So, where are you reading this from?
A newspaper column?
Welcome to the modern “smart” era where everything else is smarter, barring us, the presumed-most-intelligent species. We have embraced new technology with both our hands to make life simple and easier. Technology has made this world a connected community, a smaller society. But what’s the catch?
Before that, we’ll talk about all the routine techs we use in our daily life. First, lets start with the obsession we have on a piece of glass.
Screens, they are all over the place. From small watches to large bill boards, we see them everywhere and there are “apps” for everything. Phones have never been smarter and people have never been blunter.
Remember the time when you had all the phone numbers of your contacts in your memory. Now just look at the contacts in your phone and try reciting all their numbers. Except for a few numbers, you possibly can’t.
We use calculators for a simple basic math. We used to do some complex calculations in our mind before. But now we don’t. Why? Because we don’t trust ourselves enough. We are not confident of our answers and decisions.
Just try this. Let’s call this the #noscreenchallenge.
Do whatever you want. Be wherever you can. But the challenge is to not look at a screen, be it a smart phone, a television, a laptop or a smart watch etc.
If you fail, well don’t worry. You just lived a typical day of your life.
But if you are successful with this, then congrats. You have lived one whole day of your life, the proper human way. But again, you’ll post this, at the end on some social media and fail.
In recent times, we have been exposed to so much internet that we cannot imagine how hard life would be without an internet connection. No wonder we call it “The Web”, we have webbed ourselves into this. We can be advancing in science and its innovations. But as human beings, are we creating a better human society?
Imagine you are going on a date and something awkward happens.
What do you do? Take your phone out and pretend to ignore the awkwardness, right?
You don’t find a topic to start the conversation. There’s a sudden silence. What do you do?
Take out your phone and randomly refresh your Instagram.
These small things matter. We fear to face the circumstances that we are not comfortable with. We use our phones as an excuse from reality. We are progressively becoming antisocial and we really are making a good progress at that.
Social media like Instagram, Facebook and snapchat has offered us free messaging and social platform services. But along with this, came depression and despair, which we never asked for. People post updates on their lives, the updates that make them look good and happy. Because, come on, you would never post a picture of yourself crying or depressed, would you?
Sometimes we have a low day, a tough time or a bad luck. Then we look at Instagram. Ha! There somebody posts how happy they are, how successful they have been and how much they love this life, leading us to more frustration and making us feel much worse.
Narcissism has become much more prevalent now, after the introduction of social media. We use hashtags blindly not knowing why, we use quotes which are completely irrelevant to our posts, we follow strangers for likes and what not?
Of course, there also have been some good influences. But the bad seems to outweigh the good.
If you think that’s the only way our world is messed up, then wait. The horrifying things are yet to come. Google knows your search history. Gmaps tracks your location. Amazon knows what you like and what you don’t. YouTube knows your political, religious orientation and your entertainment interests. Facebook knows the people you are interested in. Zomato and Swiggy knows what and when you like to eat. In tech world, these are all termed as “Data” and your individual data is sold across all over the world without your awareness. The Data handling firms process this information and build up a profile for you in their database. They monitor you every single day and understand you better, through time. You have given them access to your life everyday subconsciously. They use this as a marketing tool, to sell you their products. If they wanted to, they can change your religious beliefs and your political orientations in a week or two, using all these tools. Everything has been commercialized now. We are all subjects for these companies to push their products. In fact, we are only allowed to have their opinion, not ours. We are gradually becoming the programmed robots that are we making movies of.
Humanity and individuality are the two qualities that make us human and we are being denied of these. Yes, we have locked ourselves into this, we are the prisoners of technology.
But now, It’s time for us to breakout.