The Sacrifice of the Self
The biggest loss in my opinion as we create greater and more efficient aids to our lives is the replacing of internal skill and strength with gadgets that do it for us. Take memory for instance. In the age of ancient Greece, every poet would have the ability to memorize the works of Homer by heart, roman senators could give speeches that lasted many hours by memory. Cyrus the great, founder of the Achemenid (Persian) empire could apparently remember the names of all the soldiers in his army. All these examples put us to shame.
Raise your hand if you’ve forgotten the name of someone you were introduced to only moments ago? Or misplaced something you only just put down? We have journals now, reminders on our phones, pop up alerts, and a host of other external aids that allow us to compensate for never training our memories.
While we can take pride in a skill that we have taught ourselves, completing the same task by using a piece of technology offers no such feeling of self-value. How can we look at ourselves in the mirror and take pride in what we see if we have no talents beyond what the possessions we own can achieve? What else have we sacrificed because “there’s an app for that”?