With the dawn of postindustrial era, the most important machine invented was a computer. Gradually evolving from size of a room to a sleek handheld mobile device computer have penetrated every arena of human life today.
The way these devices have impacted not just our lives, thinking pattern, approach and even the environment around us is enormous.
Computers are the most powerful gift of technology to mankind. Computers are basically machines that can manipulate symbols based on how they are programmed. These programmes are what we know as software’s. So, any device with a software and hardware capable of understanding symbols and responding as programmed, is in a way a computer.
The whole craze for this machine is due to the immense power it gives to finish work, that earlier use to take significant amount of effort & time in quite less time. Be it the huge calculations done space scientists or the account keeping done in business houses, all of us will agree that human error and effort have immensely reduced using computer.
They are an important component of Satellites, Trains, Cars to household gadgets. Computers are not just limited to the conception of a box with screen and a keyboard where one can work and get entertained, but it includes much more.
The digital control panel of your car dashboard to the ones on your AC and washing machine are little embedded machines, a computer in generic sense. With advancement of chip technology these devices have turned into handheld mobile phones to smart wristbands.
They give us power to control, as humans define by programming how they should work. Consider a classic mobile phone- it could place a call, also help us receive one and thus facilitate talking over distant lands while on a move. It can be looked at as a basic system doing one work only.
With innovation and accelerated growth of technology in this domain a mobile device has turned smart and do multiple operations, be it of a camera, music player or a notepad.
Computers and the revolution brought by it are things to celebrate. The marvels of human mind expressed by working of computers is certainly amazing and useful.
Well everything has a flip side which is not very rosy and quite opposite to what it is intended for. For example, the vehicles meant for transport are becoming major reason for accident and deaths with their increasing number on the roads.
As is said by philosopher and thinkers excess of anything is bad. Similarly, too much use of computers humans is stepping into the crisis of surplus and heavy dependence.
Surplus means when computer takes care of our prime work we are left with surplus time, that not majority of us are using productively. Again, computers are to blame as they provide us with variety of games, music, movies and other sorts of option to engage and get distracted thus killing our extra time.
Also, the ease provided by a computer connected to internet in accessing information has significantly reduced the foot fall in brick and mortar libraries. Not just that it has led to reduction in human capacity to hold and transfer knowledge like in traditional society where volumes of verses were orally transferred across generations.
With calculator at our fingertips, how many of us bother to use the muscle of our brains even while making purchase from street vendor. Look at the way it has changed interaction. Earlier socialization was slow, gradual and more interpersonal.
With computers though we can connect to people from a distant part of the globe, the whole process has become mechanical. We engage in chatting with unknown people forgetting about those present around us physically. It is a serious concern as even child-parent relationship is also getting affected.
Family ties are weakening as computer gives us false perception of emotional connect with a stranger sitting far off. We share our deepest secret and fears to an unknown, thus making ourselves more vulnerable rather than growing the bond with our siblings and parents. This in the end makes us careless, less empathetic and lesser human.
If we analyses the health impact it is glaring right from childhood. Kids of millennial generation spend so little time in outdoor activities and sports because of addiction to computers. This is revealed in growing number of obesity and weak eyesight among children.
The confinement growing among adults who over use computers is reflected in soaring numbers of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, blood-pressure and likes. Our lifestyle is greatly altered.
True that computers make us self-dependent in many ways, but it cannot be ignored that too much engagement with computer makes us disconnected with people, society and nature. Thus, making us lose on human compassion, interaction and values.
Seldom do we find school kids sharing a handmade greeting card these days. An emoji over messenger or a gif downloaded from internet is how they express themselves. The natural use of brain to think, recall and analyze is reducing making it redundant.
Consider the biggest option of “undo” introduced by computers.
Well computers offered it to us so that we can correct our mistakes. But we are so much engaged with computer that we look for similar option in real life. Thus, many psychologist and doctor would agree that computer even when not in our hands are haunting us. Our behavior, attitude towards other humans as well as expectation are altered due to overuse of computers.
Computers have become temptation for majority folks. They distract us by undue notification, they weaken our memory due to availability of information at a click, they pose danger to our health, they make us lazy, lethargic and careless.
We are experiencing and aware of the changes and still continue to fall for computer this in itself is a big sign of our heightened dependence.
But to blame computers alone would be wrong as like fire, wheel or other technology they were meant to make life easier only. With our self-control and willpower, we should not let this machine change our species.
Yes, we are too dependent on computers, but at the same time we also have the power to strike right balance and use it more productively.