Every morning after I wake up, the first thing that crosses my mind is if I have any notifications—Facebook notifications, to be precise.
Even before I have brushed my teeth or enjoyed my latte, I reach out for my phone to check what is happening all around the world.
As I get up and sit on the pot, my eyes are still glued to the device, checking tweets and Instapics at a random pace. Even while gorging on the breakfast that I have made, I cannot let go of the YouTube.
One after another, I keep clicking. My fingers seem unstoppable. And, thus goes the morning routine. If you ask me a moment later what I have eaten or what I have drunk, I can give you nothing but a sorry face. Yes, that’s how unaware I am of my real life.
Isn’t this insane?
I feel I have become a slave of the technology. Instead of me owning it, technology owns me.
Day by day, our love for technology and gadgets seems to encroach over our other needs, as if the food will not be digested until it is posted on Facebook. Instead of relishing a moment or a particular scene, we get more joy out of it when we share these life events online.
People are hooked to their gadgets more than the partners, who are sitting right beside them. In several instances, I have seen in restaurants several couples sitting together, but glued to their iPhones. The time for a heart to heart conversation has vanished.
What is wrong with this world?
Have we really become slaves to technology?
Can we not survive without it?
Let us consider the usual gadgets in our homes: television, refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, alarm clocks, cell phones; can we lead our life without these? A day or two may be easy, but on the third day, we start to feel the loss.
I am not denying that technology has gotten us to the moon (literally). But there are certain ways in which technology is destroying us from within. Five ways, to be exact:
Without a doubt, technology brings comfort into our daily lives. The problem is the laziness that comes with that comfort. I used to clean my dishes every single day before I could afford a dishwasher. Now, it is reduced to twice weekly, just because I am too lazy to get up and load them all in, or take them out and arrange them in their cupboards once they’re clean.
Before the introduction of almost instantly available online cabs, I used to be a great walker. I could walk miles to get the transport to take me to the office. Now, I just book online and wait in the comforts of my home. It is no wonder that I have rolls of fat in my tummy.
Low immunity and health issues
I cannot imagine my life without my smartphone. Serious problem, isn’t it? The more I invest my time on my laptop, iPad and gadgets, the more I am shunning the outside world. I am shunning the natural air and breathing in the filtered air of my air conditioned room. Outdoor activities have been replaced with Temple Run and Angry Birds. Rather than standing tall, I sit crooked and stare long at the screen. God save my eyes and back!
Nowadays, Facebook friends matter more than real friends. And, these online friends do not mimic traditional friendship. On Facebook, it is just a pretentious idea of friendship that we entertain. Do we not realize that the 288 friends we have is just a number, and maybe half of them care for the person we actually are? Everything is just a show.
The mask of hypocrisy
With technology, the scope of which interact and socialize has grown by leaps and bounds. But, along with it, we see the emergence of a culture full of showing off and hypocrisy. The moment I see anyone posting happy pictures, I feel the strong urge to post something even better. It is as if we cannot tolerate other people’s happiness. It is like a competition, to show the world that we are living a dream, even though we may be lying on rags.
But, even having realized all of this, I am still a technology addict.
I cannot give up on the comforts that technology has brought the lives of the modern people. Even while writing this, I have time and again looked at my Facebook wall, checked what my e-pals are up to, and scrolled through Amazon to check if the latest collection of spring summer make up has arrived.
Indeed, a slave I have become!
In this age, escaping this is immensely difficult. I came up with a few ways to empower ourselves from this hold technology has over us:
Say goodbye to the gym
Going to the gym to flex a few muscles is easy. You stand or run or squat and shed kilos. But on a bid to overcome technological dependency, I bid good bye to the gym. I started doing household chores, instead. From mopping the house to washing clothes, I tried to do everything single-handedly. The result was amazing. The house looks clean, and I’ve got a flat tummy to flaunt because of it.
One of the main reasons we are hooked to technology is because we are in search for entertainment. There are many among us who spend hours and hours playing Temple Run or Candy Crush Saga. I know the multiple level options and the interactive application creates greater attraction. But, once you try shifting it to board games, I am sure that the interest level will not fall short. For starters, try Uno or Carom or even a simple game of Scrabble.
Yes, you have to take the time out and go indulge in the fresh air amidst the greenery. No treadmill, no fitness application and not even a diet chart are going to make you healthy if you stay cooped up in your house all day. If you do not have open spaces in front of your house, take a mat and go to the terrace early in the morning. Try just stretching on the mat and taking in the fresh air. Often, that is enough to keep you going for a week. Don’t overthink it, just go for it.
Meet people face-to-face instead of Facebooking them
Facebook is one of the best things to happen to our generation, and at the same time, the worst. If I am wearing lipstick, I will put it on Facebook. If I am eating a macaroon, I obviously have to upload it before I eat it. But, instead of waiting for friends to like or comment on the food selfie, why not meet and share a macaroon together? Nothing is better than a one-on-one conversation. The electronic smileys will never be enough.
I have tried all of the tactics mentioned above, and believe me, it felt good.
I am that person who can never delete a Facebook account or say goodbye to my washing machine. But these small efforts to free myself from technology do feel worth doing.
What’s your technique to liberate yourself from technology?
Do share a few tips.
Author: Richard Smith
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Ashok Govind/Flickr