Technology's Takeover: To "The World's End" and Back

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If you get the chance to go to the movies this weekend, you might want to consider seeing Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's final installment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, The World's End. Though seemingly focused on the main character's determination to reclaim his youth by dragging his old friends along for a nostalgic pub crawl, one cannot ignore the social implications of this science fiction comedy. I don't want to pack this post full of spoilers, but for those who have seen even just the trailer, you can see that Pegg's character, Gary King, and his buddies stumble back into their hometown only to discover that nearly everyone has been body snatched and replaced by robots. But that's only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

If you get the chance to go to the movies this weekend, you might want to consider seeing Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's final installment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, The World's End. Though seemingly focused on the main character's determination to reclaim his youth by dragging his old friends along for a nostalgic pub crawl, one cannot ignore the social implications of this science fiction comedy. I don't want to pack this post full of spoilers, but for those who have seen even just the trailer, you can see that Pegg's character, Gary King, and his buddies stumble back into their hometown only to discover that nearly everyone has been body snatched and replaced by robots. But that's only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.For many, the metaphor may seem forced. "Haha, we are all robots because we stare at screens all day!" Well, in fact, most of us do. If we're not staring at computers, we're scrolling through our smartphones. Even when live humans are speaking directly to us, many are still too distracted by emails and Twitter to fully envelope themselves in such interactions. ("Huh?" and "What'd you say?" must be the most overused phrases in the English language at this point.) We are constantly trying to stay on top of the latest virtual developments, and most companies recognize these budding habits. With social media and geo-location at hand, brands are fixated on real-time, not real-life--just like us. While the vast majority eats up their varied news feeds, most are still starving for meaningful connections and conversations. Or maybe the "glazed over" look is simply all the rage with the technologically advanced crowd?

No matter how you slice and dice it, we're all becoming glassy vessels for the projected knowledge of the Internet. We can learn about everything someone likes without even meeting them in person. (Perhaps that's why so many must resort to online dating? Just a theory...) We can't even spend one night bar hopping with our buddies without facing that hideous glow of someone's smartphone screen. Face it: We are addicted to technology and, while many may argue that it's only helped to create connections and foster communication across the globe, one cannot deny that it comes at a cost. Just take a peek at the video below and tell me you can't sympathize with most (if not all) the scenarios depicted. We all crave that mental break from the constant barrage of marketing messages, tweets, and status updates of which friends, family, and brands think we can't get enough. Instead, preserve your eyesight, rest your thumbs, and warm up those vocal chords. Stop letting technology do all the talking.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION