Thoughts on “The Machine Stops”

I though the short story “The Machine Stops” was a very interesting and depressing read for me. The first thing that came to my mind was the similarities that we share with the society in this short story. For example, a lot of what we do in our every day lives is dependent on technology, which we humans, have created. If you eliminate that, most of civilization will turn into chaos. In addition, I also find it very interesting that the humans in this story do not have any physical contact with one another, nor do they travel outside out their “cell.” If you compare it to our current day, lots of people are stuck on social media and other forms of technology, that they don’t make the time to travel outside or meet people face to face. People begin to lose the ability to socially communicate with one another, and that has clearly happened with the Vashti. When traveling on the air-ship, people hardly even make any eye contact and avoid touching each other. What is amazing about the conclusion of this story is the idea that we humans are not infallible; therefore, the technology we create is also a reflection of us. The technology in “The Machine Stops” almost becomes a religion to these people, because they depend on it so much. We cannot depend exclusively on technology, because when something does go wrong, we have to learn to live within our natural world as well. The ending highlights some of the negative outcomes that could occur if we begin rely to heavily on technology to dictate the way we live our lives, which is amazing given the time this was written (1908) when technology wasn’t nearly as advanced as it is now.

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