By Editorial Staff
“Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?” is the rhetorical question that St Louis rapper and spoken word artist Prince Ea poses to us in his music video (above). Largely a lyrical commentary on social media usage, the video recently exploded throughout the online platforms it asks its audiences to reconsider.
Prince Ea offers a refreshing, yet candid outlook upon the way in which society has become increasingly obsessed with technology. He addresses the ways that digital dependencies often hinder our abilities to interact with others on the most basic of platforms.
During his appearance on Third Eye Weekly with Matthew DeMello, Prince Ea discussed his views on technology and assessed whether humanity can overcome the worrying issues highlighted in his video.
For a preview of this interview, BTR took some segments to share.
BreakThru Radio (BTR): To begin, [“Can We Auto-Correct Humanity”] is a video largely critical of technological life. But it makes me beg the question: What role would you say that technology plays in your life?
Prince Ea (PE): Technology… is a part of every single aspect of my life. It has helped my career in a way that I am just so thankful for. The internet has completely changed my life. There is no reason to speculate [on how we would be] if the internet wasn’t here…
I’m grateful the internet has given me the ability to, as they say, “let a mouse raw.”
BTR: Well let me cut to the chase here… What do you make of the irony that something like this video that is so critical of technology explodes on social media?
PE: I don’t even see an irony, because my message in the video wasn’t to do away with social media, or to destroy your cell phone, and to step away from that life and go into nature meditate under an oak tree.
My message was for us to have mindfulness when we utilize the technology that we have. [I encourage people] to be in the present moment with somebody–to look into somebody’s eyes.
I guarantee you that it’s a saying that “today we prefer electronic representations of the world over the world itself”… [and arguments that] the world is very beautiful and the resolution is a lot clearer. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw away your cell phones.
Use the cell, use these devices, but just have a mindful relationship with technology. That’s all I’m saying. Control the technology–don’t let technology control you.
BTR: Would you say there’s anything else you hope that people get out of this video and others you’ve made? I find a lot of them are kind of on the same themes of waking up and seeing the real world even if people are off their cell phones… ?
PE: Just like I said, mindfulness.
Sometimes we go about our daily lives and we don’t realize what we’re doing… [like] zombies, almost. It’s like an episode of The Walking Dead with our cell phones. We’re so focused on our image on social media. We’re so focused on texting somebody and we really don’t connect in a way that we could in a way that is beautiful.
Connection digitally is very beautiful but also [is] a connection on a human level. I just want to open people’s eyes to what’s there, what’s always been there. And you never know, they might actually appreciate it more.
BTR: Actually, in working for a website myself–also being a musician on the side–here at BTR I’m with you in that… I couldn’t imagine a life without technology or being connected…
Everybody at BTR will tell you I don’t have a smartphone; I have a “drug dealer phone” … but my point being [there’s a reason for keeping] technology at bay.
What would you recommend to other musicians out there as far as finding a happy medium between the technological world… [with] mindfulness to the real world?
PE: Specifically to artists?
BTR: Yes specifically to artists, because I think you have to be connected if you want any kind of success, especially in music.
PE: I mean, if you look at the data, so many artists are literally examples of how technology can just make you a megastar. Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy just to name a few…
I’d say utilize it but don’t be consumed by it…
BTR: You also feature instructional videos online on subjects as to how to let go of pain, fear, [or] anger in 60 seconds… but do you think that technology can help or hurt in these efforts to find inner peace? Or do you find that like technology is mostly neutral?
PE: [Technology is] definitely neutral.
It’s up to the person to utilize it in a way that is as fit for them. For me… my spiritually came from looking at teachers online, reading about Buddhism and Hinduism and all of these religions… through online texts and audio books.
The search for inner peace can definitely be done online on the World Wide Web–but don’t get caught in it.
BTR: What, if anything, gives you faith in the future, and do you think we can overcome the challenges ahead of us that you address in your videos?
PE: The hope comes from inside of me, and I think that if everybody decided to look inside of themselves, this world could change instantly….
When you look inside of yourself you realize that the only things worth the only existence worth living in is the one of kindness and compassion and patience and love and understanding.
That’s it. You no longer have to try to be good. You only know good [so] that’s the only feature that resonates out of you.
For more from Prince Ea, tune in to this week’s episode of Third Eye Weekly.
This content has been edited.