It is quite an irony, that it is the Technology that is allowing me to share the thought that came to my mind several days about Technology. Is it a boon or a curse to human life ? Interestingly, i am unable to decide at one because my occupation is from the Technology Industry.
I shall work on the simplest example that i know, technology in children’s life. I remember my childhood spent at various places in India when it was still beginning to make advances into the Technological path that is never ending.
It brings me the most joyful memories of flying a kite, climbing trees, involving technology in its simplest form of a whirling Top which was twisted to go round and round by the simple power of a thread, or a simple plastic pencil box that was converted into a moving car with just bare wheels and wind power from the blown up balloon pushing it to the front. My entire youth went around in the amazing power of technology when i used to wonder how a hand pump iron when levered could bring out water, how a heavy bike could move with just a small handle called Throttle or Accelerator. It is probably this surprise that buried in me the seeds of Technology.
I used to always think until offlate that Technology was created purely for the need of convenience. But surprisingly today my thoughts are taking a different shape and poses a different query in my mind. Is it convenience that gave birth to Technology ? If so, do we not see in today’s fast paced world where Technology creates more convenience than necessary. Revisiting to the same simplest example of life of kids these days, i am shocked to see that kids spend too much of a time in non-physical activity that is conveniently laid down by the advancement made in Technology.
Today a 3 year old needs a modern toy parrot to play around that uses sound signals to speak like a real parrot. A 6 year old connects to a computer and plays game like Prince of Persia & Road Rash instead of learning to ride a tricycle or bicycle. A 14 year old needs a mobile phone to be connected to the friends. A 17 year old needs a latest automobile that has a 6-CD changer audio from Sony to HANG OUT with his pals.
It looks surprising to me because i still remember my younger brother still an active boy not even a decade ago with a lot of physical activity like Running, Shot puts, Cricket and so on. There were no hi fi systems, no remote controlled cars but there was so much of fun. Kids did not complain of inconvenience of using a Jigsaw puzzle rather than the same in the computer now.
When we look at the adults side too, there was my father who did not need an automated excel sheet for doing his balance sheet of expenses, incomes each year. He never complained standing in long queues for withdrawing cash from the Withdrawal counter at the nearest bank. He had never used a plastic money. He did not know what an online ticket booking system was.
My mother still doesnt need anything except a knife and a board for chopping vegetables. She does not agree how a dishwasher can do a better job than she herself washing the plates. She wouldnt possibly imagine how many people outside my house would read these things about her. My father still feels comfortable using the usual landphone than the mobile.
So has Technology really been aimed at giving us more convenience ? Or is it giving us the opposite is a question that is always fresh in my mind.