Monday, 2 April 2012

The highs and lows of technology

As I type out this post, I wonder how life would be if computers and the internet had not been invented. Well, I wouldn’t be ‘blogging’ to begin with. Many of us used to write diaries or journals, complete with the little locks on the side, lest it falls into evil hands – that of the mother!

Once computers and laptops came along, I think we’ve all lost our journals, and our mothers have become consumed by trying to find passwords rather than keys. While I must admit, as do we all, that technology is the biggest boon of our generation, I can’t help but wonder if it’s stunting us, intellectually and emotionally.

My boss was telling us the other day during a meeting about how times were different, back in his day. Journalism was a tough job, what with hot metal printing and type set printing and many other processes that I frankly do not understand. I suddenly felt blessed that I could come back to my desk, type away my flowing ideas at high speed on Word, browse through funny websites and chat with my friends online.

However, my boss had the good fortune of being able to meet people and interact with many people, in person, on a daily basis; something our generation barely understands. Today, people can have meetings, interviews, friendships and entire relationships without ever having met the other person / people. Is that alright? While I am grateful that I can skype for free with my best friend in London and see her niece and nephew grow up, I can’t help but wonder whether this same technology is stunting our social skills.

I’ve grown up with the mindset that if you have a problem or a fight with a friend, you meet over chocolate and cake for a sleepover, and discuss and cry over the issue. Today we do the same via emails and chats. Instead of wiping each others’ tears, we have to make do with crying face emoticons. And mind you, there’s an emoticon for every apparent emotion.

Earlier, I would get rather offended if a boy asked me out over the phone – he should be man enough to ask me in person, if he really cares. Now, I’ve been asked out over chat and accepted as well. I used to truly believe that if you are breaking up with someone, it must be done in person. Even if you spent a week with the person, that courtesy is the least he deserves. Today, I have entire fights, arguments, make-up sessions and break-ups on BBM! And frankly I find this appalling.

But can it be helped, when everyone around you has adopted these escapist methods of dealing with emotions? Can you hold onto your high horse and demand to meet people, regardless of how busy or far you two are? Is it fair to expect this or, on the other hand, is it fair that the person is treating you like this – that you don’t even deserve to be told in person?

They say that communication has improved exponentially in the 21st century. While theoretically I have no reason to disagree with this, I wonder whether these high-flying communication techniques are making us connect better, or pushing us further away from the people we love.

All I can say is that I’m craving for someone’s arms to hug me and offer me some chocolate while I’m bawling my guts out. For now, I guess I’ll have to make do with this L


  1. Hello. As a geek and a person who spends every waking hour in front of a screen, some screen or the other, I don't think there's a loss in communication with technology. Communication has evolved and adapted to the digital age. They say that the words we say is only 10% of communication, the rest is in body language and all of that. It's true even in chatting or texting. The way people use emoticons does convey emotions. True in the "real" world someone like meself would come across as socially inept and people will make of us. This holds the same when a internet noob steps into the big bad world wide web. The net does have etiquette and has formed its own socially acceptable norms. My point is we will always communicate. And a text or IM hold just as much as hand written scented letter in calligraphy to me. As long as it is sincere.

    PS Superbly bored at work. Found your blog entertaining.

    1. Well Shashi, I agree and disagree with you on a number of points, but I'm sure you get the drift from the post itself. I'm just glad that technology allows you to share your opinions with me, so keep the comments pouring in :)