Slave of our own device


Dear Ramon,

I saw a very weird man at Starbuck’s who was not using his laptop or cell phone or any other electronic device but just sat there and enjoyed his coffee.

My morning starts by peering at my cell phone right after I open my eyes hearing the electronic twitter of alarm. My laptop is never on sleep mode, sometimes even after I turn on my sleep mode. Thank God, my flat screen has auto sleep mode on. I need my ear plugs to music system on while going to the office which becomes a cherry on the sundae if I get a Wi-fi enabled bus. Being an IT person, my world revolves around all the latest gadgets all the time. Machines and technology are an important part of our lives. Right from laptops and mobiles used at our work places to the PSPs and flat screens used for entertainment, our happiness, comfort and necessities are all reliant on machines.  It’s like we all are in a committed relationship with gadgets these days and a question often strikes my mind “Are we controlling the machines or machines are taking control of us?”

I am one of those blessed children who were born during the time when gadgets didn’t subjugate our bonding with the nature, people and ourselves. I am glad that my first walk was not discovered by standing alone on walkers, I rather leant it by holding my mom and dad’s arms with my parents taking baby steps beside me. My first teacher to teach me “twinkle twinkle little stars”, “humpty dumpty” and “Mary had a little lamb” was not the DVDs played on flat screen, I had the pleasure of learning them by listening to all the dramatic tones and looking at all the hand gestures my parents did. Playing never meant entering any gaming stations or operating dad’s cell phone and tab games inside a solitary chamber. For me it was going out with friends, siblings and sometimes with parents amidst nature and its greenness, getting acquainted with the warmth of sun, smell of earth, wetness of morning dews on grass and the coldness of drizzling rain. It was the happiness of making paper boats and making it swim on water when it downpoured or looking at the full moon and counting the stars in the night’s sky.

Slaving ourselves to these machines we have come too far from our primitive ways of living with limited resources or no resources at all. Speaking of limited resources, camera with films used to be my favourite which could capture only 32 pictures. Digital cameras these days are capable of taking legion of retakes but it scants the moments created when dad used to capture our pictures while we got only one chance to pose at a place. If the picture is captured before we could smile properly or after we just blinked, or sneezed  then that’s how we are gonna be seen and remembered at that place in pictures for rest of our lives. They were not a part of technology captured with the sole purpose of being posted on Facebook, instagram and other online sites but a collection of all the old memories printed and beautifully preserved inside photo albums.

Rise of Machines might have transfigured hours of works into minutes, minutes into seconds, but in the process of making life easier, it has also made us pretermit the basic elements of life and it’s ways of living. The mechanical world consuming the feeling of togetherness, our nexus with the nature and appreciating it’s essence, creating memories not for spectators but for the warmth of our heart. Because during our last days or when we are lonely, nobody remembers the time spent on these complicatedly coded lifeless gadgets but every little blob of happiness cherished with family, friends, nature and ourselves.

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