Is there anything more irritating than an unwanted “auto-correct” from your phone or computer?
You just want to text your friend Mercedes that she made you laugh, and auto-correct “suggests” that “Muscle-relaxant, you are a slaughterhouse”
The farther along we go along this information superhighway, building up speed, the more technology is created that aim to make our lives “easier” by second guessing our actions. What’s meant to simplify, winds up making things more complex.
I’m sure one day we’ll look back on all this and laugh. Unless our ability to laugh has been “augmented.”
But just as most technology has its roots in the mental habits and abilities of the human mind (just accelerated or optimized), the unwanted effects of technology can be reverse-engineered to reveal their origins in the world of human thought.
We “auto-correct” our own communications.
I know I am not the only one guilty of “filling in” when a person I’m talking to hesitates in finding the words to complete their thought. (That’s annoying. Can’t I wait a half second to let them retrieve the actual word they mean to say?)
“Here, let me help you,” is the unspoken mantra of auto-correct, both machine and human based. When help is not desired, that automaticity is an interruption, not a help at all.
I think there are many times when we succumb to the mind’s continuous prediction of what’s going to be said next, particularly when the rapidity of thought makes normal conversation seem painfully slow.
Sometimes when a person is communicating a problem or challenge, it’s our job to merely listen while they work it out for themselves. Then the solution has maximum value to them. But if we are slaves to our own “auto-correct”, we can’t help but crowbar in our own solution, often even before we’ve heard all the facts.
The Smart Phone doesn’t assume we know anything. Where to make a turn next, what’s our best friend’s phone number, where is a place to eat nearby. It automatically assumes we are total idiots, and that we need it to answer any random question, even to keep us entertained.
If we depend upon and grow addicted to its automaticity, we may prove it right.
In any case, the more we mimic auto-correct in our conversation (which mimicked us in the first place) then we won’t be fulfilling our irreplaceable human potential: to give helpful attention, not always advice, to others.
The solutions we find for ourselves, just like the words we come up with ourselves to express what it is we have to say, are the lasting, valuable ones.
If you agree, tell you what–text me. Let’s find out if your iPhone feels the same as you do.