in a way it becomes part of me. The transition to becoming a cyborg.
I figure our cyborgishness is growing exponentially:
First, our ancestors augmented their bodies with clothes to keep warmer, and put on shoes.
Glasses, for those who need them and could afford them.
The next one must have been the watch.
Now everybody has a cell phone. Not sure it qualifies as “part of us”.
But now we are apparently permanently adding headsets to our ears.
My guess is that augmented reality glasses will be next. Separate post on that.
One step at a time to being cyborgs. Perhaps more than one in the next decade. And all without a public outcry.