Words: Sarah Wilcox
I am writing with my ‘Mum’ head on here. Week 9674 in lockdown and I think we’re all slowly losing the plot in our house. I’ve been working, home schooling and living in the same 4 (small) walls forever – the lines are getting blurred. Do I work from home or live-in work?
Having recently had to isolate for 10 days and being unable to go out even for exercise, does do strange things to the mind. I started feeling like I had been dealt a life sentence and what the world would be like when I got out. Dramatic I know but stick with me!
My kids are only communicating with me, and each other, through What’s App, unless they do unexpectedly cross on the stairs and breathe the wrong way towards each other, then they’ll swing for each other. They constantly seem to talk to me like they’re shooting a TikTok video, saying things for entertainment or ‘likes’ whilst not actually realising that I’m real human standing in front of them…. with feelings. I worry that this new technological world is really affecting their emotional wellbeing. Of course, it is, it’s affecting everyone, but my kids have now been holed up for the best part of 1 year, have a screen in front of them for most of the day (and night to be honest) and I think they’re becoming detached from reality, as am I.
I appreciate life right now isn’t reality as it used to be, social media, sending messages and living life through a lens has been the way the world has been for a good while now, but that’s not real!
One of the few things me and the kids did together recently was watch ‘The Chasers Roadtrip’, (I admire their intellect but until they’ve managed Frank’s diary I’ll put myself above them in the pecking order 😁). They arrived in Japan to the worlds first hotel ran solely by robots, then then went to a factory where the members of staff were robots and also played ping pong…against a robot. The robots were so advanced they could read the Chaser’s moves and timings and predict their opponents next move in the blink of an eye.
It actually made me really think about my kids and their future. If they’re becoming so de-sensitised to human emotion, have lost countless hours of academic support and are unable to socialise; and we now have robots able to function faster, be more productive and never take a break – what is going to become of our world in our lifetime? My son has his heart set on working at Costco, that’s fine by me – hope he gets staff discount, but if we can start to employ robots to do those type of jobs, shop workers, factory production line, etc… it’ll be great that humans can then do the stuff that actually requires brain power but where does that leave those humans who love and are good at working on the shop floor and don’t want to sit in a white walled office pushing out report after report. My fear is my son may not be able to do the job he wants and won’t be able to do a job further up the ladder as he’s lost too much of his education now. What is going to become of the generation of noughties babies?
Who could have predicted we’d be in a worldwide pandemic, who could have predicted clown Boris would be the most powerful man in our country, who could have predicted that you could potentially pass a deadly disease to a family member just by given them a hug, who would have predicted that Tiger King would be the ‘must watch’ Netflix series and that a court ruled that Subway bread, isn’t actually bread! No one, so it does beg the question, what is going to become of our new, life after COVID, world?
I am excited for the future, despite the tone here. The advances that have been made just in my lifetime have been immense and I know there are so many wonderful things we can now do due to technology, imagine trying to work without Zoom, but I am a little fearful of what it will do to the human race.
If you’ve stuck with this so far, then thank you, I don’t know if I’m being irrational, irresponsible or totally away with the fairies but I do know, that one day normality will resume, it may be a new normal but we’ll all get there.
In the words of the recently passed Sir Captain Tom Moore, ‘tomorrow will be a good day’.