Utopia and Dystopia: A Fine Line in 2035

Technological Advancements Creating Utopia

In 2035, technology will have infiltrated every aspect of human daily life.  Due to the huge identity theft crisis of the 2020s, there will have been a huge public outcry for better identity protection. Therefore, every person will have an ID chip implanted between the vertebrae of their neck.  Beginning in 2030, all newborns will have the chip implanted along with other routine procedures after birth.  Others will need to have the chip implanted as an adult. This chip will have dramatically reduced the incidence of identity theft. This chip will have a GPS function as well as personal information storage allowing for the identification of any human whether for a routine check of identification or for a more serious reason such as a missing person, a murder victim, or a criminal suspect.  The chip will contain fingerprints, complete medical records, criminal history, locations the person has recently been, and other individuals the person has been around recently.  For a murder victim, the chip would hold information about where they were most recently and what other individuals they have been around recently due to the chips implanted in each person interacting with one another. Authorized police and government personnel would be able to access this information using a nation-wide database.  The chip will not pick up new signals once the person has died and blood flow to the area has ceased.  However, all information prior to the person’s death will remain stored on the chip and can still be accessed by police for investigative purposes.  This will have greatly reduced crime and murder rates in 2035 because criminals will have difficulty concealing their whereabouts and interactions with other individuals.  It will also increase the efficiency of police departments and their investigative efforts.

Furthermore, cars will have sensors that allow them to completely avoid collisions with other cars.  These sensors will also allow you to start your car by simply sitting in the seat- the car will recognize the chip in the back of the person’s neck and cause the car to start without a key.  The car also automatically drives at the speed limit, stops at red lights and stop signs, and takes you to your desired destination.  The driver won’t even have to touch the pedals or the wheel! The sensor-chip activated car start will have helped to reduce automobile theft rates while the automatic driving and collision-avoidance features will have increased safety and reduced rates of motor vehicle accidents.  This vision of the future is very utopian in that it sees these technological advancements as ways to improve the quality of human life.  It is likely that in these circumstances public policy will have had to change to reduce peoples’ rights to privacy, since the ID chip will have a GPS function that can track where people go and who they interact with. It may be possible to grant access to the Chip Database to retrieve such information only in emergency situations or when authorized by the person’s designated family member or other individual.  It is likely that there will have been many policy changes when it comes to privacy rights and conditions under which is would be appropriate to access someone’s Chip ID information.

The Same Technological Advancements Causing Dystopia

Conversely, it is possible that some of these technological advancements will have very negative effects on society creating a more dystopian vision.  This would be especially possible if public policies were not adjusted appropriately. The ID Chips in this vision will cause medical side-effects such as paralysis, weakness, and permanent disability.  This will put a huge burden on our healthcare system and financial situation as a nation.  Then, the changes to people’s privacy rights could cause the leakage of a person’s medical information to insurance companies and future employers, making it difficult for individuals to obtain employment and health insurance.  The government and police workers will have too much leeway in these privacy changes and will be able to justify accessing people’s ID Chip records for any reason.  This will lead to massive distrust between the citizen’s and their government.  The media world will have published numerous stories on government corruption and how the government is tracking the locations and interpersonal interactions of every individual in the country without proper authorization.  The public will be panicking about their personal safety and whether their personal information is being accessed and shared without their knowledge. In the early 21st century, GPS tracking was available for people’s mobile phones, which caused some dismay amongst citizens at that time about whether “Big Brother” was watching, though many also recognized its usefulness in solving crimes.  Sometimes, the mobile phones can be stolen or left behind and thus are not helpful in locating missing individuals. The ID Chip implanted in the neck would be much more useful as it could not be removed from someone’s body without killing the person and because the chip would interact with the chip of the person trying to remove the chip or harm the individual. In this way, detectives would know who last interacted with the missing individual and would have a good lead on a suspect.

My Life Amongst these Technological Advancements

During my life in 2035, I will likely have had the chip implanted during my late 30s or early 40s, though I will be slightly worried about the negative effects this could have on our society.  I will likely drive an advanced automobile that starts automatically when I sit in the seat and drives me automatically to where I need to be.  However, I will be saving up for an oxygen-powered HoverCraft that will hit the market in 2040.  I imagine that I will work in law enforcement and will find great utility in the technological advancements supporting crime investigation and crime control. I will also be using Video-Mail (V-mail) instead of e-mail or postal mail.  I will be able to use my smartphone/computer device called a SPen which is the size of a small swiss army knife.  I can use it to instantly record video-messages and send them to others.  I will also be able to post these videos to my personal online address. Facebook and Twitter are no longer in use. Instead, each person has their own domain name on the internet where they can post everything that they would have posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. These domain names are assigned at birth beginning in 2025.  I will have had to register for mine in 2024 when the program was first rolled out.

Conclusion

No matter what technological advancements and policy changes occur prior to 2035, they all have the potential to create a dystopian society if not handled carefully.  In the examples above it is clear that the Human ID Chip implanted in someone’s neck could cause great changes to occur if they are accompanied by detailed and protective policy guidelines.  However, if public policies are not altered appropriately to address technological changes, it is possible that the advancements will violate people’s rights and create unrest amongst citizens.  There is a fine line between Utopia and Dystopia, so policy change will be vital in creating a utopia rather than a dystopia.

http://allgpstracking.net/gpstracking/index.php/gpstrackingprivacy/

Real size of the SPen device of 2035 (smaller than your index finger)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who needs media anyway? I DO!!!

For my Mass Communications 101 class we were asked to do without all forms of mass media for two consecutive days and to record our feeling about our experience. This should be a breeze right? I had no clue what I was getting myself into.

    I would consider myself not very reliant on technology and different forms of media. I am certainly not one of those people we all know that is constantly watching t.v., listening to the radio, checking Facebook, checking/sending emails, surfing the web, or whatever it is they do for hours at a time on their desktops, laptops, Ipads, smart phones, etc. Therefore, when I found out we had to do this assignment I didn’t think anything of it. Why should this be so hard? My parents are constantly talking about the legends of the “old days” when everything was hand written, there was no internet or cell phones, and t.v. was essentially non existent. They survived didn’t they, so why can’t I?

    I did not account for the fact that these days it is a virtual world that we live in. From contacting people to researching a topic, everything is done through some form of media technology. It is IMPOSSIBLE to completely avoid all forms of media unless you lock yourself in a closet blindfolded with ear plugs on, and that might not even be enough.

   Judging by my previous statement you can probably guess that I was not very successful in avoiding all forms of media. Even though it was only for two days, it would have been impossible to not fail out of school if I did not use the internet. However, I did do my best to not use my phone, watch t.v, or listen to the radio. This was significantly more difficult than I thought it was going to be. For example, I thought a good way to avoid media would be a long workout after I arrived home from class. I figured this would not only help me avoid media while I was working out, but I would also be tired when I got home so I could just do my homework and go to sleep. It did not quite work out this way. I forgot the gym is covered wall to wall with t.v.’s. I was so aggravated from my technology withdrawal that I just left immediately.

This study has showed me how truly dependent our generation really is on technology whether we want to be or not. It also increased my awareness to the billions of forms of media that are constantly around us. Most importantly, this assignment has showed me that I, like every other college student these days, completely rely on media in one form or another.

MEDIA IS EVERYWHERE!

     Have you ever taken a minute to think about how present media is in the world we live in today? Well for my Mass Communications 101 class we were asked to keep an hour-by-hour daily diary for two consecutive days that would list all the media we were exposed to or “consumed.” Going in to the assignment I didn’t think my perception of media would change at all, but I was in for one hell of a surprise: MEDIA IS EVERYWHERE!

Before this assignment I, like most people my age, never took the time to take a look around during every day life to analyze the abundance of Media. Even though we might not always notice it, media is all around us whether we like it or not. It is present from the time we wake up in the morning until we lay down to go to bed at night, and if you listen to the radio while you sleep like I do, there really isn’t a break at all.

What surprised me the most during the course of the two days was the constant stream of adds I was exposed to throughout the basic routine of my day. I woke up to the radio still on both days with commercials playing; therefore, I started my day off consuming media and nothing changed from there. The only time of my day where I wasn’t presented with adds was while I was in class, and that is even technically false because every time I would text,  play With Friends, or pretty much use my phone in any way ( Except in Mrs. Nichols class because its just to interesting to divert my attention to my phone) I was exposed to an add in one form or another.

This over exposure to adds and other forms of media during every waking moment of my daily life got me thinking about the effects my media habits and the habits of others might have on the way we learn about the world. Is media subconsciously telling us what to do and not to do? What to buy and not to buy? Whats cool and what is lame?

    Despite my discovery that I am constantly “consuming” media, I personally believe I am not being over influenced by it because most of what I believe, wear, etc. is not commonly advertised. I don’t wear name brands and my favorite place to shop is actually the thrift store. However, there certainly are a large number of people in the world that are not only influenced by every day media, but take pride in keeping up with whats commonly advertised.

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