“Look at yourselves. Unplug from your chairs. Get up and look in the mirror. What you see is how God made you. We’re not meant to experience the world through a machine.” – Ving Rhames opening quote in Surrogates (now available on DVD / Blu-Ray).
A surrogate is defined as an arrangement for a woman to carry and give birth to a child who will be raised by others. Might seem like an odd start to a post on a blog that usually is focused on the relationship between a Christian faith in God and the use of technology, but I think it will make lots of sense in a few seconds!
Without ruining the movie for you, it basically illustrates how people will be able to stay in their homes in the future, sit in a chair, and control an artificial intelligent (AI) version of themselves. The “computer you” would look just like you. It would go to work, parties, drive, etc. Might sound a bit crazy, but who knows if it really will end up playing out in reality in the years to come.
My point? I believe, even though our surrogates aren’t out walking around today, that many of us are living our lives with that mentality already today. We get our thrills off of being known as someone out in cyberspace, possibly someone that is who we dream of being in person. A few points from the movie labeled this mentality / reality as an invasion of being human. Opening up the possibility of achieving all of your dreams, but not REALLY. A virtual Bucket List I guess?
Are there times when you pour too much effort into your online identity / relationships? Are real-life relationships less of a focus than they need to be? Do you find yourself struggling to focus on serving / listening to / growing with others (and closer to God as a result?