Becoming slaves to technology?


My uncle came down from Canada last week, and was catching up with all his old buddies who were discovering silver hair on their foreheads. Dinner-outs became a new routine, and last evening I found myself reluctantly seated at a restaurant – checking-in through Foursquare – with my family, uncle and some special guests of the yesteryears.

[pullquote_right]We’ve learned to tweet rather than talk, update statuses than living the moment and even Instagraming it before eating?[/pullquote_right]Dinner conversations began with the current Sri Lankan weather, which took a leap into politics and slowly crawled it’s way into our-generation-is-better-than-yours – a topic which never fails to make an entrance when my dad’s friends are high on spirits., literally.

The accusation? My generation is glued to a laptop around the clock at home and buried on a smartphone when out. And (according to my uncle) what are we sacrificing? The intimacy of physical interaction  which is alarmingly deteriorating with the outburst of social media and smartphones.

The question is.. are we that bad? Well, it must be a common perception throughout every generation, that theirs is the best era in history. So is ours.. right?

Perhaps, I’m wrong. Perhaps we’re gradually becoming slaves to technology and loosing the essence of life. We’re gradually trading smell of real books and hard-cover albums to eBooks and online albums. We’ve learned to tweet rather than talk, update statuses than living the moment and even Instagraming it before eating?

For us, the art of conversation has become a skill of the past – we either fake it or over-do it. We’re left with no motivation to carry a conversation face-to-face because we already know almost everything about our circle of friends even before leaving the house.

Statistics reveal that we’re hardly 7 feet away from our smartphones for more than 3 minutes. We’re constantly “connected” and active on multiple social platforms simultaneously. Like my uncle explains, we’re now celebrities online, but potatoes in real life.

Hold on a second. There’s more lurking on the horizon? If you’re thinking we’re currently at the peak of technology and social media indulgence, You’re wrong! Imagine waking up to your emails when Google glass is commercialized; Imagine drafting a letter on your bread and omelette when the projection keyboard unveils; Or – foreseeing the near future – imagine your boss checking up on you on hologram when you call in sick. Sounds impressive? Sounds disturbing? Maybe I’m just a hypocrite, because I’m a Generation Y kid, and just like my uncle realized, I too know, ours is the best generation and there’s much more (wonderful/terrible things) in store for Generation Z.



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  1. Well, in my opinion it is all about balancing your life.
    Technology gave us the opportunity to make better communication, make it easier than never before.
    as a simple example in 80s, if someone goes to another country for studies, his/her family will have to wait for a long time to receive a letter from their child.

    but now with the help of technology and regards to the power of the internet you can contact your family right after you are landed, virtually from anywhere on the globe.
    Technology has opened a remarkable gateway for anyone who are willing to learn. it enables the user to learn any subject without spending a fortune.
    All in all it is your choice to get addicted to it and become a slave or learn how to get the maximum benefit out of technology.

    very interesting article, and thanks for posting.
    Keep it up! 🙂

  2. Appreciate your feedback ITMan!

    Technology has indeed made our lives convenient and cozier, no doubt. But at the cost of what? We have compromised our freedom. Indeed it's all about balancing, but when the world is moving forward at a pace, you cannot afford to be left behind for not adapting. So the pressure to keep balancing is far greater than to just give in. I'm sure you'll find it difficult to live without the phone and internet for at least a month even though that's what you're willing to do. We have become slaves to it and we have no choice but to live with it.

    Regarding that letter back in the 80's, it had greater sentimental value and emotional depth than the SMS and email we take for granted today!


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