Technology and I…

Posted: November 24, 2011 in Laughing at life
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I was born in a world when blackberries and apples were just fruits.

Web was a thing spiders spun, and net was something you caught a fish with. Hardware was hammers and nails and saws you worked with, and software was never heard of.

Insects: Rams, spiders, blue-rays and bugs were all living creatures. (Some of them creepy and crawly). And the ‘Trojan horse’ was just a chapter in history books. I do not understand how they made their way into tech-textbooks.

Blue tooth? Can you imagine a more novel name? How would you look if you smiled with one blue tooth? I mean, it’s a gadget you wear on your ear and talk with your hands flung around to air as if you were schizophrenic. It could have been called a ‘hearing-phone’, ‘ear-phone’… anything. But BLUE TOOTH? And it’s hardly ever ‘blue’! Tell me, how does ‘tooth’ explain hearing?

GPS: My life has become complicated ever since. And then came the gypsy… oops, GPS. I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every ten minutes, she would sarcastically say, “Re-calculating.” You would think that she could be nicer. I felt she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light… And then if I missed the turn, like that intolerable teacher in my geography class, she would grunt, “Re-Cal-cu-lating”… Well, that is not a good relationship.

Cell Phones: I was barely getting used to TV remotes, when a cell-phone entered my life. They were almost the same sizes then and looked pretty much alike. I would often tell my husband to ‘Pass me the remote’ when my cell-phone rang. And picked up my cell-phone to change channels. Thankfully, now cell-phones have become smaller and remotes larger, (for some incomprehensible reason!), and I am spared of the agony of screaming: “Hello! Hello!” pressing the TV remote against my ear.

Twitter: I thought I had become quite tech-savvy when I had my own Facebook and Twitter accounts. But then suddenly you had Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix thrown at you! Hide! Cover! I need a place for cover!

Bags: The world is just getting too complex for me. Even in the remotest corner of earth, I get cell-phone signals. Hell! I am tracked! They know where I am, what I am doing! They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could decide on it, but at the counter they (humans who bear a tad semblance to small robots) suddenly ask, “How many bags?” letting you know slyly that you have to pay 5c for each.

I am confused. I look at the quantity of grocery and mumble, “Five”. How could they expect me to understand how many bags would it need to fit in all that grocery? What if I needed another bag? Would I have to stand in the line again? Would I pay 5c in coins, or would they accept my card? I am so afraid of making a fool of myself that I never tried to find that out. Stuff in whatever you got in there, woman, and RUN!

Beeps: The world of technology can never be complete without a beep. Whenever I hear a beep, I panic! I frantically look around! What did I do? Where did I go wrong? It’s either that I’ve forgotten my microwave or something is burning in the oven; or I haven’t tied my car-seat belt; or I have missed my train in the subway; or the smoke alarm is about to go off! The scariest of them all is the smoke alarm. It makes me feel guilty for roasting or grilling some good food. And then there’s the fire alarm which is the Big Boss!!

These beeps in my life are constantly reprimanding me that I am not living my life up to their standards. The car beep starts shrieking the moment it sees me and won’t stop until my seat belt is fastened tight. I mean, I need some breathing space! And then when I am happy that I have fulfilled all the ‘beep’ rules… my Facebook chat window beeps!

Son’s Room:
These days whenever I enter my son’s room, I have to look good. Brush my hair, dab a little lipstick, adjust my tattered home clothes. Why? Because he is always on Skype, chatting with someone. I walk in full view of a stranger from his laptop staring at me. “Who’s that?” “Your minder?” Every time I have to knock, peep, say, “Hello! Is anyone there?”, sometimes, even when the room’s empty.

Life was much simpler those days. We didn’t have cell-phones to carry to school, picnics or hang-outs. But our parents never panicked if we were a tad late. We never had computers and so friends were constantly hanging out. Laughing with each other, going shopping together, eying handsome men or beautiful women, reading books, romancing in the library…. It was all so charming.

With the world getting crammed up inside ‘tabs’ on a computer screen, most relationships are getting virtual.
Poke: The other day my son ‘poked’ me: no, not physically, but virtually, on Facebook, from his computer, sitting right next to me! I was :O

Sigh!! These relationships I share with technology around are simply falling apart!

Published in Generation Next newspaper, Nov 23, 2011 (Read it here)
By Kaberi Chatterjee

Comments
  1. The last decade seems to have piled up the technological discoveries without a break in between, every day there is something new to hold in your palm and admire and marvel at the compact , complex beauty. It was very interesting to read your write up, thank you.

    • apu28 says:

      Thanks for reading my article Swati. However I have started believing firmly…. *Technology’r sesh nai, technology shekha britha tai) which translates: There is no end to technology, so I don’t want to learn it anymore. Lollsss😀

  2. d.chatterjee says:

    this is what you call being true to yourself and to the rest of the world.
    no wonder I love to read your honest confessions 🙂
    I agree with the last part too..the part where your son pokes you virtually..
    These days I am feeling all the more need to curb down my virtual presence and come out alive with a flesh and blood existence..

  3. apu28 says:

    No use Raka, u’ll be lost in a real world where no one will recognize u… lollsss

  4. subhajit guha says:

    ….and Amazon was just a forest and not a virtual market place!

  5. How very inteeeeeeeresting. I believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg. So fasten your seat belts and hold on fast.
    Kumbi Johnson-THE QUEEN MOTHER MEMORIAL POETRY COMPETITION

  6. […] Posted: August 30, 2016 in For a thought…. 0 I’m glad someone (and someone HUGE, and I’m flattered) who thinks like me. I don’t still use a cellphone. When I go to India, where there are almost no landlines, then I just have to carry one, but I keep it silent and away from me most of the times. But my son and me, sitting on this very lonely part of the planet, (Canada) believe in staying away from the internet (which is still not a recognized word in the dictionary… see there is a red line under it) and cellphones for most part of our time. I like to watch stale TV series, or read a book, do yoga, meditate, cook, redesign my home, sometimes just stand in the balcony and watch the life lolling by, watch the sunset, as if that’s the last day I’d be living on earth. And I’d like to remind you I am not a very social person, neither is my son. We cannot chatter on the phone for hours, but I do focus on relationship building when I see a potential. Why am I writing on first person basis, and talking about myself? Firstly I believe I am talking on behalf of a lot of people who think like me, but may not be able to be proud of their thoughts or be able to express it like the way they want. Secondly, it’s an audacity to write solely about oneself, and I like to have audacity. And thirdly, most importantly, it’s my blog. I agree wholeheartedly with Werner Herzog in the interview below. And I also think that human beings will resist being wholly usurped by technology, on their own. They will build their own resistance when they’ll feel enslaved. Hence, Elon Musk’s idea of colonizing Mars is something I don’t agree with. Colonize your own home first, there is still ample opportunity without disturbing the environment. I think the idea of using technology to making our work easier and safer is greatly appreciated. (I do own a household robot to do my floors, for instance), but I greatly shun the use of cell phones when you have other means of communicating. It’s like technology is enslaving you slowly and you don’t realize it. It’s putting chains on your hands and you cannot even go to the bathroom without carrying it. I don’t own a cellphone, because I don’t want to be available all the time for the world. “Where are you?” is the first question anyone asks you whenever they call. “Where were you?” if you don’t answer their cellphone. It’s not a concern in their voice. It’s their egos reprimanding you for not taking their calls. Telling you that they are important and you should take their calls the moment you see their names flashing. Moreover, relationships make or break with cellphones. How long you’ve taken to take your friends’ call decides how strong the relationship is or isn’t and so on. And I hate what they offer you in the name of a cellphone: information you can do without, news that only depresses you and you can do nothing about, mundane gossip around the world, constant beeps…disturbing my chain of thoughts. I mean why? What have I done to deserve this? I have my own work. Writing thoughts like these, for example. Cooking. Educating myself. Reading all those books that I have to. That I want to personally review in my mind, or that which will help me re-establish my opinion about life in general. I look forward to thoughts which have not been thought. Thinking. Relationship building. Focusing on my finance and future. Planning a life for my family after my death. All this takes time. How can you have any more time for such mundane stuff after finishing all these chores? Technology cannot be all consuming and break my thought bubble all the time. I am not committed to be available to my family members all the time. Because I have to live with myself, first and last of all. I would definitely like to use the internet. But at my leisure. When I have free time. To recharge my knowledge cell. Read up something new, like the one I shared below. To write and share my ideas. To share thoughts. To build my entrepreneurship ideas. I would like to use it, not the other way around. Filmmaker Werner Herzog, who doesn’t use a cellphone, explores our society’s relationship with tech You can also read: Technology and I […]

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