By: Lucille Femine
The mechanical nature of today’s society becomes very real and personal when you get phone calls from seemingly live, flesh and blood people.
I’ve been getting such calls recently where I just…wasn’t…quite sure. I answer the phone, say hello, the pleasant voice says, “Hello, this is so and so.”
Today I asked, as I have before, “Are you a recording?” Surprisingly, I got a little laugh and she actually answered that. She said, “No, I’m a real person.”
So I gave her some credit and myself some doubt. Then she said something to move me on to the purpose of her call.
But I pursued my investigation. I said, “You sound like a recording.”
There was a pause and she said chirpily, “Can we continue?”
Now, normally, a live person would at least have had the courtesy to get indignant or something like that, so you know you are having an exciting, heated conversation. You know – alive!
However, I do understand that actual emotions have become politically incorrect. Take a look at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manualof Mental Disorders (DSM ) All the so-called “disorders” capture every emotion you might have (even some made up) and convert them into problems that require a pill…or two or three.
That’s because psychiatrists know deep down they cannot help people. So they defer to their many colleagues – drugs.
Enough for now of my pet peeve. I ignored her request to continue, as is my right, being a flesh and blood person. It is times like these when you feel your humanity assaulted, insulted and deceived. Therefore, you must defend it. I asked, “Where are you from?”
Huh! Is that not a normal, not impolite question? You need to know who or what this person is representing and what they are trying to sell you. I mean, that’s a variation on a constitutional right.
One advantage, though, of being hung up by a machine is that it was just a machine; it’s hard to take it personally.
In the dead air, I mumbled an insult, fantasizing the machine that she was would break down, like a car with square wheels.
But I’m sure I won’t get that lucky; she was most likely onto the next inhuman invasion and didn’t miss a beat. Can you imagine the recording device leaving the office in a huff after such an uncooperative and mildly antagonistic response, go outside to have a cigarette? Questioning its abilities?
Only humans can do that. As dumb as it might be to question your abilities, we still have that right. But I wouldn’t confide that to a psychiatrist or he will help you understand just how unable you truly are.
What’s scary is the sophistication of these machines that can actually interact (to some degree) with people. When you discover or even just suspect their true nature as a piece of metal, it can only mean betrayal to you.
I remember when I was a kid and answering these (very obvious) robot calls – preferably with other mischievous friends. We would say all manner of silly things, mostly insults…or…curses, that hopefully parents never heard. The voice would cheerfully repeat his speech. That was fun; we’d laugh uproariously.
But now it can make you downright uneasy. What are they expecting from the receiver of the call? Drink your fluoridated water so you will be more amenable and fooled by their sales pitch?
What’s very annoying also, is you have to waste your valuable time trying to figure out the nature of the caller – human or mechanical beast? There’s enough plastic in the world.
Let’s file these deceptive canned calls in the same category as GMO (fake, often canned food), vaccinations (fake immunity), Obamacare (fake health insurance), wars (fake protection from fake terrorists), NSA and TSA (more fake protection), fluoride (fake teeth protection) and the government (fake freedom)
You know, it could be these “canned” calls often are from real people who have succumbed so much to this mechanical, machine age, they don’t know how to be human anymore. They just practice “sounding” human to be in harmony with a world gone two dimensional.
After all, hasn’t texting become the way to communicate now where you can type in an exclamation point or smiley face and it looks like you may really feel that way?
I’m not accusing anyone of being dishonest. Sometimes I’d rather text than hear a voice – which is so much closer to the spirit at the other end….who might need help. Somehow, texting “I understand, buddy” might not cut it.
Has texting just become habit or convenience? I don’t think texting is more convenient with all the frustration of hitting wrong keys and dictatorial spell checks. And on tiny phone keyboards. It takes a lot less time to say the words.
Hopefully, through evolution, our emotions won’t be cut down to punctuation and our tongues won’t start shriveling up from lack of use.
Lucille Femine, writer and Executive Assistant for The Liberty Beacon project