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HAVE WE BECOME THE SLAVES OF TECHNOLOGY?

N.M.Leepsa
nmleepsa@yahoo.com

“21st century belongs to the science and technology”.

The miraculous advancement in the field of technology has completely revolutionised

modern living. What our forefathers, half a century ago, could not even dream of is available at

our beck and call. If our forefathers could rise from their grave, they would be amazed and

bewildered to see the present world. Science and technology has transformed the whole spectrum

of activity like education, health, transportation, banking, finance, defense, communication and

what not. With a click on the computers, we get information of the world and the whole globe

becomes so small for us. As the Reliance tag line says “karlo duniya muthi mein” we have been

able to do so. We can communicate with our near and dear ones who are living thousand miles

away from us in breathless point time. No matter where we are our electronic companions can

find us and beep, burble, whistle twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and 365 ¼ days a

year. Surgery of brains, body organ transplantation, heart valve change has eliminated many

human suffering and made man immortal. Technology has been able to explore the hidden

secrets of planets, sun, moon, and stars in the Universe.

Technology has replaced manual work with mechanical work. Machinery has eliminated

human labour and made our life more mechanical and less arduous. Time, distance, physical

capacity constraints have made us to depend more on technology. More and more explore to

information is the need of the hour to make ourselves successful as modern man. We are more

involved in mental work than physical work. Even mental work like calculations and decision

making is also done by machines. From the rise of the sun till we go to bed, we are with
technology. Electricity which appeared to be a fairly tale for our fore fathers, is a part and parcel

of our life now. A button is pressed, our rooms get flooded with light; the fans moves; the air

conditioners controls the temperature and warms or cools accordingly; water get boiled or cooled

or even frozen, foods can be preserved for so many days. All our household work like washing,

sweeping, pulling water etc is done by machines. Even for covering a furlong distance we need a

bike. Xerography has taken away the need to understand, assimilate and write. Calculators have

taken away the capability for simple computing. Machines do all our daily works and made us

lazy. Revolution in the communication technology has taken away the need for face to face

communication and social interaction. Technological advancement and excessive dependence on

it has made human beings a robot with brain which is virtually a programmed one and has

become non-functional in strict sense of term. We feel uncomfortable with out the products of

the technological innovations. We have been so attuned and dependent on technology that it has

almost unthinkable and almost impossible to live without it. We have laid our freedom at the feet

of technology and never feel ashamed of to say “make us your slaves but stay with us”. We

have so much addicted to the technology that we have made ourselves unwitted slaves of

technology. We never get satisfied with the present technological products and feel empowered

with new invention & innovation of new gadgets, service digital products of our life. From

packets to pagers, wireless to wired, we never want the sun to set in this technology age. We are

addicted to it and constantly awash in the sea of electronic stimuli. Yet as we rush to embrace the

latest gadget or high-tech service and satisfy our tech-craving, we become further dependent on

these products and their manufactures. We have become so dependent on technology that, when

something breaks, crashes, or is attacked, our ability to function is reduced or eliminated. Despite

of technical & legal problems, we are forced to buy new gadgets and constantly upgrade our
technology for any reason, both real and perceived, and feel uncomfortable without our latest

high-tech “fix”. Slowly & slowly we are entering into “Abhimanyu Trap” which makes us

difficult to come out of it.

Technology has brought great gifts with one hand but it stab at our back with the other

hand. As a result “price” keeps going on and we have to bear cost in form of health hazards,

environmental issues, and insecure future. We have reached a point in civilization where too

much of good thing is not good at all. The power of technology made us to think ourselves as

God, yet we couldn’t by vagaries of our mind, lust for becoming almighty which had put the

world at the threshold of ruin. The technological inventions of warheads, nuclear and atomic

weapon, space warships seems wonderful, but has put the world at the threshold of ruin. A

switch can destroy the whole world. Can we forget what happened in Nagashakhi and Hiroshima

in Japan during the World War-II? Can we forget the fear, the terror, the threats of such large

scale devastations and destruction due to the atomic bombs which jeopardized the whole

civilization? We have also begun suffering from different ailments which our hardworking

forefathers never knew. Technology has been a heartbeat compressing house work, travel,

entertainment squeezing more and more into allotted time. This has increased the level of stress

in men and women leading to various diseases like arthritis, rheumatism, back problems, chronic

bronchitis, heart attack, diabetics, asthma, migraines and stomach and intentional ulcers etc.

Mental stress is leading to depression and even to suicides. The ultra violet rays from computers

and television is affecting our eyes. The cell phone if used excessively creates hearing problems.

Technological advancement has increased the industrialization activities which creates

harmful effects of air, water and soil pollution. As our countries are growing on economical

terms, it is also becoming more prone to environmental pollution. Trees and soil have started
falling and perishing which alarms us of the forthcoming danger. Future climate and its impact

could well trigger bloody wars fought over the access to basic necessities like drinking water.

The green house effect house is causing melting of glaciers that are precious reservoirs of clean

water. The melt ice would not only destroy the world’s fresh water reservoirs but also will cause

floods, droughts, reduce the area of arable land adversely affect impact of fish and food stock

erode coast line as sea level rises and trigger move a large movement of population to a safer

areas. Climate refugee could face hostility from local resident and this could lead to conflict.

Large scale migration and competition for the resources could become serious security

challenge. Future climate and its impact could well trigger bloody wars fought over the access to

basic necessities like drinking water. Ozone layer depletion will also create health disorders.

Acid rain will affect our historical monuments. The wasted cell phones, computers are

biodegradable in nature which will further create trouble due to soil pollution. Use of pesticides

and other chemicals is leading to extinction of rare species of birds and animals. Labour

intensive method which is eco-friendly in nature has been replaced by capital intensive

technology. Capital intensive technology is taking away the way of living of masses, creating

huge unemployment and also leading to pollution.

Technology has left us with little time to understand the true nature of our soul. We have

forgotten ourselves. We have forgotten to take a moment and enjoy the beauty of tree, flower or

a bird and enjoy the silence, we hardly spend time with our family members together. We spend

less time in reading a book but enjoy browsing social networking sites. We have invented clock

but with less time for our like. We sleep for our body but with no rest to mind. We have tech

savvy doctors to cure cancer but discovering new deadly disease. We have able to transplant
organs, but not always able to give life. We have become more materialistic than spiritualistic.

As a result has gotten ourselves entangled in helpless situation finding it tough to get out of it.

Despite the dazzling success of modern technology in giving us much luxury, comforts,

material prosperity, luxury, comforts, material prosperity, it throws daily another loop of fire

wire around our souls. Therefore, we have to understand that, technology is not the “be all and

end all” in our life. Is there any material benefit more precious than our life and material loss

more awful than death? We have to make impudent and indiscriminate use of technology. It is

thus necessary that we may use technology as our slave takes the utmost advantage of it but not

permit to be our mission and become slaves of technology. We have to keep the “genie” under

control like Aladdin and let it not overpower us.