Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holographic Technology, Cell Phones and Holo-sexTing?

Being a Star Wars fan, I was pleasantly amused by the novel graphic montage I found on a classmate's blog. He posted comments about Infosys's prediction on holographic cell phones. You can see for yourself by clicking on the image.

I actually witnessed a live holographic imaging demo in the late 1980s, while visiting the Epcot center in Florida. I don't know how many people were lucky enough to see this but, at the time, they provided a behind-glass tour of the computer room which supported Disney’s entire inventory of attractions. The host was herself a holographic image who could jump from console to console while talking to us. VERY cool. I knew then I would forever be attached to technology at the hip. I wonder, now that security is such a big deal, if they still have that tour.

I don't fancy myself as a philosopher but, some news from MSNBC this morning has me believing that holographic imaging on cell phones is a bad idea anyway, never mind the extra boosting such devices would need to accomplish this task.

My heart goes out to a Florida family who lost their 13 years old daughter to suicide. The reason? Sexting.

If you don’t know the term, don’t feel bad. Until I read the news this morning, I had not registered what that was either. However, it has me asking myself what the breaking point will be. Kids are inherently born without wisdom. It's one of those primitive things we humans still do. We "Must Grow Up". How wise a person becomes has a lot to do with how one is raised. I’m finding this is not a proportionally direct mathematical relationship to the parents' life story. That topic in itself could be a very interesting notion to explore in Futuring. Could we/Should we genetically implant good morals into newborns? But that's for another blog, some other time.

When do we, as a society, take responsibility for the collateral damage caused by technology? The morals of society are clearly not evolving as quickly as cool toys. Technology is not only about augmented capabilities to find a lost child. It also translates to better tools for the criminals and increased impact from "Oups" moments. How responsible are we if we let kids use "Big people" tools? Traditionally, we directly supervise such usage, following gruesome coaching. How is this possible with devices such as cell phones?

Call me old school, but to me, there is No room for cell phones in the life of a teen ager. Not unless those kids begin to drive cars and are out in the evening, with a curfew I might add. Even then, carrying such a phone would be something occasional, not a day-to-day distraction in their lives. The issues with that are permeating schools as it is. There are just too many responsibilities attached to owning such a device, as demonstrated by this up-standing young student.

Remembering that laptop theft is one of the most common ways sensitive data is stolen, I am terrified by the prospects of such powerful and tiny devices, capable of storing intimate life details. Most people can't even choose a decent password. Can we conceivably and realistically expect teenagers to know how to be responsible with such technology? I don't believe so. I don't even want to extrapolate what this would translate to with holographic cell phones. Holo-sexTing?

OK, maybe I'm a border-line philosopher. The Elf has spoken.
I would like to thank my classmate for the opportunity to muse my thoughts on this.

You may find the article and video interview to this tragic story here:

‘Sexting’ bullying cited in teen’s suicide

1 comment:

  1. As a private person, I find the Web a wild mix of beneficial and cautionary information.

    As a parent, my son is learning to discriminate and hopefully make good choices as he explores this strange new Web world.