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Unplugging the cyborg self

I remember in 1984 watching “The Terminator” in the theater. Machines take over the world and cyborgs (part human, part machine) are their instrument of destruction. Karen was nine months pregnant and the pace of the movie was helping speed the whole process along. By the time Schwarzenegger’s…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I remember in 1984 watching “The Terminator” in the theater. Machines take over the world and cyborgs (part human, part machine) are their instrument of destruction.

Karen was nine months pregnant and the pace of the movie was helping speed the whole process along. By the time Schwarzenegger’s electronic eye had blinked off for good, the contractions had started.

This morning I was reflecting and realized that, in a way, I’ve become like a cyborg. Maybe you can relate. There’s the human me that just made coffee and has our dog Whimsy laying next to me as I write.

And then, there’s the Facebook-me, the Twitter-me, the email-me, and the blog-me. Part human, part machine – a cyborg-Seth.

I was thinking about that because today between 6 a.m. and noon, in a specially protected and cooled room in Atlanta, our computer servers have been shut down to be serviced.

For these six hours, the cyborg-me is out of commission. No blogs or email. I’m left with just my thoughts. It’s refreshing.

Yes, our cyborg-selves are more efficient. We multi-task. We create value at light speed. But in the process, we lose touch with our human side. My spirit becomes dulled from dis-use.

This past week, a good friend reached out to me on Facebook to communicate something that hurt him. As humans, we love each other. As cyborgs, tapping out digital signals with our flesh and bone fingers, we can only go so far.

The Bible tells us that we’re composed of three parts – body, soul, and spirit. Digital communication over distance is soulish. You need to be in a person’s presence to catch their spirit and read their body language.

The cyborg-self as an efficiency tool can be a gift, but it must be managed. We may look human enough, but machines can take over our world and turn us into diminished versions of ourselves.

The idea of a Terminator-like global apocalypse may be science fiction, but if the “you” that people know is your cyborg-self, then you may do well to evaluate if your world hasn’t narrowed more than you realize.

People need to be in your presence. They need to hear your laughter and see you wipe your tears. They need to feel your spirit.

You may need to unplug to recover the best part of yourself.

Comments (4)

  • It would probably shock a lot of us if we could see the number of hours we lose everyday from real life while on the internet. There are trackers like meetimer that actually do that, but I dont think any of us are really willing to see the reality of it.

  • “Yes, our cyborg-selves are more efficient.”

    I suppose it depends how you define efficient. As you point out, it’s not necessarily helping us become more efficient in being human to one another.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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