Entertainment, medicine, communication, transportation, space, information –You name the field and everywhere technology has been ever-changing and growing –Is this a boon or a bane?
Trunk calls to mobiles
I remember the good old days when we did not even have a landline phone at home. I still recall with some amusement how when we got an urgent call from a relative, our neighbour in the opposite block used to shout from her kitchen (our kitchen window’s were facing each other on the third floor) and we used to climb down three storeys and again climb up three again to reach their phone. Then we would speak in telegraphic monologues and not an extra word…trunk/overseas calls were very expensive.
However, funny that, now we can call someone in the next room (mobile—mobile) to pick up a glass of water when coming in. Communication has shrunk the world that now living in the US does not mean airmail every other week. I don’t really believe how I could go on living in a foreign country, miles away from home, unless I can hear the voices of my loved ones every time I want to.
Internet – the open diary?
From marriage to a divorce, from gossiping to falling in love, from birth until death the Internet is there to serve you. Ironically sometimes you are the slave.
Without doubt it has simply made life easy- communication, bringing out talents, developing knowledge, creating friends, entertainment and so much more.
But what do you have to say about the couple in China who were so engrossed in raising their web child that they starved their real one to death.
The question is do any of us remember how much we are letting out when talking about ourselves. Is the net (with facebook and micro blogging sites) opening our personal diary to the world? Not a problem until it falls into the wrong hands and eyes. But on the brighter side, if not for twitter how else will you know what Shah Rukh Khan had for lunch!?
Technology & Entertainment;
Every one of us like at least a little bit of entertainment. From the days of a one and only ‘DD’ (DoorDarshan) now we get the darshan of 100+ channels from all over the globe. From the days of an ‘AIR-All India Radio’ you can now connect to ‘worldspace’ through a satellite and hear over 100+ frequencies or connect your sound system through a ‘soundbridge’ to the internet and listen 1000+ global stations. You can even connect your mobile to a TV telecast through internet Wi-Fi (wireless net connections), or through a ‘sling box’ connect your lap-top/hand-held computer to a TV s cable set-top box.
Hmm…is that a bit over-whelming?
Technology and competition
I read from a speech of Dr. (Professor) Y. L. R. Moorthi (Indian Institute of Management) about this other dimension of technology. That is, the new era in healthy competition that this advanced technology is bringing about. For instance today more and more cameras are sold, not by Sony /Canon but by Nokia! And when did apple really move from IT production into music…isn’t the ipod selling more than any Philips/sony exclusive music systems. In an era where technology decides new/unimaginable competitors the companies have to gear up to meet consumers needs. This dimension is a cutting edge for the consumers because now in place of a digital camera, a telephone, a Walkman, a GPS (Global Positioning System), a net-top, I just need to spend money on only one iPAQ/smart phone. But what if I just want to keep it simple … just make simple calls only from a simple mobile, oh then I am not relevant … I will be left out…at office, at home and most important before the Y-generation.
Technology and my country;
The new India emerged in my eyes when I left college. I was a financial post-grad and not long ago getting a job would mean a long wait, registering with vain in employment agencies, struggling with TNPSC exams or pursuing Professional accounting like Chartered Accounting or Cost Accounting. But suddenly jobs were given away to even the average commerce graduate.
Technology with the internet, phone lines had shrunk the world .And we were no longer waiting for a nationalised bank/private company to employ us. We were hired with zeal and five figured salaries to work for companies, banks in US/UK handling every process from order processing, sales, accounting, and trouble shooting. We were leaders in IT and everyday, thanks to technology, new ways of employing this quality, low cost labour is being explored into. And there is nothing to feel bad about outsourcing; it is a win-win situation. Now everybody who can study hard, work smart can earn. My purchasing power has made my milk man and maid servant have mobile phones and better clothes.
However irony is that an 2008 UN report states that Indians have more access to a mobile then a toilet…out of the 1.2 billion populations almost 560 million had mobile subscription but only 360 million had proper sanitation access. How we are going to bridge this gap that technology has thrust upon us is another question!
Technology & Responsibility
The very famous and often quoted line from the Spiderman movie goes like this “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Technology today has empowered us with so many gadgets and conveniences. Remotes for the lazy couch potatoes, play stations, hand held games, edutainment CD s and cartoons aiding child rearing sometimes replacing baby sitters, internet and digital readings that reduce the role of libraries, online friends are abundant enough that reduces the need to have any real ones and I could go on and on. While these gadgets have certainly made life easy it still remains our responsibility to take care of the body and mind of our own selves and our kids.
We have to take responsibility to get them out and play, take responsibility to exercise and keep ourselves fit, know the people around our home, be responsible and not to give in too much to the temptations of technology. These days, ultra sleek LED s and net-tops, the nature of work have reduced healthy walking leading to numerous health issues like DVT s (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and eye sight problems.
Another awareness that is the need of the day is the right disposal of the e-waste. LCD /Plasma screens, TV and system monitors with cathode ray tubes, mobile batteries are being dumped illegally, these accumulate lead in the atmosphere that is dangerous for humans (particularly workers paid for these purposes), plants and other micro organisms.
While no one can do away with the utility of modern technology it is also important we have enough awareness about our health and the environment.
Technology – the future;
Technology has to provide us many things more, especially in the field of energy, medicine and space. Nano technology can be stretched to kill cancer cells, energy –renewable, affordable is the call of the day, and we need more space in mars and moon. One day there should be robots to do all the mundane house work, advanced telecommuting techniques that make it unnecessary to go to work place, machines that make travel between continents in seconds. The sky is the limit and am sure one day all this is possible .When mainframes were introduced, my dad got an opportunity to install one at his office. People used to visit his office just to have a look and when I saw the first so called computer it was so huge that there was literally a man behind the machine. And from there to small i-pads and net-tops with numerous applications, large memory has been possible and so technology will evolve.
However the next gen and the one after should still have time and will to enjoy a sunrise, take time to come out and play, relish in the refreshing smell of the rain, merge in the divine peace in resting on mommy’s lap, no matter what age.
Dynamic technological changes are undoubtedly a boon as it makes life easier, provides more choice /opportunities but only until such technology ,just like wealth/money, serve as a mere aid to our physical being ,and not an invader of our soul!