Remember those times when a phone was meant only for phone calls? Of course, you don’t. Nowadays, when you call someone, the response you are most likely to get is, “Is your house on fire?” or “Who died?” (I mean, someone must have died… why else did you exert so much effort to CALL me?)
One of the stories that struck me, and remained at the back of my mind for years for its sheer farsightedness, is E.M. Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’. To cut a short story shorter, people are completely dependent on machines, and one day, something just goes haywire, the machines do stop, and the ending is quite apocalyptic (Yes, everyone dies.). Sounds prophetic?
Now, imagine there is no electricity for a day… or no internet for a week. Some of you are fidgeting already.
We live on an island; some even call it ‘paradise’, but when is the last time you went to the beach? Can’t remember? Just browse through your social media apps; you must have taken a selfie or posted about it somewhere. Whatever happens in your life should be public knowledge, after all.
Nowadays, it’s too easy – yet too tough. You send a message to someone – that message is “Seen”. If the person doesn’t reply within the next few seconds, you agonise over how much you matter to them, and you may even question your self-worth! God forbid if the person replies immediately, though: the thought that automatically pops into your mind is, “What a loser who has nothing better to do with his/her time!” Not so long ago, people would wait for as long as a month to receive a letter (For the younger generation – If you don’t know what a ‘letter’ is, kindly open a dictionary, or a dictionary application on your smartphone). Letter writing is now becoming an art.
We go to a gathering, and we all just stand around, staring, and often smiling, at our phones. Some of us are barely able to utter a single word to the person next to us. We are so cool.
Obviously, none of us is a technology addict. This is all normal.
Thank you for taking the time to stare at your screens long enough to read this blog post.