Today I was reading about a U.S. company that is asking each of its employees to have an RFID (radio frequency ID) microchip implanted in their hand. (At this point it’s voluntary, but how long until it’s mandatory?) The chip is supposed to make life easier – it’ll log you onto your work computer, spare you from having to physically put coins in the employee vending machine, and allow you to go through certain doors without having to scan a key-card or punch in a code.
I looked out the front window, and observed my husband hand-watering part of the front lawn. He looked relaxed, and appeared deep in thought. He says this way he doesn’t waste water, and the lawn gets an even watering. I started thinking about things our family still does “by hand”. Like hanging the laundry out on the line (clothes smell like sunshine and I enjoy the meditative time). Like washing up the dishes by hand at least twice a day (it’s faster than the dishwasher, and gets them cleaner). Like dipping a thick sponge into warm soapy water to hand-wash the car.
I was not surprised to see this story. Everything from pets to library books to factory inventory to nearly every item on store-shelves has RFID chips in them. Now that the manufacturers of these devices have us accustomed to them, they are progressing to the next step – putting them into humans. The purpose of RFID chips is to monitor, and to control. They say there is no GPS tracking involved, but might that come in later editions of the chips? And how would the employees know if extra chip features had been added? How truthful are the manufacturers?
I’m not suggesting that we go back to a more primitive time when everything was back-breaking work, but at some point we have to stop leaning on technology to do every little thing for us. Surely we are still capable of punching in a code or swiping a key-card at a work door. Surely we are smart enough to type in passwords at our work stations. And if we’re not smart enough to hand-feed coins into a vending machine to get a candy bar, maybe we don’t deserve that candy bar.