Digital communication isn’t going away. If you own a business or want to stay connected with friends and family, you must be online. But at some point, you’ll want to (need to!) intentionally unplug from the digital community. Maybe for a whole vacation. Or perhaps just one night away. Even for one quiet hour over coffee. To think. Exist. To just…be…human.
For most of us, it’s a question of when to put down the smartphone. Not an easy task these days, to be sure. But attainable.
For the cyborgs among us, unplugging is more difficult. Like Neil Harbisson from the UK, who had an antenna implanted in his skull. Neil is part of a growing community of people who self-identify as cyborgs. They’ve even created a group called the Cyborg Foundation, to raise awareness and lobby for their rights.
Embedded biotech presents a dilemma, though. You can’t just set down the smartphone when it’s implanted in your skull. But there’s hope. If you’re a cyborg, here’s how to unplug (or at least disconnect for a while):
Ask for an “off” switch. If you are considering becoming a cyborg, get the facts before going under the knife. Make sure you can turn the biotech off, when/if you want to unplug for a while.
Block the signal. If you’ve already been implanted, find a way to block the incoming signal. Even for a few minutes, you might be able to feel human again.
Consider surgical removal. Maybe you’ve been a cyborg for a few months and realize it’s just not for you. Make an appointment with your surgeon to discuss removal. In some cases, it might not be possible, especially if your tissues have already fused with the biotech in such a way that removal would be dangerous. But it’s worth a try.
Seek qualified support. Becoming part-machine is emotionally stressful. If you can’t unplug when it gets overwhelming, find support and learn how to cope. At the very least, you need one human, one cyborg, and a biotech health expert on your side. No one should go it alone.
(As a side note, you should also strongly consider hiring a cybersecurity team that specializes in wearable and implanted technology. Being a cyborg is hard enough without having to worry about hackers. But I digress.)
Unplugging comes at a cost for everyone, especially for cyborgs. But what about those of us who aren’t implanted yet? How can we stay digitally connected to our friends, family, business community, and the world without sacrificing what’s left of our humanity?