When I was a kid many a times my father used to relate many Interesting stories about his childhood. Which typically started as ‘you know in our times….’ . And we used to react like a typical teenager and say ‘oh no.. not again’ . Well I hope your reaction is not similar, as my story also starts with ‘ you know when I was a child…’
I feel positively ancient while saying this but yes I was born during the time when mobile phones did not exist. Watching TV meant half an hour of Chitrahaar on Doordarshan.. Yes, the cable TV did not exist. It came into our lives quite late as my parents thought I wouldn’t study for my board exams if we had cable TV in the house.
But still I can assure you I had a very happy childhood. Things used to happen without technology also. Even though it sounds unthinkable now but plans were made to meet up with a friend at some place and we could locate each other without making multiple calls to each other. We had long chats with our friends without WhatsApp or Facebook. We used to remember by heart the small five or six digit phone number of our all our friends. Playing with friends actually meant getting together, running, catching, jumping etc nothing was virtual.
It’s so different now. Technology has changed quite a few things in our life. And mostly for the better. Our life has become easier and more convenient.
But there are small small things in our life which disturb me at times. Like I was horrified when I first heard my elder son declare to his younger brother that he will kill him. I ran to the room and realised that they were talking about their onscreen game avatars. I explained to them that they shouldn’t talk like this but still among their friends I can commonly hear phrases like ‘i will kill you’ or ‘so and so is gonna die’. Makes me very uneasy. This life like graphic in video games has made the children so desensitized towards violence and bloodshed etc that it feels very normal to them.
While on the topic of teenagers, there is this game called as blue whale which is in news these days. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare come true. I still don’t understand how an unknown person sitting so far away can persuade a child to do bodily harm to oneself and even go to the extent of suicide. And here I a mother, the nurturer, the care giver, can’t even persuade my child to eat the green veggies. Jokes apart it’s a sad situation. The technology that was meant to connect us is alienating us from our loved ones. Everyone is busy with their head bent over a phone or a tab oblivious to the people around them.
We have all heard of people dying while trying to take a perfect selfie. I don’t even understand this fad well enough to comment on it.
The convenience provided by technology is fast turning us into couch potatoes. Daily chores have become easier, lifestyle sedentary and then we have to spend thousands of rupees in the gym to get our body and health back in shape.
Recently I read an article about Facebook and Google shutting down their artificial Intelligence programs as the computers had become too smart for the humans. They had developed their own language to communicate with each other, which the humans could not understand as it was more efficient as compared to our languages. Scary isn’t it. What if the machines decide that they are way smarter than humans and they don’t require humans at all. Doesn’t it remind you of the skynet of Terminator series.
So as I was saying ‘you know in our times …’ What was considered as science fiction is fast becoming reality. I just hope it does not turn out like the man vs machine movies of Hollywood..