“Amina was looking in the class. It was the lunch break and she darted her eyes around for her friends. They were standing around a table and laughing. She went closer and one exclaimed ‘Hey did you watch Stranger Things?’. Amina shook her head to say no. She had heard of the series, but she did not want to watch it. Her friend ‘s excited pony stopped moving, and she stared at her in a different way. Amina asked how their vacations were. Her friends shared a look with each other… nevermind Amina thought, clueless about the stories on Instagram.
So, chatty as she was, she looked around to find some other person in the class. Everyone was chatting about stuff they saw on reels and snaps. Only 5 mins were left. Then the 20 min break would be over. But she still had not found a person to stand with and open her tiffin. Amina, saddened and hungry, departed to her class leaving the uncomfortable air……
It becomes very uncomfortable to not know the content which will carry on the conversation. Maybe you had a different question in mind to begin with and you were entertained with a very different question than you expected. But that is not the problem. Today the conversations are becoming technocratic with more and more advancement in technology. For example, let us consider two friends A and B. let’s presume they are two friends eating from the school canteen almost everyday. After school they start like this:
A: Hey, the pasta today at the canteen was not so good! Did you eat it?
B (ears plugged with air pods): Hmm
A: I bet I was right, wasn’t I? that we should bring cooked lunches from home
A: Don’t you think we both should get plastic surgery? Afterall, we look ugly for fifteen-year-old girls
A: So, you are not listening to me?
Hey! We don’t need to be so advanced to apply little effort or zero down simpler words for tediously longer emotions, do we?
A Brief Look Behind the Years
The technology we use today has become lurking shadows of ourselves.
Oxford dictionary defines technology as — “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.” Technology for practical purpose (for reducing workload) first came in the First Industrial Revolution.
A period of Proto- Industrialization which included labor in the countryside producing large scale by hand, was pursued by the Industrial Revolution. The world saw many inventions, like the bulb, internal combustion systems, telephones, spinning jenny that influenced people ‘s lives in those times in extraordinary ways.
But all the advancements, all the greatness came to a halt. A brutal World war with use of chemicals to no bounds killed millions of people indiscriminately. Big countries shamelessly unhinged the dark corners of development and fought to win.
In came the digital revolution. The era when our lives would gain speed. As CEO of Salesforce pointed eloquently ‘Speed is the new currency of business’. True in a business sense.
Social Media in our lives
Social media is defining our professional lives and influencing the way we speak to other people. Floods of memes in social media are creating an ingrained impact in our mind. Recently, one boy brought a phone just to show everyone at school a meme he created of a teacher. In Indian schools like ours where phones are strictly not allowed, this shows that we have gained a stronger liking for a phone in our pocket than lying away from us.
While we teenagers tend to speak strongly about issues like gender and religion, we are too meek to acknowledge how we are affected by lives that are engendered online.
“Did I forget to watch her story’’ ‘does mum know my password’ ‘if yes, will she at home try to check my phone, while I, at school am without it?’ ‘Did I follow him back? ‘Yesterday there was no message from…”
Oh, stop it! We are humans. Even if we are dependent on phones, we cannot let them take control of our lives.
The other aspect which we observed in our friends is a lack of kindness for teachers, or people not belonging to their circle, lack of seriousness for emotions, and how their words will affect the other person. In Indian schools, the norm is to wish the teacher if she enters your class or if she walks by you in the corridor. We are flushing the line between what we know and what social media shows. The wave of not being able to have a beautiful relationship with our teachers makes us disregard that they exist.
Our feeling thus, every day before going to school is ‘many of us are losing ourselves.’
Can we re manufacture better qualities by happy sad emojis and a new gift, A new IPAD?
Some say the world is going to end in fires. But what about technology? With the level of advancement we have, it will be easy to increase our living years. In fact, the coming era can be undoubtedly called the era of AI. Our world though still faces uncomfortable questions: even with the help of advancement why it has not been able to stop climate change, wars, fights, drug use, hatred, discrimination, unemployment?
Moreover, are we losing our emotional intelligence and our ability to think? Has technology become inevitable that we cannot start again?
We must not cannot let life come to a standstill,and we must realize the importance of ourselves beyond any chains. After all, we are the social beings of this planet.