The Influence of Technology on Characters in Feed and Gattaca

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Technology and the rate of use by people have been growing exponentially and much more than the last 50 years combined. The line is only expected to get steeper meaning more and more humans are using technology. Other than the overwhelming growth in technological use the question humanity is asking How does this affect us on a personal level? How does this affect our family’s and loved ones? How does this influence our relationships?

This section of inquiry has veered its way through society. The gifted minds of two men both who are story-tellers tell us a story, displaying their perspective of how technology will influence our connections and our bonds with one another. M.T Anderson and Andrew Niccols demonstrate this concept through characters who placed in a dystopic yet uncannily accurate future line filled with clambering and stifling amounts of technology seeming to be advantageous but viciously disadvantaging. Within the domain of feed, M.T Anderson portray a boy named Titus, who is from an affluent social class meeting and falling in love with violet, who dislikes technology. Titus has to adjust to this new relationship without the reliance on technology. In the movie, Gattaca people’s perspective all comes down to how genetically gifted one may be. Vincent the main character was portrayed as an unfortunate victim as he was a ‘faith born’ having no genetic alterations compared to his far more genetically superior brother Anton this made Vincent have a deep hatred towards his family due to his parent’s decision of not using technology to allow him to achieve is star high aspirations. Both stories depict struggles against a character’s relationship due to a form or cause of technology.

First and foremost, technology has predominantly impacted social priorities that also affects the characters’ lack of humanity. The characters in Feed and Gattaca struggle to express themselves due to unethical social priorities set because of the incredible impact of technology. To illustrate this point, the family connections portrayed in Gattaca seem to be worth nothing. In Gattaca, the characters gravely discriminated against through genetic modification. Since genetic modification relies on technological advancements, Vincent being a faith born did not have ideal genetics thus his father, Antonio, deemed that he was “not worthy of his name” as before he was initially going to name his first born Anton. Not to mention, it was none other than technology that rendered Vincent “useless”. Vincent then later questions “what possessed” his parents to allow him to be a faith born “faith in God’s hands” rather than deciding to dupe him genetically the futuristic society has lack of humanity, as they no longer consider the love and intimacy that results in a successful offspring. This society instead considers that ‘scientific intervention’ is far better to put faith into this rather than the natural way. In parallel, Feed also depicts technology taking away our humanity and severing our social priorities. For example, the Feed is a microchip embedded in the head, which controls every daily interaction from the things one says to everyday events. Ultimately the humans in Feed’s greed for making everything more ‘convenient’ that their lives become further and further apart from the definition of human. Titus even expresses this as “a feeling of emptiness that found its way inside my heart”. Fundamentally, the granted use of technology will shift our priorities as suggested by the book and film. That is relying on technology is of higher priority to our connections to one another.

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Technology obscures the relationship of the characters in Feed and Gattaca as their detection and awareness of emotion is non-existent. Titus displays qualities that separate him from “Mr Ordinary Guy” which attracted the attention of an anti-Feed girl named Violet. The reader could infer that Violet had not had much experience with the Feed as she was from a low socio-economic class. As Violet had not had experienced to the disgusting effects of the Feed the reader may say Violet expresses herself far better than any other character, Violet also displays a strong emotional aspect to herself which other characters seem to lack. Her qualities all come down to the fact she had not relied on technology in her days of youth, however, in the end, her rebellion on technology ended up being her downfall ruining her friends and families. Irene in Gattaca because of the use of technology, her ability to build relationships seems to be non-existent. Vincent explains to Irene that the ‘flaws’ of oneself from the results of the DNA tests do not define oneself. However, Irene struggles with this as she was born into a society that establishes a character based on the data given by Technology. ‘They have got you looking so hard for any flaw that after a while, that is all you see.’ Her relationship with people for her comes second hand as Irene is too busy counting her microscopic flaws that are not one hundred per cent true. Technology has snatched away relationships filled with emotion and replaced it with dry connections in both Feed and Gattaca.

The use of technology incapacitates relationships as the characters in Feed and Gattaca no longer know how to communicate with each other effectively. The connection between humans is a critical part of our health; however, with the intervention of technology, the characters seem to have lost the skill of communicating effectively with one another. The lack of knowledge on communication is distinct when Steve (Titus’s father) visits Titus in the hospital. Steve as per Feed terms is an ‘educated businessman’, yet when he talks to his son, he stammers and seems to have nothing but ‘dude’ and a couple of other words in his supposedly ‘well-educated’ vocabulary. ‘…like so stressed out. This is… Dude…dude, this is some way bad shit… Yeah. Yeah. Shit. Yeah’ on page 26. The reader can infer that this all comes down to the use of technology. The Feed can control and give suggestions on what to text in ‘M-chat.’ This reliance and improper use of technology are teaching their society to not talk in person to our friends and families as seen clearly in the quote above.

In Gattaca, the complete reverse is happening, depending on how well one is genetically gifted they will be fitted into a socio-economic class appropriate on their level ‘genetical superiority.’ This assortment of people comes from the use of technology; in fact, this creates a sense of pressure to speak the way that is appropriate to one’s genetics. Those who possess superior genes must speak more formal than one who poses inferior genes even though they may be from the same family. Which creates a ‘new underclass, no longer determined by social status.’ We can see the relationship between Anton and his brother Vincent impacted, even though both men come from the same family and are brothers, the relationship between them does not fit the brief of brothers. The result of Anton’s genetical duping makes him a far more genetically gifted person compared to his brother Vincent. Within the family, Anton must fit and talk formally while his equally passionate brother does not. Anton must always be a step ahead of his older brother because of his genetic duping. The way they converse and the maturity between the two brothers is entirely different even though both had the same level of education and are both from the same family. The use of technology is a double-edged sword; however, it seems to cut the one wielding the sword far more. The impact caused on the relationship between Anton and Vincent parallel to Titus and his Father clearly shows how devasting technology can impact the communication of these two pairs.

The influence of technology, drastically altering our connections with one another by its alluring perception of being better for us. In both film and book predict a future where all our minds and bodies are permanently bleeding as technology slowly eats away the very thoughts and emotions of oneself while one is awake just staring, passing it off just thinking this is modern. Feed and Gattaca are both predictions made in the past that are unnervingly seeming to take place; technology will ultimately corrupt our relationships as our once family oriented social priorities will turn to technology-oriented preferences. The way we read and are aware of the different emotions that radiate of people will soon cease to exist as our reliance on technology will make it more convenient to text rather than talk in person. Technology will also change the way we talk depending on our status that is determined by technology. What the book and movie have taught us was that technology celebrated as the most significant invention, now it may be humanities greatest downfall.

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