‘This article is an entry to the contest ‘Technology and my young Genius’ by Micromax Canvas Tabby.
I was typing away furiously at my laptop keys when my 10 year old walked in. That frown between his eyebrows meant a question. Ok here we go I thought, bracing myself for impact. 'Ma, do you know what script they used in Egyptian Civilization?
I put on my thinking cap and moved my eyeballs, signaling that I was thinking. He stood there for quiet some time and then the foot tapping began. That was a hint of, 'You are taking too long'. If you don't know the answer, say it! But I was a parent. I belonged to the species who believe in, 'I know all'. How could I give up.
After what seemed an eternity, I shrugged my shoulders saying that I couldn't recollect the answer then, he said....'Oh, never mind. I will look it up. G knows it all'. I suddenly became the curious case of George. Now, who was this 'G' who knew everything? I just nodded tucking in my deflated ego.I continued tapping at the keys....got stuck at a word. Hmm....I need better synonyms for this word I thought. It took me less than two minutes to find a very classy substitute to a word I was typing. I have to find out about 'G', I reminded myself.
Oh, its almost lunch time rumbled my in built alarm system. But what do I make I wondered. Spent another 20 minutes discussing the menu with my family and I ended up being where I had started. I went to my loyal cellphone and clicked on the recipe section and viola...there were the best chefs in the country offering their signature cuisines on a platter. Plates were licked clean and happy faces bounced out of the kitchen. Oh, did I mention the magic moment when Beethoven met dum biryani? Cooking was fun when music made sauteing onions such a glorious task. The tears that flowed were partly an ode to the musical sense in me....God bless technology.Pantry had to be stocked. I went shopping in my pyjamas, with my face mask on and my henna covered hair tucked away under a shower cap....all within the comfort of my living room. The local banya made sure I clicked the right groceries and they would be delivered on time.
My library needed an update. And books on my bucket list had a whooping discount. More clicks followed. My cell beeped randomly. A reminder for the car servicing...and this was one of them. Paying bills online, skipping those serpentine queues was a bliss..nothing less. God bless technology......oh did I repeat that again? There were emails and circulars from school. They had stopped sending in circulars with kids...saving on paper and this was such a great initiative.
A project came up demanding the grey cells to be active. We all sat together, made a sketch and discussed the project over multiple options available online. It was a breeze without compromising on the quality or education.
My morning jog was promptly stashed and stored away in miles and calories on my Garmin. It made me feel sheepish though....I am sure it counted the elevator ride too.
All this while I had forgotten about 'G' who was my son's best friend now a days. I quietly tiptoed to his room. He was sitting on his table, looking up for some ancient Egyptian Script to complete his project. Google was beaming brightly on his desktop screen. Ahh...so thats G, I thought. I wanted to intervene, but then I suddenly realized G was my best friend too. My whole day had been a breeze because G had helped me a lot.
G a.k.a Google has become an important member of our family, and I am sure many others. Technology had made life easier. Brought the world closer. Made sure I keep in touch with my friends around the world. Spoilt me for choice when it came to shopping from a plethora of vendors...all on my laptop screen. Saved a lot of time that would have been spent running around doing chores.
But as they say, a coin always had two sides.....everything has. Its like diet when you are trying to stay healthy. Everything has to be in moderation. If you over eat it will lead to indigestion. Technology to me is no different. Over use it and it is going to affect you negatively. I cant deny the fact that it has been immensely helpful in providing information from all the corners of the world with a single click. But it also affects logic, reasoning and thinking skills of a person. The brain has been idling away. Some cells are catching rust. Calculations that once the brain used to do, fingers used to help, thinking everything has taken a back seat. Because Mr G knows all and its easier to ask him than ourselves.
I still miss the library and the smell and touch of old books when I decide to order online. Luckily I never will or want to succumb to Kindle. I am old school when it comes to this. Cell phones are addictive, we cannot live without them. There are days when the Television and the laptops are off because my cell phone is my perfect window to the world and it is super loaded with all the options that others offer. There are love and hate moments. I loathe it when my son spends time playing on it but at the same time its my sense of security when he goes out alone...I know he can be reached. I hate play stations, but when nuclear families are booming everywhere, how much company can you give your kid. A little sometimes is not bad. I miss meeting up friends...we chat online.....there are days when we as neighbors chat on whats app, when all it takes is a ring on the doorbell and a cup of coffee to kill away the blues.
The question is who is the slave here...man or technology? The answer is moderation. We cannot live without technology for sure. Its in our hands to make it a boon or a bane. Lets make a detox day for technology too. A day when we all go off mobiles..televisions, laptops. Bring out the dusty old carrom board and hit the striker, stretch those muscles and play a game of football, hit the racket and challenge the wind, look at your child's face when they are talking to you, smile at people around you.....re energize those cells....We as adults can set an example. If you want your child to let go off these monsters, you need to switch off your cellphones first. Lessons are best learnt at home. We have the invisible parental knob to switch off when anything is too much...just find it.
We made technology and we can certainly command it...the day its the other way around...we will be an extinct species for sure!