By Mushtaq Hurra
Modernly mechanised labyrinth of industries and machines has entangled and entrapped Ibni-Adam in the deadly maze to leave him awry and bewildered. He is wandering bizarrely to alleviate his miseries and pains, but his outlandish bargain is sure to impede his search for peace, progress and tranquility . Sagacious and wise have called it ” the cry in wilderness” . Technology is sucking the life out of us, we are burned out, we are tired, but ; we can’t see beyond the glare, because it has chained us so terribly that we rely on it for everything. Technology is not a peril, but an absolute enslavement to it, is the catalyst which incites all the trouble.
The technology has undoubtedly reduced the hard toil of man, but has miserably failed to solace him. He has diverged from the essence of joyful living, by succumbing to its hegemony. Though digital revolution coupled with popularly growing social networking sites, has brought people of distant lands togather, but the virtual affinity has hollowed our connections to the extent that they collapse even by a slightly louder voice. Adhesion and glue of love and sympathy that would bind the relationships togather, has evaporated into the thin air. The gadgets and gizmos have enslaved our nerves, and have exhausted basic human values and ethics from our lives. Kinships have fallen casualties to its charm. Connecting with dear ones beyond the realms of the digital world, is an antidote for our miseries, because man by nature enjoys and relishes in the company of his own people. Solitude suits Allah SWT alone. But, our prioritised solipsism has thinned our blood ties and familial bonds.
The hackneyed pursuit of happiness has landed Ibni-Adam into a rat race where like an ambitious tyrant, he tramples everything under his feet. Delicate human feelings fall prey to the oblivion caused by absolute lust of awe-full monopoly to rise above all. Accumulating surplus wealth with the help of gadgets, has become the ambition of contemporary man, and in the hunt, he tumbles beyond set standards of humanity. Consequently, solitude and reclusion has become his fate. He is alone despite having hundreds and thousands around him. He is busy in accumulating physical comforts at the cost of his inner peace and happiness.
Likewise, he has chosen to purchase depression, anxiety and insomnia for himself. Just like a desperate sailor, he craves for drops because oceans never help man to quench his thirst, given the bitterness caused by excessive salts in it. A big house, luxury car, hefty bank balance and precious outfits are not the truest parameters of happiness. Pursual of material comforts is not a sin, but hankering only after it, kills the real joy of life. Our ancestors had not all that we have, but they had blissful, exhilarated and contented lives, because they were not greedy. We have been fiddling with our palm lines to store agony, affliction and perturbation in our fates.
Though the entire world has shrunk to a digital village, but, contrarily, the distances between human bonds have widened swiftly. The digital connectivity has badly failed to connect hearts, rather has been detrimental in our deteriorating social and familial ties. The advent of smartphones has proven the last nail in the coffin. None has time because everyone is busy over nothing. Scroll up and down the digital stuff on the smartphone screens, consumes our bulk of time. We don’t have time for our own children and parents. Relationships have suffered terribly to digital deluge. Unheard and unseen human feelings are crushed to death.
Man has become the prisoner of the gadgets and digital systems. Excessive screentime has not only proven hazardous for his familial and social bonds, but has effected his physical, spiritual , mental and emotional health. Obesity like ailments are growing rapidly. People have become sluggish, slothful and somnolent. Our young generation is highly vulnerable to different health issue because they spend most of their time on browsing and surfing. It is not only pernicious for our individual health, but it is hindering our academic pursuits, scientific works, research projects and developmental progression. Our fertile brains are devoured by the serpent of social media and other digital platforms. Our youngsters tragically waste their productive years of life in trivial issues, while as great nations never let it happen. They make it sure that their youth spend time in laboratories and libraries, though internet is a great supplementary source of knowledge and information.
Another side of the picture is darker and distressing. Technology has dried out cherished values from our lives. Glorification of violence by different social media platforms has unleashed a reign of terror in our society. Stabbing incidents by juveniles is increasing. Crime against women is on rise, because the latent criminal stuff in youth is scratched by provocative content on internet. Consequently, the crime curve is moving up.
Our fathers and forefathers had no big degrees and certificates to their credit, but they were the embodiments of empathy, love, loyalty and compassion. Their hearts were fountains of sympathy which would irrigate entire villages and towns, leaving behind none. But, now, the tech-savy netizens have divorced that essence of life. We hardly pay a visit to our sister’s in-laws home, we rarely visit our ailing relatives and friends, rather text a message ” Get well soon”. With the result, saccharinity in relationships is gone. People are no longer connected to their dear ones though they have virtual connectivity.
Integrating technology with life is quite important and inevitable, but, succumbing to its pitfalls is distressing. Judicious use of it will help us to strike a fine balance between subtle human feelings and the technological brunt. Allama Iqbal AR has summed it up very beautifully : Hai Dil Kay Liyay Mout Masheenu Ki Hukumat, Ehsaasi Murawat Ko Kuchal Daytay Hai’n Aalat (Death to the heart, machines stand sovereign, Machines that crush all sense of human kindness).
- The author is an Academician and Columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]
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