The Technology Trap

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Remember the days when watching a movie meant making your way to the nearest cinema? And, making a phone call involved the use of a landline telephone or perhaps one of those hard-to-find, streetside payphones? Technology has skyrocketed since then. It is indeed one of the most amazing things to have happened to mankind. It permits us to do things that were once only seen in science fiction movies. Today, new smart phones, software and search engines are released by the day, while the Internet boosts the accessibility of information and ideas. It really is hard to imagine a life without basic gadgetry and an instant connect to the virtual world. However, our dependence on technology has a dark side that has gradually turned us into lazy, dull, dim-witted and sometimes superficial social beings. Truth is, technology is a two-sided coin that offers us seemingly beneficial qualities that can often tilt toward the negative. It has taken away certain skills that were once second nature.

Cranial Incapcity
From the days of the abacus right through those of the calculator, we have been using devices to do the math for us. Today, the somewhat ubiquitous calculator has been replaced by mobile phone applications, which means that even if one doesn’t have a calculator at hand, one tends to immediately rely on phone software, rendering any chance of using one’s calculative capacity to zero. Talk about the slaughter of grey cells!

Social Media Menace
You don’t have to pretend that you never use social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter during your work hours because the simple truth is that even the most industrious of employees indulges in this frivolous activity at some point during the course of the workday! But did you know that taking your social skills to the virtual world and then going overboard could be a sheer waste of time? Chatting, tagging photos and sending virtual gifts is an absolute distraction that cuts through your work hours, reducing any form of productivity and creativity that could have been a reality. Let this behaviour engulf your recreational time at home as well, and you are bound to become as anti-social as can be.

Murky Memory
We seem to be running out of memory! And no, we aren’t talking about the type that relates to computers or USB drives. A scientific study has proved that we find it increasingly difficult to recall facts and personal information such as people’s birthdays, email addresses, telephone numbers and car numbers. This was especially true for those people who grew up using mobile phones and computers. In this sense, past generations have a one-up against us. So much for the naive belief that gadgets can make our lives easier. They do but only at the cost of putting one through frequent bouts of short term memory loss.

Instant Knowledge
All one has to do is to key in the letters G-O-O-G-L-E to get instant access to a rich sea of resources. It’s true, you can get access to tera bytes of information with just the click of a button. Gone are the days of using encyclopaedias in rustic libraries or pondering over the mechanisms behind puzzling phenomena. Today one has to simply ‘Google’ it! It is argued that search engines have changed the way we think and digest information. Moreover, they force us to sift through information, identifying truth from myth. Finally, we have begun to memorise less information internally simply because we ‘know’ that we can rely on the pool of collective memory: the Internet!

Lost Focus
How many times have you found yourself texting while you hang out with friends and family? It’s easy to lose yourself in a parallel world, connected to all sorts of devices and virtual realities. It is said that multi-tasking is a great quality, but losing focus is not. Besides, you don’t want to be deemed an anti-social person , do you?
Our dependence on technology has culminated in the outsourcing of brain functions to the silicon world around us. Perhaps this has made you tempted to shun all forms of modern technology and revert back to the simpler ways of erstwhile times? Don’t be! All you have to do is know when and how to walk the old-fashioned path and force yourself to unplug from time to time!

Volume 1 Issue 11

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