Monday, 13 February 2017

Is technology taking over our lives?

Get in touch with Reality
- Megha P.S, I M.A. English 

Each one of us, in this world has a ritual, say, the first thing that some people do in the morning is relax and read the newspaper or solve a Sudoku or crossword puzzle with a steaming cup of coffee and so on. One among these habitual routines of ours happens to include a piece of machine, commonly known to humans as mobile phone. Sadly, there are many who belong to that chunk of humankind that wakes up every morning and tries hard to ignore that shiny piece of metal that calls out to them as the light blinking on the screen makes them feel guilty and look like a terrible person if they do not reply back to the texts and messages from the previous night’s conversations. The questions raised over here are - Is technology taking over our lives? Does our life revolve around social media and how much are we rooted to Reality?

From personal experience and observing my surroundings, I’ve noticed and was startled to find that everyone these days owns a mobile phone. It has become a parameter to define our social standing- be it a small, school going child or a senior citizen, rich and poor, mobile phones which were a symbol of luxury almost just two decades ago, has now become part of the ordinary. A tiny piece of machine which served the basic purpose of communicating while travelling, has now started dictating our lives.

Not only this, but with the advent of technology, particularly mobile phones, which aimed at simplifying our so-called complicated lives, it has further added to our misery and has emphasized on artificiality with the introduction of social media, where we lead fake lives just to impress the society. It is safe to say, at this point, that technology and social media play a major role in shaping our personality, views and ideology. In fact, people who do not use or are not active on social websites are looked at with surprise. Quoting William Wordsworth, who said “The world is too much with us”; tweaking this quote to suit the 21st century would be “technology is too much with us.” This holds true at the modern context where we breathe, drink and live on technology.

As technology has been devouring up human kind and led to social media addiction, it has managed to pull us away from reality. We all get anxious and restless when we do not get messages or replies in an instant. Our agitated hands, an impatient mind and sleep deprived eyes, recklessly glance through random shopping websites or pointless videos on YouTube. However, though there are social media addicts on one hand, there has been a trend among the young generation, known as ‘social media detox’, where, individuals voluntarily and with conscious efforts delete or stop using their social media accounts. This not only reduces anxiety levels but also keeps us in touch with reality.

One must also introspect and ask themselves various questions, like- when was the last time I took a walk in the park without my headphones? When was the last time I travelled in a train and enjoyed the breeze that blew onto my face or when was the last time I had a ‘real’ conversation with my friends and family? When was the last time I met my friend for a face-to- face conversation about life? Does this make you think? It does? Good! Learn to appreciate the small blessings and the beauty that surrounds you. Go offline, delete that social media account. Switch off that ‘piece of machine’. Go for a walk. Look at those colorful butterflies as they flutter around in the garden, the birds that chirp away all day. Laugh a little. Stop ‘existing’, start LIVING! 

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