Friday, April 12, 2013

Gadget savvy or gadget slaves?

The title might sound intimidating to people like me but sometimes I feel this is the case, at least with me. I am a gadget savvy person. I love reading, listening and discussing about the everyday gadgets that we use. The mobile, laptop, touchpad, smart phones et all.

On the first look these are the ones that make your life convenient. Now let's ask the question how? I will list down personal usage experiences as these are definitely professional productivity tools. Now that we have set the context, lets look at this.

Mobile/Smartphone: It is supposed to connect people but do we do just that or more than that. I actually think it superficially connects people. Smartphones of today do more than just connect calls. They let us think that it helps us stay connected. Connected on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Messengers of the varied kind etc. And on these, we are pouring details of our life. Think about it, how many meaningful one-on-one connections have we really made using these platforms. Of the 24 hours in a day, we spend almost 18 hours of our awake time checking status, sharing a post, tweeting an event or making a contact, who we don't know we will talk to again at least once in the next month. These platforms are like a bank that collect. A bank of our thoughts, emotions, relations etc. So, do we really need to be on the mobile and spend our time being connected and available to others and be diverted from the ground all times and also sometimes becoming an open book on the Internet. Who are u helping by making details of your bank open? Thats a question I ask.

Laptop: Laptop was and is a tool to help us be on top of things of the world when connected to the Internet. When not connected we do lot of productive usage of it. I remember when I had 2 hours of time with an X86 machine in school. I wrote code on PASCAL and COBOL. During college, I wrote the RAINDROP program (remember the falling letters...). Now I use computer for my work and I have connectivity everywhere. Now I do my work,which is productive. Rest of the time I browse. What do I browse? Articles, movies, songs, and the social media stuff reading about other's life. Do I really need to spend that time knowing other's life or is there something that I can do with that time?

Touchpads: I mean c'mon. I see kids having these in their hands playing digital games when there are other kids around them. I heard someone say that in the schools of the international kinds, they encourage kids to have iPads. I felt like slapping myself to do a reality check. Imagine a room with kids who are playing games on touchpads and not interacting with one a other. Not pulling other's hair, not getting into a fight, not screaming and yelling. Strange isn't it?

In summary, by using these gadgets, I stay connected with people on these media and I am telling them everyting abouy my life but rarely do I realise that I am not actually making any meaningful connection with atleast one of my friends (can u see the difference between a commodity and a product). No offence, but I have people on FB who I have not met in ages. True it helps connect but that's one part. My time is spent on smartphone and laptop and iPads to stay connected with all the people who do not really impact me or my life nor my virtual life impacts them in any way. Yet i am spending time in the virtual connect while there are real people around me all the time with who I can spend that time.

The day is not far when people will no longer laugh over a silly joke amongst strangers on a local train or any other public transport. All they would do is be connected virtually glued into their gadgets not concerned about people around. Imagine humans appearing as a network, the way internet is a network. In th ebeginning, we had laptops at the end of the network, and today we have people like me at the end of the network relaying every piece of information to the open world all the time. Dangerous, it is. What else can it mean?

I think we are losing the art of living (not Rajneesh) by being too much dependant on our gadgets. I may be one of those guys. Hence I say we have become slaves of gadgets. Cannot do a thing without it. Savvy is good. Slave, is it good?

Think about it.