Darwin gave a law, ‘Survival of the fittest’. I have coined a new law, ‘Survival of the connected’. That is what every tech user is rushing to. To be more and more connected to technology and to get disconnected from the real world. Just stop and think, in this world of technology, whether we are connected to each other or are we alone? When human interaction decreases, technology increases. All of us have become anti-social because we remain connected to machines 24/7, rather than our lives and the surrounding people.
We have lost the power to understand the good and the bad effects of gadgets and tools. Researchers have found that on average, a person takes 12 hours to have a meal of information and media every day. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, videos, music, games, blogs, folders, files, and many more are enough to exhaust the time. These features of technology separate us from the real world. Technology has succeeded in influencing, or rather controlling, every stage of human life. Let us see how.
Children are more creative beings than others. Building sandcastles, bedtime stories, creating imaginary adventurous scenes, running around in the streets, playing with pets were the ways that developed the mind of little ones. Instead, they play video games, chat with their friends online, do their projects from internet and gets indulged in unwanted matters. They are losing the sense of awe and thrill. Moderns children have redefined reality as a silent mode, which means no face-to-face interaction.
Technology started with the goal of keeping ‘in touch’ which transformed to ‘never be out of touch’. The psychologists have associated this need to a condition like attention deficit disorder, which is the cause of Nomophobia-‘the fear of being out of mobile phone contact’. Such technology addicted children are treated in rehabilitation centers around the world. The so-called ‘never be out of touch’ need has reduced the creativity and thoughtfulness of a child’s mind, creating a wide gap between the virtual and the real world.
Yesterday, I got an invitation for alumni meet from the school I passed out. Sweet memories filled me with excitement, which soon faded, seeing it was a Zoom meeting. Meeting all friends virtually, finding your twenty-five-year-old classmates on Facebook, applying for jobs without seeing the HR professional is the way we live today. Instead of joining clubs to make real friends, we spend hours on social media with so many friends but are still lonely. Sitting on a dining table without a mobile has become impossible.
The beeps of texts or notifications and very important calls steal those real moments to be spent with family. Spending time with loved ones is boring, but getting an iPhone is the most exciting. Have you ever thought that carrying earphones while going for a walk loses the sense of peacefulness and solitude? There is no time for admiration of beauty on a trip to the mountains because we are busy clicking photos to be admired in the future. We are turning into robots that have no depth of thoughts and creativity.
Let me remind you, man is a part of an extrovert society who finds happiness in the world where the various shades of pleasure, excitement, anger, and fight fill color in the canvas of life. They travel through our thoughts and feelings and make our real-world which we inhabit. At this stage when life is full of liveliness, the digital world baits us into virtual life, pulling us away from our identity and reality.
Technology has helped a lot in taking care of old parents left behind, while going away for earning. Booking an appointment, consulting a doctor online, ordering medicines has reduced the burden of the one working and living away from his parents. But hasn’t it taken away the real being with your parents in the time of need? Grandchildren are always busy with one or the other gadgets, leaving grandparents with no ways to spend their time which they used to, by passing the values and experiences of their lives.
Meeting friends while going for a walk, spending time with relatives has become virtual because technology has brought us closer through internet. This non-real world for the senior citizen invites diseases, loneliness, depression, and lack of care and warmth which they feel while going for a regular check-up with their children. Our parents and grandparents did not have access to the world as we do. As technology advances, we will connect more to the virtual world, but the real-world connection should not fade.
The technological maze has made it possible to connect to every nook and corner of our life. But I think we are too connected to see how disconnected we are from the real world. Technology plays an important and contradictory role in the world, bringing together and separating at the same time. The perception of being connected is the illusion of technology that takes our maximum time, thereby separating and isolating us from the real world. Technology blurs our focus, hence we tilt outwards, that is, depending on external means to fulfill our dreams and goals. However, they turn into reality only when we cultivate them with mental focus and rediscover ourselves. This is only possible if we separate ourselves from the technological crowd and breathe in the real world.