By Mohamed El Aazouzi
By Mohamed El Aazouzi
Morocco World News
Rabat, June 16, 2012
It is sometimes striking when one comes to the conclusion that the only normal people are the ones we do not know well. Put differently, in each one of us there is a degree of personality disorder – but we differ in the way we acquire and manifest this abnormality. As part and parcel of the natural system, human beings, as the rest of the other species, seek privacy and security. The two latter states of being destabilize the individual psyche and normality in the sense that they move from being a way of life and into an object. As human beings with limited critical faculties, we always seek the shortest way to achieve privacy, individuality and security at the same time.
Modern technology is deemed to be the alternative to almost all of us. Take for example the relationship with the computer that you are now using to read this, or your mobile phone, which has become part and parcel of your daily communicative experience. Indeed, to any possible question, your answer will be as follows: it is impossible to imagine one’s life without technology. The latter functions in two contradictory, yet, overlapping ways; from the one hand, it makes life easier and smooth, and from the other hand, it deepens and complicates the individual psychological process of development.
Within this complex relationship – that was described by the French pro-Freudian psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan as “the object relation” – the supremacy of the “exchange value” over the “use value” becomes clear. We do no longer consume because we need to, but because we want to consume. Let us for example take our earlier example of the mobile phone. Under our daily recurrent use of this technology, we develop a firm relationship to our phones. It turns out to be our closest “friend” who is always there to help, serve, and respond without any complaint. Mobile phones provide us with a sort of self-inner satisfaction and gratification.
Through our repetitive use of the “I” we develop, unconsciously, a sort of selfishness and negative, relative independence. That is to say, we become egocentric. We become less ready to socialize and/or interact with the others (for instance our students, children, partners and so on). This egocentric transformation process transforms our social relations from a real-societal world to a virtual, imaginary world that is characterized by fragility.
In this vein, technology (e.g. cell phone) functions as the immediate alternative to human being. Our children can, sometimes, spend up to sixteen hours a day in front of their laptops, T.V. programs and video games. In this massive direct exposure, the child is always under the threat of either developing a violent abnormal personality or a docile fragile personality.
Technology, as it is known amongst people, gives us a “conditioned” psychological relief. It has conditions that require a passive interaction from its user or consumer. Drawing on the aforementioned Lacanian theory of “object relation,” individuals’ relations to their objects (technological items) turn out to be a state of ‘addiction.’ Recent scientific studies have proved that technology, just like drugs, love and other emotions, attack a part of the brain that is responsible for the emotional activities. To exemplify, your mobile phone or laptop in front of you functions as a mechanism that activates or deactivates this side of your brain.
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