At the dawn of 21st century, science and technology have not only pervaded our everyday lives but they also let us enjoy their benefits on a greater scale. It was unimaginable in the past. Human beings spent a great deal of time in utilising scientific inventions. Almost everything has been turned into an electronic item such as electronic mail, electronic cigarette, e-book, e-newspaper, e-marketing, e-commerce etc. Indeed, our lives are surrounded by electronic devices.
On one hand, indeed, this transformation of hard objects into electric and soft form has made human being’s life very comfortable in a variety of ways. For instance, information or data, very hard to acquire in the past, now is only a click away from us. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks of electronisation process as well. It has victimised human feelings, emotions, relationships and interactions.
Since centuries, post offices used to function as a mail office, courier service provider, telegram office and bank as well. Now it has been replaced by nationwide money transfer service provider agencies. One may very easily receive/send amount through any nationwide money transfer service within minutes. However, the act does not offer us same joy when, in the past, postmen used to bring money order from our relatives from far flung areas of country. Reception of long-awaited money order used to bring a wave of delight among family members.
Now, we prefer to wish Eid greetings to family and friends by sending a common SMS by selecting all contacts with one click, without taking any effort. SMSs are sent to everyone and our feelings for “someone special” have faded away. In the past, we used to spend a considerable time in selecting cards to wish loved ones on Eid or birthdays. We also would wait for receiving such cards till Chand raat. All these activities, though tiring and time-taking, contained immense excitement, feelings and emotions which can never be replaced by technology usage.
At the present time traditional cigarette is being replaced by e-cigarette. Yet, there are few characteristics of traditional cigarette which distinguish it from electronic one. One cannot have a pleasure of arguing on sharing e-cigarette with friends. One can enjoy smoking e-cigarettes any time, yet joy of looking for match box or lighter when having a cigarette in one’s hand cannot be replaced. The adventure of trying very hard to find one’s brand during a journey cannot be replaced. Thus habitual smokers’ feelings are not satisfied with e-cigarette.
Access to international media had never been as easy as it is today. One can read every newspaper published in any nook and corner of the world. Yet, the joy of waiting for a hawker early in the morning, reading newspaper in winter sunshine, demanding newspaper pages from a person who is reading it is unparalleled. Such joys can never be attained by reading online newspaper.
Once upon a time, book lovers used to seek for a book very desperately. It was very hard to obtain copy of rare books, so authors and research scholars faced a great number of difficulties in acquiring required material. Now almost every book can effortlessly be accessed with a click from many internet resources. One can save, keep and maintain a well-stocked library of e-books in laptop, tablet or Ipad.
However, an e-book is unable to offer a chronic reader the smell of pages of a new book; one cannot have an authority of ownership on e-books. Moreover, it cannot be lent or borrowed. Real readers do not feel any association towards electronic books. When device falls to the ground accidentally, owner is more concerned about the device than books. One cannot keep e-book on his chest while sleeping. Last but not the least; a dry rose cannot be kept in an e-book.
If we keep depending on modern technology with such a high speed, very shortly we will also become a machine and feelings will diminish away like a smoke. I would like to end with Jaun Elia’s verse here:
Yahee rishton ka karkhana hai,
Eik machine aur us ke paas machine.
(This is a factory of relationships)
(One machine is accompanied by another machine)