Dependencies evolve with technology. In the overly stimulating, constantly distracting world of today, phenomena such as video games and even Internet addiction, have become serious problems. How will the landscape change in ten, fifty or one hundred years?

This seems like a question best solved by science fiction, but the answer is here and now. Knowing what addictions await us in the future not only gives us the opportunity to prepare, but can also help us deal with the addictions we struggle with today.

Body Hacks & Implants

Biohacking, also known as transhumanism, is a trend that essentially boils down to strengthening the body with technology. This concept has been around since the early 1920s, but recent advances in science have pushed it back into the spotlight. Perhaps soon real life will begin to imitate fiction (see. Deus Ex and Fringe ).

The potential benefits of implantable technologies are impressive. Google Glass may or may not be a huge step up from smartphones, but what about bionic eyes, ? How about neuroimplants that could eradicate depression forever? eradicate depression from ? We may even see another milestone in healthcare thanks to nanotechnology in medicine.

It’s not hard to see the addictive potential in any of them. People are already becoming addicted to Google Glass, spending 18 hours a day on the device and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when forced to go without it. That’s scary enough, thank you very much.

Memory storage and playback

If you haven’t watched » Black mirror» (BBC TV series), do it. Each episode is a compelling standalone story that explores the impact of technology on society and relationships. It’s exciting, compelling, and at times downright terrifying.

One episode revolves around a neural implant that allows people to do whatever they see to improve their memory, and then return to those moments with a rewind function. I won’t spoil anything here, but the episode clearly shows how such a simple idea can have devastating consequences.

Which raises an interesting question: if you could have perfect memory using an implant, right? The internal reaction is often “Yes!”, but reliance on external memory can create many potential problems, including addiction.

Some of us already use smartphone calculator apps to help with basic mental tasks. Now that the Internet is so deeply embedded in everyday life, we don’t even need to memorize facts anymore. Why not us when sites like Wikipedia are never more than a search term?

Just as we now carry our smartphones everywhere we go, I don’t think it would be far-fetched to imagine a future where we carry our memory banks everywhere we go. But more than that, it will be easy to be tempted to literally relive our memories rather than live in the present.

Memory wipers

Earlier this year, researchers at the University of California, San Diego managed to inactivate and activate certain memories in genetically engineered rats. This is a far cry from voluntary selective amnesia in humans, but it is certainly a step forward. And when that happens, society will never be the same again.

Selective amnesia can be helpful in traumatic experiences. It can also be used maliciously by making people forget sensitive information against their will. But what is most interesting, at least for this author, is the possibility of memory erasure as an occasional service, akin to massages, haircuts, and pedicures.

Memory erasure can pave the way for people to relive emotional moments as if they never experienced them. We have all read a book or watched TV shows that were so good that we would like to start from scratch, right? Well, if you could walk down the street and erase it for $20, wouldn’t you?

Likewise, how much would people pay to erase the pain of a lost family member or a broken relationship from their brains? Awkward moments, awkward moments, moments that ignite anger and hatred within us — all passed for a small price.

Whatever the price, I could see it incredible addictive. But more terrible than individual addiction is the idea of ​​a whole society that no longer remembers the bad and only remembers the good. The consequences of this kind of cultural blindness are hard to ignore.

Artificial intelligence

When machines become indistinguishable from humans, what happens to love and affection? Can we find satisfaction and meaning in artificial intelligence? Is artificial intelligence safe to learn? There is no definitive answer yet, but there have been many suggestions. — some of which can keep you up at night.

Films like HER tried to depict what it might look like if a person fell in love with a conscious, but not quite human entity. Imagine a world where artificial partners can be downloaded and configured, or, from a physical point of view, a world where artificial friends can be bought from Amazon.

Replacing friendship and romance with software could mean the end of humanity. This is the kind of science fiction that causes smartphone addiction. looked tame by comparison.

Again, maybe we won’t be looking for artificial beings for meaningful relationships. Maybe we’ll just use them for sexual gratification instead. Porn addiction — , s , , is real and common, but how much worse will it get when «sex robots» is just as widely available?

Virtual Reality Experience

Along with jetpacks and flying cars, virtual reality has always been one of the technologies that is just around the corner. It still hasn’t arrived — at least not in the form most people expect it to — but we’re getting closer, especially with the debut of the Oculus Rift. .

virtual reality will have a lot to do with video game addiction in One of the main attractions is the ability to explore worlds, environments and scenarios that are simply not possible in real life.

It’s one thing to imagine Mordor while reading «Lord of the Rings» . Another thing is that he needs to be transferred to Mordor, go through the land and communicate face to face with disgusting orcs. If Mordor isn’t exactly your style, how about Atlantis? Mars? Heaven?

When virtual worlds become more preferable than the real one, that’s when addiction explodes. After all, many gamers spend hours daily playing their favorite games because it relieves them of the stresses of mundane life. How much more salvation from virtual reality will there be?

In some ways, the term «virtual reality» should scare us more than it currently does.

Final Thoughts

With all the excitement and opportunity that comes with technological progress, it’s important that we don’t ignore the potential downsides, and addiction is a big downside. The internet, smartphone, and porn addictions are already shaped by society in a measurable way. Who knows how future addictions will change us?

What do you think about potential addiction in the future? What other future technologies could be dangerous for people with exciting personalities? Share your predictions with us in the comments below!

Image Credits: Futuristic Young Man Via Shutterstock

Explore more about: addiction, artificial intelligence, computer memory, pornography, technology, virtual reality.

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