The notion of ‘the internet of things’ or otherwise known as IOT has allowed me to understand humanity’s relationship with technology. Funded in 1999, with the work of two Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] research labs: the Auto-ID Center and the MIT Media Lab the term defines the way objects are gaining a connection with humans. When I say connection, I mean it in the most literal sense.
It’s the one you spend time with with more than any other and has intensified even more over the years that you’ve grown together. When you’ve had a bad day it’s the one you turn to. You take your anger out on it but you’re willing to spend as much time trying to fix things. They’re there for you morning, noon and night. They’re your computers, your internet, your phones, your technological devices.
The question is … how serious can this relationship be?
Robert Weiss, sex and relationship expert says a man really can fall in love with a computer and have a healthy relationship. Personally, I don’t reject this idea entirely. As he argues this IS ‘evolution’ and the more we rely on our devices the more comfortable and happy we become.
However, from the perspective of our devices love is more than likely not on the cards. How could it be? When all we are to them is a data stream. Yes, they aggregate the information WE give them. Essentially all this means is that the device is a good listener (if only all significant others worked this way) and has a continuous collection of who we are where we are and what is happening.
What does IOT mean for the future of human social interaction and experience of place? As Weiss (2014) argues relationships mean different things to different people. I am a true believer of an open mind and if this ‘evolution’ brings a new type of relationship along with Generation Z’s labels of Gen WII and iGeneration then I am willing to support this.