I have degrees in religious studies and philosophy. This means I think a lot about how to be inner connected before interconnected. The debut of Echo by Amazon is a wonderful example of an emerging conundrum around these ideas: If we’re always taking to Echo, when are we listening to our inner life?
This question is meaty and meaningful, and marks a sideswipe of philosophy and media. The colliding entities are the question of what it means to care for the soul for lack of a better word (Inner connection), and what it means to keep the market moving through products, sales, and data collection (Interconnection).
Echo is made to "listen." What that implies is Echo expects us to talk. Interconnected technologies like Echo in general are built on the idea that things will be constantly "on," talking, pinging, trading information of some sort. This is what’s behind the monster-good parody of Echo that has been everywhere this week.
The parody plays with two themes: Fear and second-guessing. Fear is the straight-terror that Echo’s Alexa is going to lock your house and auto-drive your car to the river and laugh at you to boot.
But second-guessing is the really interesting bit. At some point we wonder how we got into that mess. Why did we trust technology again? Or more honestly, why did we trust technology more than we trusted ourselves?
There’s a right-sized place for innerconnection and
inter-connection, so this isn’t a rejection or a denial of technology. It’s simply a note we’re at a juicy moment to bite into this collision of "listening" media, and listening to
our inner life in order to find a balance that doesn't insult the beauty of the soul for the benefit of the market.