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The Matrix Is Closer Than You Think

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

The Matrix (1999) Neo awakening scene

Have you ever wondered when machines would take over? I do. All the time. As I type this story on my MacBook, listening to music through my wireless earbuds that are connected to an iPhone, I wonder how much more can be done by machines in my life? Every homework assignment I write and I take hours to finish, I wonder how technology could help me finish it faster. Every time I run, I see people flying by on the electric scooters and wonder if I should have gotten one. With AI the way it is, we soon won't have a choice as to how much technology is helping us, and we might not even know the difference between real life and technology.

“You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss.” That's a quote from the 1999 fiction sci-fi film The Matrix. The Matrix was a simulation that AI bots created after they destroyed to keep humans docile to be able to continually leech off of them. That story from 24 years ago is not that far off from our current reality. We are already being mostly controlled by tech, relying on it for all of our daily basic needs. The only thing that is left is for that tech to no longer be controlled by human beings.

When you heard about WhatsApp and Facebook information being released, how did you react? I was not surprised, because as long as human beings are controlling the tech that controls our lives they are controlling us. Did you ever wonder, after all of these data leaks that have happened and continue to happen, If only this information wasn’t being handled by greedy human beings! That’s a reasonable want, but the scary thing is that thinking can quickly lead to a reality like The Matrix. Because technology will quickly realize that the only thing it doesn’t need is us.

So far, the only thing we are used for is being the bodies that operate the physical parts of the machines. The things that machines have not been able to do yet. Poor people all over the world are being paid less than they need to survive every day so they can work in factories that are mostly mechanized. We use these phones that are causing cancer in children as young as 10 in factories in countries that we don’t even have to think about, and technology continues to make progress at the expense of both of us.

The only way we as people can prevent The Matrix from becoming our reality is disconnect from everything that makes us reliant on tech. It won’t be easy, because technology doesn’t want to disconnect from us. Your friends will wonder why they don’t see you like their posts on Instagram and Facebook. You will want to be able to not think about anything and kill an hour or two by scrolling. Everything will be less convenient, but the result will be a clearer mind, a more free soul. The result will be face to face interactions that don’t feel impossible, and meeting people and learning things that the internet could have never shown you no matter how far you searched.

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