Imagine for a moment that your country’s government passed a legislation that would make it mandatory for each of its citizens to have a microchip implanted for the purposes of tracking your whereabouts and activities. Further, any newborn children would have them implanted at birth, bypassing the very freedom of choice that so many of us consider paramount to our existence. How would you react to this? Would you object to it, or would you shrug your shoulders and freely take it?
I’m no conspiracy theorist. Not by a long shot. But I’ve often read about a lot of conspiracies, since I’ll read just about anything I get my hands on. One of my favourite conspiracies is microchips. Over the years, there have been all sorts of conspiracy theories about governments implanting microchips into people at birth in order track everyone’s movements and activities. I don’t believe that shit for a minute but for someone who’s a fan of science fiction and dystopian futures, it can be very entertaining.
I can’t speak for folks from other countries, but speaking strictly as a Canadian, we’d lose our maple syrup-flavoured minds! I can easily picture citizens in either the United States or Canada taking to the streets in protest and at least in relation to our neighbours to the south, riots would ensue. So, here’s the joke. For the past twenty years or more, it’s already been happening. Most people have been carrying a device that tracks their movements, activities and whereabouts on a minute-to-minute basis. Don’t believe me? Reach into your back pocket and pull out that shiny brick of plastic you paid a fortune for, and use almost every minute of the day. Voila. We’ve been doing it to ourselves.
If the government decided to “chip” everyone, there would be outrage, anger and loss of trust in our respective governments. People would lose their respective minds. But that hasn’t happened. Instead… we indeed did it to ourselves. Just think about it. We have people who post and take photographs of every bloody thing they do, every freakin’ day. We walk around with small, electronic devices that track our photos, monitor our social media every time we “check in” somewhere and most people don’t know enough to turn off the geo-tagging on their phone’s camera. Cell phones are great, aren’t they?
As time goes by, cell phone users are becoming younger and younger, with many children as young as the age of four or five having their own cell phones for “safety purposes” or smart devices. Don’t get me wrong. I would have a rough go of it, for a few weeks, if I found myself without a smart phone. In fact, I ran out to the grocery to run a quick errand a few days ago and left my cell phone home to charge. I was only gone for about fifteen minutes, but I felt as though I was forgetting something and I kept compulsively checking my back pocket, even if I knew my phone was at home.
We live in the digital age, and that isn’t going to change. Technology is becoming more and more advanced, and we’re all on the bandwagon. Whether we want it or not. Hell, even my mother, who has never used an actual computer in her life, decided to step into the new frontier and got herself a cell phone a few years ago. And as we get more advanced, we become dependant on our technology to the point where it becomes difficult to live without it. Eventually, those who don’t go with flow will ultimately get left behind.
One good example is banking. Have you tried to do any banking recently? The tellers have become very skilled at encouraging the use of ATM or online banking. It blows my mind and usually gets me frustrated, as they go out of their way to shoo me towards the ATM’s or use online banking at home. “I’ll come with you and walk you through it…” Or maybe you could use that same amount of time and simply help me out here, as I requested. But as time goes on, that’s the direction the world is taking.
Technology isn’t inherently bad. Hell, I wouldn’t still be alive if it weren’t for technology. At the end of the day, it’s all in how we use it. But even those who prefer NOT to use technology will begin to feel the squeeze in a world where everything is done electronically. ☯