Humankind is continually being swallowed up by technology to the point that our humanity is being whittled away like a piece of hickory in a woodcarver’s hands.

To many institutions, we are just a number on a screen. To the many hackers and identity thieves out there, we are just another victim without a face, unless of course you are on Facebook for the world to see (hey, look at the muffins that just came out of my oven). 

We all have to admit that technology is great when we need it. But do we really have any other choice? Yes, you can live like Alan Tenta in the bush without electricity and running water, but your spouse and kids won’t. So be prepared to go it “Alone.”

Forty years ago if you kept talking about Twitter, Tik Tok, and WhatsApp you would have found yourself in a padded room looking at symbols on cards held up by nice people in white coats.

The truth is if you’re not technologically savvy today, you’ll be left behind.

A recent newsletter to parents in School District 6 is one example, asking them to fill out all of their start-up forms electronically. Why? To reduce paper consumption and the risk of losing sensitive information. But as one parent told the Pioneer last week, playing the security card seems strange given the fact it is probably easier to hack something in this day and age than to steal a paper document.

Parents who want to find out how their child is doing either have to set up a meeting with the teacher (which is far more personal and informative) or be well-schooled in online navigation. Visit this website. Download this app. Update that app. It can be confusing for many, and very frustrating when it’s not working. Argh! Stupid website!

All I want to do is find out how my kid is doing in school, not the schematics of rocket propulsion. Wait, no letter grades? What is the world coming to?

The latest buzz is the utilization of AI (artificial intelligence) in education, deemed revolutionary to learning and teaching. This is basically using computer systems to perform tasks commonly associated with the human mind. The advantages include personalized learning, instant feedback, and enhanced resources to assist in tutoring and special needs support. But the disadvantages are lack of interpersonal skill development, privacy/security issues, potential job displacement, and zero emotional support.

Let’s not lose sight that we are humans first, not machines. Our intelligence is not simulated, it is real. And while today’s computers may be smarter and faster than our brains, they have no humanity, and that’s what makes all the difference.

Lyonel Doherty, editor