I’m Watching People Become Robots, and It’s Scary

Well smoke my cheddar and call me cheese! That would be a fun experiment… Not to smoke my cheddar and call me cheese, but to say that to one hundred different people and take note of how each one of them interprets it. Maybe I’ll do that some day. I could just walk around the city stopping people and asking them, “if I told you to smoke my cheddar and call me cheese, what would that mean to you?” I think that’s an important study.

Holy plastic ass lips is it hot in my room right now. Should I talk about the weather? Get some small talk in? Ah, I guess we’re past that when we start with smoking my cheddar and calling me cheese. I remember someone once said that small talk is the human equivalent of dogs smelling each other’s butts. It’s like we have to have this little moment where we check each other out to make sure one of us isn’t a complete psycho before we can actually talk about anything with substance. It makes sense, I mean it is pretty weird when someone just starts talking about their life straight away.

That’s always annoying. I’m 26 years old so I’m getting to that age where people do that. They just start talking about their lives. “So, Jenny and I are having a kid!” I didn’t ask, but okay. It’s weird to watch people get so boring. Not that kids make you boring, that’s not what I’m saying. Kids are great. I want some. Some of my own. Not other people’s kids, that would be weird.

I was watching a series called “Rewired,” with Dr. Joe Dispenza, and he talks about how at the age of 35, if you haven’t been exposing yourself to new things and you kind of have been doing the same thing every day for awhile you basically turn into a series of automatic processes. In other words, your body and mind are so used to doing the same thing all the time that you might as well be a robot. His point is that people don’t change when this happens, because they’re exposing themselves to the same external stimuli every day so there isn’t actually any new information or experiences coming through.

Thus, people find themselves unhappy and they hold out hope that someday they will be happy, but they don’t fundamentally change anything, so it never actually happens. It just becomes the same pattern over and over again because even if we want to change, we can’t. Our body and our brain are so programmed to do whatever we’ve been doing for years on end every day, so we can’t simply decide that we’re going to change. Instead we would have to start changing out experiences by working a different job, going to different places, actually doing different things that we’ve never done before.

It’s wild to watch it unfold with such frequency in the world. I guess what I’m saying is that at my current age, I’m starting to see people lose their personalities. Or at least their personalities are becoming fixed. High school was so interesting because people were changing so much. People changed constantly and quickly because they were being exposed to so many new things all of the time. One day Cassandra was a star studded athlete who was the popular kid and the next year she found art or drugs and became a recluse. There was that kid you never heard of until junior year and all of a sudden everyone at the school recognized him because he “came out of his shell” or whatever. The ugly girls got pretty and the pretty girls got ugly. The small guys got huge and the huge guys turned into Onions. Okay, maybe not the last one. But you get it. Things were always changing. People were always changing. It was interesting.

Now the only interesting thing is to go to your high school reunion and see how much someone has changed since then. But if you go to the twentieth high school reunion, it seems like there’s a good chance it’ll be pretty damn similar to the thirtieth. I don’t know, I’m not there yet. All I’m saying is that I’m starting to see it. I’m starting to see people fall into categories of personality instead of enriching their individual personalities.

It’s kind of scary to think about how people can become so predictable. Watching someone get taken over by the same monotonous lifestyle is kind of like when someone gets taken over by an ideology. You know exactly what they’re going to say and exactly what they’re going to do because everyone else who has been taken over by that ideology acts the exact same way. That always creeps me out, seeing people whom I used to know or even be friends with on Facebook who are now hard core progressives or conservatives or whatever. They sound exactly like the other hardcore progressives or conservatives. You could take everything they say on Facebook and switch it with anyone else under the same ideology and you wouldn’t be able to distinguish which person was which. The actual person might as well not exist.

This goes back to what I was talking about that one time where we don’t have as much control as we think we do. Well, people like this really don’t have control. They’re at the fate of their habits and if their habits never change, they don’t ever change. Then they die the same person they were fifty years ago. I don’t think anything scares me more than that.

Jason Brendel
Jason Brendel

Jason Brendel is an author, poet, and comedian living in Austin, Texas. Navigate the buttons below to follow him on social media, make a donation, or purchase his collection of laugh-out-loud poetry on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “I’m Watching People Become Robots, and It’s Scary

  1. This is brilliant.
    We have a non-functioning oven here at home, and have started to cook on our camping gas kit out in the shed. All of a sudden, cooking gets interesting again, just by breaking old habits.
    I’ve sent your perceptive words to a few friends.

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