Mukesh Ambani says we have to merely pay 99 INR to remain connected through the so far free Reliance Jio wonder. Yet, is this the only cost of technology that we have to incur? Technology – a word that has cart wheeled right into our lives with a sprightly step and a bounce that has pole vaulted it straight into our everyday. Sophisticated gadgets and processes have met smooth finishes to create almost decor worthy pieces that we flaunt lovingly as if they are children we have acquired with the labour of hard earned money. While Reliance Jio has zoomed ahead and disrupted many a mobile communication market as its predecessor Reliance Infocomm had done in the early 2000s, we can now boast of making voice calls much like we would open our mouths and call our children watching TV in the next room. “Come have dinner!” You would say. And your child would reply with a swish of the finger, “Sure Mom, as soon as I am done manning my playstation world from my room!” And as if that was not enough, the mother would then look at the time on her phone rather than the branded watch on her wrist before she hollers again!
Apart from phones, we have now started to entertain technology in many other parts of our home – school, office, fashion, grocery, medicine, shopping et al. Fashion, for example, has also been paraphrased in the coarse coding of technology thanks to the new Google and H&M powered app called Coded Couture – an app that let’s you pretty much decide what you want to wear. Gone are the good old days when you would stand in front of your closet, luxuriously towel clad and getting late for a deadline that was yesterday, trying to decide what to wear and discarding many objects before coming back to the first piece of clothing you had pulled out. Now, everything is just a tap and a breath away – with some peace of mind, apparently.
So here is my take on the cost of technology in our lives:
– Physical Health: When we are zooming on hoverboards and chopping things at the push of button, are we fully exercising those muscles and nerves the way God intended us to? Vision strain and neck pain are also some of the problems that many of us face with a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome at the top of the list. This condition makes for blurry eyed individuals who spend prolonged hours in front of a screen and cannot seem to blink frequently enough for their eyes to produce to the required number of tears, thus leading to dryness and vision problems. Wha…
– Mental Health: This one is a no brainer – literally. If many reports on distraction and blue light emanations and our nerves all put together are to be believed, then we will be left without a fully functioning brain in the midst of all this technology, before long. Loss of cognition is one of the primary insults that this rise of technology hurls at us, and the gift of narcissism is not too far thanks to the selfies and selfies sticks (as if pouting like a duck at all times was not enough, we now also have to show off at least our upper bodies). How else will we prove that we are using all those gadgets in the gym and our Fit Bits at all times?
– Social Health: How many of us actually have close friends with whom we spend time, expend the toxic output of our tiring days, and replenish ourselves to meet a new one? Now, we have Facebook friends, many of whom we have not even met, and we stare at our hands if we are shoved into a social scenario where our phones need to be on silent mode (because switch off, we will not!)
– Will the Real Technology Please Stand Up? In all of this, we are soon forgetting the technology of actually moving our feet, getting social, buying grocery by sniffing at the vegetables and bargaining with the vendor until each of our nerves have been stretched to its utmost and healthiest tensile strength, get some fresh air and so much more. We now have technology to take care of technology – gadgets that keep pollution out (pollution caused by our industries and cars that churn out the gadgets and appliances we need). We also have healthcare systems that can diagnose and treat the most complex issues that people from the past generation would not have even heard of – thanks to all the technology that reports, triggers and sensationalises the same.