Day by day, technology is taking up more and more space in our lives, making us imagine a future in which cars will be driven alone, clothes will tell us if we are healthy, homes will be smarter and smarter. There will be robots that will go to buy us, that will help us in cleaning and caring for people. Artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality are proving to be a valid aid to humans but there are downsides that should not be underestimated, real risks to humanity. First, the difficulty of socialization among young people. New generations seem more and more committed to spending their free time on smartphones and computers, for some of them these devices represent the only way to interact with the outside world. Then there are those who do not want to have anything to do with the real world, they prefer to take refuge in the virtual, a much more welcoming and less challenging place than the hard everyday life. How is technology changing our society? Can it undermine the mental development of the new generations? We asked Carla Ricci, an Italian anthropologist who lives in Japan and conducts research in the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Tokyo.
The phenomenon of virtual pop singer Hatsune Miku (a manga-style hologram song) seems to have caught on in Europe as well. Is interest arising out of novelty or is something changing in our society?
“It is a novelty according to the times and will not go out of style as it is one of the many expressions of the irreversible changes that are taking place and that show the increasingly powerful space that technology occupies in each context of existence ”.
Could state-of-the-art technology, which interacts better and better with humans (even at the game level), pose a risk to the healthy mental development of new generations?
“I really think so and there are many scientific sources authorized to confirm this. There are many consequences that arise, including dysfunctions in cognitive activities – including language -, brain fatigue, levels of aggression above average. and I don’t think things will stop there.
In your opinion, is technology an obstacle or an aid to socialization?
“I think the help is to make life more comfortable even if, at the same time, too many comforts make us forget the gratifications and motivations that only effort can give. It also allows everyone to access knowledge and studies in freedom and With regard to socialization, I do not think that technology is an aid because it changes its substance. The virtual world in its many forms, in fact, cannot be defined as real but digital, indirect and artificial. , constitutes a different reality that modifies the way of experiencing emotions, sensations and feelings precisely because “living” reality is not the only forge that allows to form man as a human being. A trivial example is the social relations towards which are aimed at the new generations (but not only) are less and less able because they are used to managing them indirectly with social networks.In them we navigate in a simplified way. circumstances that are instead present in direct relationships and that are always extremely formative even when they seem irrelevant. It lacks the physical presence of the interlocutor, it lacks the richest and most articulate attention and language that is instead needed in reality. In addition, there is a lack of intuition about the emotional state of the interlocutor and, consequently, how to adapt to it, there is a lack of the environmental context that influences the relationship and not infrequently coordinates it, and often the voices are also important. of the protagonists “.
A Japanese man has come to ‘marry’ the hologram of virtual singer Hatsune Miku. Could this also happen in Italy or are things only happening in Japan where interpersonal relationships are more difficult and “cold”?
“I consider Japan a kind of pioneering country and not only in technology, but also in many social and cultural phenomena; there are many examples such as anime, manga and even hikikomori. For the rest of the world it is just a matter of time, then there are many westerners who identify in an anime character the ideal partner or his girlfriend.You can start like this and between smartphones, video games, metavers and much more, maybe you can start thinking that living with a delicious hologram may not be so bad but comfortable and suggestive and one will end up feeling affection for you. “
Are weddings with holograms, virtual love relationships that are always and only behind a computer screen, all symptoms of a sick society that increasingly rejects social relationships? Why is it increasingly difficult to cope?
“I believe that virtual immersion is more than a symptom of a cause of the disease. This is because abandoning the true reality and its difficulties means moving away from the natural impulse that drives us to move forward, to experience and to challenge ourselves. The path is marked, but the good news is that every man can choose how to follow him. in a coherent way.a beautiful sunset.when you no longer feel the compulsive impulse of a digital click but only the desire to enjoy an immense emotion.Who wants to meet again, who wants to continue to recognize the earth as the His true place, whoever wants to know how to think about infinity and seek the truth that the unconscious is willing to reveal, will always be able to. The title is The invisible protagonistit is the real story of a man but also the story of all of us, more true than ever. “