Our Relationship with “Her”

Admit it or not, we all have different kinds of relationships. Whether its with your family, your friends, or your significant other, relationships are labeled as one of those most intimate things you can count on whenever and wherever you may be. No man is an island as they say. And I personally think that relationships are the real treasures in life.

“But who is “her”?” You may now be asking. And no, I’m not talking about a real person.  I am talking about your relationship with your phone (her), with your laptop (her), with your PC (her), or with that Play Station (definitely her) your brother may be holding at this very moment. In this day and age of digital technology, we, as a collective human being, are having so called relationships with technology per se. And we don’t even notice it. Human beings are being regarded together – or the term apropos would be the more appropriate term -with their computers, laptops, cellular phones, etc – technology in general. And its difficult to admit that this certain kind of relationship is not stopping at any moment and at whichever pace. It is an ongoing metamorphosis, and maybe even a part of survival.

Here’s a piece of video I found on YouTube to prove my point:

I can recall that during my younger years, I am 21 now after all. That not having a certain type of technology led me to believe that I am inferior to the other who is lucky enough to have the latest gadgets and what-have-yous. That drive to put this “latest” technology in my life is in fact becoming more of a need than it is a want. And reflecting on it now, I can honestly say that it is not healthy, especially when I was that young. I’m having a sense of “materialism” as if it is going to lead me to happiness when I was young. And that level of happiness never did give me any satisfaction in life.

The world of technology is not going to stop any time soon. Of course, I still dream that one day, we’ll have our own hover boards and ordering certain robots to do a certain task for us. And of course, I’m dreading the day that robots will revolt against us – a la Terminator 1, 2, and 3. It is also true nowadays that technology nowadays are now getting more and more smarter than us humans. And it will keep on increasing as long as engineers keep on inputting these so called “knowledge” in their motherboards. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll achieve world peace through mounds of computer generated artificial intelligence? Maybe so.

But thinking about it, wouldn’t it be sad that someday that the human being will no longer be useful? I mean, right now we are already resorting to digital versions of the human emotion through our various selfies, or our emojis and emoticons through text. What more in the future? Sad to admit it but, someday, maybe, that the human being will just be a slow, unintelligent component of this world and we can no longer do anything about it. Maybe someday the smartphone will eventually be called a genius and it is no longer pertaining to the maker.

ANYWAYS, if you haven’t seen my tweet (@iamcaragarcia) yet, then you have no idea what I’m reflecting on. Here’s something that my friend and I were talking about:

We’re talking about the much buzzed film, “Her” by Spike Jonze featuring Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson as “her” or in this film is called, Samantha.

Here’s the movie clip trailer:

I couldn’t come up with a much more endearing summary of this movie, since I haven’t watched it yet. But let me quote James Franco for this:

“Spike Jonze’s Her is a story about the death of human love masked as a love story between a man, Theo (Joaquin Phoenix), and his sexy artificially intelligent operating system, Samantha (Scarlett Johansson’s voice). Theo works as a professional surrogate letter-writer, a profession that’s equal parts emotional detective, jaded but secretly hopeful voyeur, and empathetic poet. His specialty is the intimate love letter, so his letters give voice to the feelings for the couples that hire him. This service, one set in an unnamed metropolis in the near future (and was shot both in Los Angeles and Shanghai to give the grey and pastel Google-age sheen to the exteriors) provides a parallel for Theo’s eventual relationship with his OS, an ethereal and exponentially hyper-intelligent lover who says everything he wants to hear, just like Theo’s letters do for his clients. The central questions of the film are existential: What does it mean to be human? How do we define emotions? Can something digital, and programmed, have a personality? How valuable are our bodies in the dawning age of total digital immersion?

– Excerpt from The Vice

Now I don’t know if this particular movie will be showing in Manila anytime soon. But if ever, can someone please update me. I’m super stoked for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” though.


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