Saturday, February 11, 2012

Technology's Bitch

Now that I have gotten your attention with such a crude title let me make my point: Technology is overrated, why do you have to keep bettering what is already good I ask? People are happy with what they have, why give them anything better? Why don’t these multinational companies think like our government for a change? There were the brick sized phones, then they became a bit smaller in size, then apart from making calls they put the FM Radio in it so that you could let your lover know the song you requested for them in radio stations, then there was the MP3 player, then a 1.3 MP camera, and now there are phones with such high resolution cameras that people take them to the theatre to record movies illegally. The Nokias and the Blackberrys should have stopped there but no, Man is a creature who loves to brag, so they made an operating system for the mobile phones. The new age mobile phone does everything, from finding a place to dine nearby to uploading snaps of what you ordered there on Facebook, to posting videos of how you eat with a fork and a spoon on Youtube­, the modern day phone does everything. And since pressing a button has become such a chore they have now simplified it to just a slight touch with your fingers, and voila! They light up like a Kollywood heroine whose belly Vijaykanth has just caressed. Our mobile phones have morphed into computers, they don’t “switch off” anymore they just “shut down”. 

As a result of which they have made me ignore the computer, when the world is in my fingertips then why would I need to switch on the PC and wait for it to reboot? When it is in my fingertips I don’t even have to get out of my home and explore. The worst part of owning a phone that keeps you constantly connected is that you get no proper reasons to come up with for not “liking” that status update, or tagging that photo of your friends, or sharing that really deep and meaningful fact of life tweeted by your friend that could even make Voltaire say “Whoa dude! That was deep!”

“Like my status, you have FB on your phone no?”

“Come online on G-talk, you have it on your phone no?”

“Help me out with my study on how to make the workplace more fun, you have Google on your phone no?”

My phone also has a voice command, I speak out loud and it does what I say accordingly. It opens the application, types my tweets and messages, sets the alarm, washes my underwear. It’s my own Alfred Pennyworth except that it does not wash my underwear.

The only glitch is that it does not read an Indian accent. So every time I say a sentence it interprets my Indian accent and converts it into American, which completely changes the meaning of what I say.

 “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning” becomes “I know the smell of my palm in the morning”

“I don’t have porn” becomes “I don’t have phone”

“This city needs a better class of criminals and I am going to give it to them” becomes “Visiting into because of commitments and I’m going to do with them.”

It is also smart enough to make vulgar words appear with asterisks, it’s as if my mother were on the other side of the speaker monitoring what I was saying into the phone, as a result you get t*** and p**** and c***

Not that those could be words where I actually meant 

“Did you see that tent?” 

“Did you get any penny last night?” 

“You stupid coat”

Now since using a voice command was not feasible unless I got into an accent training class, I started using the touch keys which were too small for my fat fingers to adjust to. So when I tried texting a friend saying that “I am busy, will call you soon” with the only intent of getting him off my back it ended up calling him instead, cancelling the call proved futile as I furiously pressed the keys, it was too late when the very surprised friend attended the call. What followed was one of the most awkward phonecalls I had to participate in.

“Hey how come you called” he asked.
“Oh, you sent a message so I thought I would just catch up with you.” I lied.
“Yeah, but I sent you a goodnight message three days back…”
“Yeah, I was kind of busy ..”

If innovating the way we communicated was not enough technology has now changed the way we read books. Probably the only habit that I was proud of was that of reading books, a habit that has been dying a slow death. It is kind of tough to live with geekish looks when you actually know that you are anything but a geek.  There is a world of expectations on your shoulders, you are labeled a “voracious reader” by your friends and colleagues because they see you reading biographies of movie stars on wiki pages, and websites like “cracked” and “how stuff works” or a one-page article in TOI, the headline for which was probably thought up by a heavy metal listening, ear pierced college-goer who was probably high at that time.

The last time I had completed a book was almost a year back, in between then and now I have only been reading shortened URLs from twitter. Sure with all these tablets and portable e-book readers on our mobile phones the reading experience is enhanced but they do not have the persona a book has. Tablets are nothing but dull metallic objects, a book on the other hand is not an object no matter what you learnt while differentiating between objects and living beings in elementary school.  A book has a smell, the taste in pages of different books differ, the characters in a book are alive–they live and they breathe and the bond we make with the characters only grow stronger with every page being turned over, a book ages like any living person, the freshly printed pages over the years slowly get crumpled, the pages start to fade in color like our hair. When you read a book you remain focused on the book, you do not have the option of browsing through the web updating your opinion on the book. Its uni-dimensional character makes your life simple as we know it - You open, you read and you close.

Every book that you finish is an experience in itself, you hold a book with both your hands like you would hold a loved one, you take in every word that is said, you listen to every sentence that is spoken, you envision the lives of the characters unfolding in front of your eyes. Whilst in a tablet you are so busy bragging about the book you read on Facebook and twitter that you forget forging a relationship that every book demands. It is ironic that technology offers us so much to choose from that it becomes tough to decide on whether to play Angry Birds, or to browse through Youtube or to read through our pocket reader or just use it for its most primeval purpose – to make a phone call.

P. S: "Like" and share this post, you have FB on your phone no?

P. P. S : Statistics from the internet have shown that promoting your blog on a Monday morning increases readership among office goers because people check their Facebook accounts first and the office e-mail later. It has got to be true since the Internet is never wrong. So like and share this on a Monday morning preferably, you have internet on your office computer no?

Yours Truly,

Technology's Bitch


Raja said...

first throw away your phone..

Raag said...

First I need to do that, thanks for the advice...

Raag said...

First I need to do that, thanks for the advice...