The basic premise of the Movie matrix was this world which for the population is a real world but in reality it is a simulated world.
The movie was released in 1999. 17 years down the line, I think we are living the matrix life. Our lives have been taken over… Taken over by what we perceive is the reality. The reality that is being defined every single moment by technology.
The lines have got blurred between reality and virtual reality or augmented reality. We have been enslaved by the digital world. Zeros and Ones define our lives. Control our lives.
How did this happen? Or rather how did we allow this to happen?
It happened because we were seduced. Seduced by the world that opened up because of technology. Access is the oft used term. Liberated is another term. We were led to believe that technology is the best thing to have happened to our lives. This seduction… the temptation perhaps matched the temptation in the Garden of Eden…
It started off slow… initially there was cynicism but then the charm… it worked its magic. Social media became the driving force… and the various forms in which we could connect with the world, slowly and surely pulled us away from what reality was… Virtual space took over our lives.
Today we rationalise our presence on social media and various tools of connectivity. We justify our reasons to be present constantly in the virtual world.
We have more faith today in what we read in the digital space. What we read on twitter. We are so ready to get ourselves worked up… only to realise it was for a wrong cause.
We have reached a stage or reaching a stage that we will be perfectly happy in the world that we have created in the virtual space. Why? Because the virtual space is with us all the time… at work…at home.. away from home… it allows us to connect and do things at work… it allows us to stay connected with family, friends, relationships, work, our dreams (created by the virtual reality)… So we see no reason to disconnect. We see no reason to make the choice of a blue pill vs red pill. Though if we were to make the choice, nobody is going to be a Neo. We will all prefer the virtual vs real.
My generation and perhaps couple of generations behind me still have the grasp of real world. But the teens and the ones in their early 20s, they have grown up to believe in the virtual world as the real world.
And that is what technology wants. Because the more you believe in virtual, the more you will buy into the newer technology that makes the experience even more fulfilling. And soon enough, Matrix will become real.
(image courtesy alden-tan.com)