What’s on my mind?

What’s on my mind?

Lekan Otufodunrin

IN response to a prompt to share a paragraph or two from one of our writings and name where it was published, a Kenyan friend and Career Coach, Colleta Macharia shared an intriguing statement from her new book titled How to design your game plan.

“As I observe and reflect on this technological revolution, I have a question of my own: Is artificial intelligence growing at a faster rate than our emotional intelligence? That will be a tragedy, and we must not let it happen.


“We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our humanness is what keep us in the game and that is why we must nurture it at all costs,” she wrote.

The above statement got me thinking about what I have been reflecting on without voicing my thoughts and this was my reply: “I have a feeling that AI is really growing faster somehow and we must not let it happen. Facebook is always asking what’s on your mind when those around you don’t bother to. FB reminds you of past memorable moments that excites you. Banks are the first to send you all kinds of anniversary messages. We must not allow machines to outdo us.”

Colleta responded: “You are so spot-on in your observation. Someone said that machines are trying to be more like human, while humans are trying to be like machines. Really tragic.”

Indeed, those automating the AI are doing everything possible to turn machines into human and doing well from what we are experiencing in various digital engagements. More worrisome is that the digital engagements is making most not to realise how much of needed human interaction we are losing.

Unconsciously, we are getting so used to exchanging text and comments on various platforms, seeing and liking our posts on social media that many hardly talk or meet physically. Thank God for the technology that keeps us in touch globally, but behind those digital exchanges are many things we don’t see.

On social media we can easily mask our reality. Sad people can pretend to be happy and having fun. People who are going through all kinds of challenges can chat and put up posts that gives no hint of their true state.

So we suddenly hear of someone dying and we can’t reconcile their being sick according to those around them with the things you have seen them share online.

Unfortunately, when Facebook asks us what’s on our minds, it’s not all the time we can own up and tell the world what we are really feeling or thinking about. We understandably don’t want to put our lives out there and allow our privacy to be invaded in the way we don’t.

Anyway, we should be grateful that the machine is concerned enough to ask what’s on our mind when sometimes those physically around us, who can see through our façade of all is well, don’t bother to.

Some of us have also become so used to exchanging text that we don’t even pick up the phone to call and hear the voice at the other end which can also give us an idea of how the other persons is really feeling.

Visits are no longer as often as we should even when the distance is not an issue. Machines have just become a comfortable replacement for physical meetings. The Coronavirus pandemic has even given us more reason not to bother.

As much as we want to make maximum use of what the machine makes possible, we must not lose our humanness as Colleta noted. We must break loose from the machines once in a while and meet with people who matter to us and those who need to see us. Even in the use of machines, we must be sensitive enough in the words we use knowing that what we say to people and how we say it matters.

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