By Irma Masood
No matter how clichéd the topic might seem, and regardless of the number of debates that have taken place on the very same issue, the question remains yet very important “Is technology the devil in disguise”?
Over the years, technology has experience multifold advancements and has blessed us in numerous ways, but looking at the bigger picture, has it been harming us alongside, without us realizing?
No doubt Technology has made things a lot easier than before. Whether we consider its role in our daily lives such as cooking in microwaves or on a bigger scale events such as reaching the other continent in less than a day, these technological advancements have surely made lives much easier. One can stay in touch with another every second, have access to every single piece of information via Internet; GPS can help us reach a particular destination in no time. But has life lost the charm it used to have? The charm of letters, telegrams, money, friends, meeting relatives, neighborhood, successful relationships, education and above all Time.
Can an email replace a letter? Can an e-book replace a paperback book? Can playing video games ever replace playing with legos and fictional characters, or simply playing hide and seek at dusk?
I still remember my mother telling me how she used to spend an entire month with only Rs. 6 as her pocket money, which used to make her feel as though she were the richest among all her friends. Getting a patty, a plate of chaat and a golaganda every day in chaar aanay had its own charm. And during Eid, how eagerly she waited for her uncle who gave her 1 rupee as eidi. Ice creams and soft drinks were meant for special occasion only. She used used to write ‘Khat’ to her grandparents and their reply was the definition of true happiness to her. Back then, children used to respect their elders and teachers unlike our generation. Brands and prestigious institutions did not bring in differences amongst cousins and become a status symbol, while everything had equal prominence.
I guess, people in those days used to feel secure, very secure. There were no restrictions. Education was valued and friends and neighbors were highly regarded. People were not better than the other on the basis of the car they drove or which side o the bridge they lived on, but rather were regarded as better based on their characteristics, personality and the manner in which they interacted with others.
Television was an absolute wonder in itself, and children didn’t spend their entire day placed in front of the box. They actively took part in the happenings of the family and played games like ’pithu’, ‘kanchay’ and many more, of which our generation has been deprived.
Unlike our lives today where every individual is trying to suppress the other, where money is the only happiness, people a few decades ago, lived the true life. Where does a world full of lazy teenagers lying in their bed using social media, a world of videos games and little healthy sports activities take us in the end? A world where a girl getting married in a weeks’ time takes pride in the fact that she has no idea how to cook. Skype conversations have replaced families actually taking the trouble of having reunions, and text messages have replaced a son taking the trouble of picking up a phone and inquiring as to how his mother is doing.
In this day any age, social class and status have become of such great importance to us, that just because someone is a servant in our house, we believe we have the right to talk to them rudely, regardless of the fact that they are elder than us. Just because of the fact that they were born in a poor household, we think we have the authority of making them subservient to us, and treating them more like slaves, and less like human beings.
At the end of it all, money leads to advancements in technology, which in turn leads to the above mentioned affects.
As Alvin Toffler says “Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate. A statement this clear needs no further explanation.