How Technology Is Changing The Way We See The World
Technology is not just changing the way we see the world, it is changing our very lives right from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed: our actions, thoughts, movement, communication, food, drink, entertainment, every single thing (unless we are living in a remote cave away from civilization, in which case we would not be reading or writing this article on a laptop and uploading it on the World Wide Web). The change in our actions and thinking is changing our viewpoints also; in my opinion, some are good, others are not, and many need to be used with discretion.
We no longer have the great fear of famine like our parents and grandparents, thanks to the Green and While Revolutions, better storage and transportation techniques, and the ubiquitous supermarket at every major shopping centre. As a result, lesser people are dying of starvation.
But in the process, many traditional crops and seeds have vanished, the pesticide content has increased, the small corner kirana shops have folded up leaving them with no source of livelihood, and unscrupulous persons have found methods to artificially increase the flesh content of animals and birds by different drugs. Cattle are given ibuprofen regularly, and their carcasses eaten by vultures. The drug accumulates in vultures, and they are nearing extinction. Fast foods and readymade snacks have led to obesity right from childhood, and we are eating less and less of traditional and healthy foods. Most of the milk we buy in sachets is mixed and reconstituted, so it is no longer cow or buffalo milk (unless specifically so marked). We use various types and brands of refined vegetable oils for cooking which are made by the technology of solvent extraction and refining, because we are hardly aware that the process of refining strips the food of its essential nutrients.
Our parents tell us of the times when there was a shortage of grains in India (due to drought and the Indo-China war). We were able to import wheat from other countries, but the rice was meagre the world over, and we were forced to get ration cards, stand in long lines and buy unfamiliar wheat, and long for rice. Of course, this led to innovation; Mawali Tiffin Room in Bangalore invented the rava idli.
Most of us travel long distances every day from home to office or for education. A wide range of options like public transport by bus, train, local train and metro, auto, taxi. Personal transport is motorized two-wheelers and four-wheelers. These options have enabled the horizontal growth of towns and cities, and we are able to save time by using these transportation methods.
But this has led to a quantum increase in air pollution levels and traffic jams. It has also led to decreased walking and cycling which are pollution free and help us in getting some much-needed exercise regularly. Traditional non-polluting means of transport, which include rickshaws, handcarts and animal driven carts, have led to their near-extinction.
We now take for granted the facilities provided by the Internet and mobile phones, and can hardly imagine a world without them. This has also led to the mushrooming growth of social media, entertainment, mobile phone games, and so on. We can now get a mobile phone on demand, compared to waiting for years and years for a landline connection which was the situation about 25 years ago. Mobile phones make it possible to communicate at any time to any place, and at a ridiculously cheap price. The Internet has made it possible to send messages, files, pictures, videos, and all types of documents instantly, by which traditional communication systems are withering and dying. Mechanical typewriters are no longer being manufactured, and film manufacturing units have folded, along with the manufacturer of Polaroid cameras and related equipment.
While we thoughtlessly use mobile phones at every place and for every opportunity, do we think about the need for the right usage and the risks involved? Just try to analyze that mobile phones work on high-frequency waves, which is the reason why mobiles get heated on long usage. These waves and high frequency can be harmful for your head and heart; research has been conducted, and results are still not confirmed. Many become mindless monsters while using their mobiles in public, while driving, or even crossing the road, risking their and others’ lives; they shout inane rubbish in public, inconveniencing others; they ignore family members while chasing virtual friends they have never met.
There is no end to this discussion about how technology has changed our lives, thinking and opinions. We need to use our discretion while using newer and newer technologies. If we are in the business of creating technology also, let us not forget our ethics. Companies like Jetking are a great example of harnessing technology for teaching tech-related courses of practical importance which guarantee jobs and life-long careers.