Holla back, I know there have to be some Trekkies out there. This is your post.
For those of you not in the highly geeky (and, might I add, awesome) group of Star Trek fans, here’s a little something something to catch you up: the entire premise of all Star Trek storylines ever is that the people of Starfleet (a pseudo-military type of humanitarian corps in the future) bounce around the universe doing diplomatic, scientific, and exploratory missions, discovering new civilizations, all that good stuff. One of the civilizations discovered is called the “Borg”, which is made up of humanoid beings who feed off of technology, assimilate all others into their society (this is where “Resistance is futile” comes from) and exist in a state of collective consciousness, not individuality.
I found myself thinking of the Borg today while driving to the office. A shiny silver truck transporting some sort of liquid was in front of me, and because of the angle of the metal on its rear, I could see the reflection of everything else around us on the road, but not my car. Now, was this kind of distraction the safest thing ever? Probably not, but it did entrance me for a moment or two. When I snapped out of it I thought, That was nice. I should post a Facebook status about it.
Was my moment of distracted driving really status-worthy?
Did I really need to validate a nice moment by telling everyone I’m “friends” with about it?
And that’s when I started thinking about the Borg, about how technology has formed our generation into a group of persons who don’t feel human without their phones, who have to share every detail of their lives on social networking, to whom the idea of “privacy” is a foreign concept. We have a collective consciousness, but instead of using it to promote peace or faith or community, we’re using it to promote Grumpy Cat and avoid actual human interaction and feel entitled to know everything about everyone else, even when it’s absolutely none of our business.
I am the Borg.
Or, rather, we are the Borg.
One of the students here at the Newman Center recently went through a period of time when her computer and cell phone were both broken. I asked how difficult it was and, after lamenting the necessity of going to the library computer lab a lot she concluded, “But it’s actually kind of freeing. I kind of don’t even want a smart phone back!” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t envy her freedom on some level.
As the weather turns nicer and the out-of-doors looks more and more appealing, I am making a new resolution to de-technologize, to disconnect, to de-Borg. To connect with my family and my friends and my brothers and sisters in Christ in actual, meaningful ways. I’m purposefully leaving my computer at home during an upcoming trip. I anticipate leaving my cell phone at the door next to my keys while I’m home. I will try my hardest not to post an update about every single profound thought that crosses my mind. I will keep Instagram to a minimum. And I will re-assimilate myself to the human race, not the technological one I am usually a part of, because it’s only in actual interactions and relationships that we can nurture each other and grow.