The enforced quarantine is helping to digitalise the older generation. Human kind has the great ability to adapt at every change of life’s conditions and what it is happening these days is proof. More and more old people are connected, obliged by the restriction, they are learning to use technology to do usual things like going grocery shopping or buying the journal, but without going out their home.
Technology is becoming the best medicine for the old generation to not suffer loneliness, which often is the consequence of the sons’ busy and rushed life. It is sufficient to switch on the tablet, putting it on the table and calling sons, daughters and grandchildren in order to share a dinner with them as in a normal routine.
For sure the technology, in a delicate moment like this, is an important resource for the all society to feel people united against the same enemy even if physically distant.
But every medal has two sides and if one side is that technology is an important weapon against the loneliness and the psychological depression, the other side is a danger of total dependency on it.
Already before the Coronavirus spreading, smartphones and tablets shared with us the most intimate moment becoming our best friends but at the same time our worst skeletons were hidden in the closet. They know us probably better than any other person in the world; they recognize our voice, our face, ours eyes and now ours state of mental state too.
Something that seems only part of a science fiction film now it is reality.
In 2017 a young German scientist Leon Eckert published his study, called Biometric Intimacy, where is demonstrated that the computer recognizes every single person in a group where the all members write the same sentence and it is able at the same time to understand the state of mind of each one. How is it possible? Simply through the keystroke. Through 5 different parameters, measured every time that we click a button the hardware is able to calculate two data: the writing rhythm and the intensity; the first is different for every single subject and helps the system to identify the person who is writing in that moment; the intensity is a consequence, knowing the normal rhythm the intensity variation highlights different state of mind, normally if the intensity will be major we have more possibilities to be overexcited, on the contrary with a low intensity increases the percentage to be tired or sad, emotions that don’t create excitation.
The 5 guidelines, on the two data are based, are:
- the Value of the button. Simply which button we have clicked and which is the sign linked.
- the Press time. How much time we press the button.
- the Release time. How much time the button needs to return in its initial position.
- the Dwell time. The sum between the Press time and the Release one.
- the Flight time. How much time there is between the click of the first button and the click of the next one.
The study isn’t proof of what I will say but it shows how high the danger can be that technology knows us in such a deep way that it could understand our needs and use that to manipulate us and what we think, making us slaves, and eliminating our freedom as living being.
The answer for a good relationship between this new world is a balance. Technology can be good in moment like this to stay together with other people but we have to remember that for thousands of years the man shared his feelings and emotions with other counterparts, finding a comparison, and not with an inanimate object that will be able to recognize theoretically what our state of mind is but won’t understand what we feel. The quarantine could be an opportunity to find this balance, maybe it won’t be done physically to share problems or feelings but we would find support from books or writing or simply thinking, something which is human and not artificial.
Written by Nicolas Spirito.