Thursday, January 09, 2014

Techno Militants

There comes a time in the lives of humans, when  the excessive sparkle of technology,  blinds. Not just the eyes, but more so, the brain.

Early on in our lives, or should I say, my life, the technology I used , was , to say the least , personalised.  Meaning, that the component of technology that  was designed , based on my actual personal preference,  was non trivial.

Electronics was in its nascent days. Elsewhere across the world, it had rushed  around by leaps and bounds, but thanks to our economic and other rules, we were late starters. Electronics afforded you a way to enjoy leisure times.  Sometimes, things like telephones, were , of course, great conveniences, but they were never , personal or even family accessories.  Mixers and blenders were on the horizon, but they were a luxury , and we still swear by the chutney ground on the stone, and the buttermilk churned with a "ravi", all at non life threatening speeds.  There was a sense of values-in-what-we-traditionally-had, combined with a sense of quiet wonder about what was on the horizon. Very slowly, convenience won out. Bicycles became complicated and posh. Cycling to work in fresh air got replaced by stationery bikes pedalled to the tune of some hit songs in a big hall full of sweaty people .

The real problem arose, when technology started entering the personal realm. It was now a question of technology influencing , not just the eyes, but the brain.

Visual technology perfected for television combined with entities employed to fool people , started affecting the way folks thought.  Ethics fell by the wayside,  as  folks agonized over being unable to fit into clothes that were not meant for them anyway. Young girls  lost sleep over the shape of their nose, and their inabilities to match up with vital statistics of people they saw all the time on screen. Medical specialities proliferated and some folks  made , and continue to make a career out of  chopping and changing  the original product, with a nip here and  tuck there,  sometimes big cuts,  giving "sculpture" a new meaning.

 The problem arises today, because technology is now used to fool the mind. Fooled, to believe, that  there are hierarchies, binary standards, and there is a non trivial probability of you falling by the wayside, if you don't fit yourself in.

In an outstanding example of how minds can be weakened,   little girls look on wide eyed, as they are bombarded  with one photographically overexposed face after another on television, ignoring camera tricks, applauding fairness.  In complexion, that is.

Young boys, look on goggle eyed, as a fellow sprays stuff on himself, and  is suddenly overcome with female visitors, whose parents clearly are not aware of their whereabouts and activities. Success, as shown, is almost always attributable to beautiful faces, and never mind things like common sense, intelligence and ability to put in hard work.

And it doesn't help, that  we are a land of people with a diverse mix of religions, colors and physical statures.  We always were, and were actually comfortable in our own skins,  but then technology happened, and we've never been able to reverse the effects of that perturbation.  And it has certainly not helped, that parental attention has simply not been the same, since the economy has forced both parents into the workplace.

It has been an uphill task, to shore up the self esteem of a child , who doesn't fit in, at birth , into the color scheme of things.  Sometimes , excelling at some activity as a youngster , being applauded by ones peers, and being singled out for praise at school etc, helps; but it takes a lot out of parents and extended family (if it is available)  to keep at it for large periods of time and reach such a stage.

This, combined with a wilful shuteye towards the bad side effects of a  technology for so called enhancement,  has only meant more unsolvable worries later on   Watch the beauty pageants. Read about chemicals used to lighten skin.  Read about unchecked advertisements for diet pills, some with known cardiac side effects.  Not just women, but young men and boys, emulating half knowledge elders  taking steroids and stuff in a hurry to get there. Read the skin whitening entry in Wikipedia.   

We are a society that has given in to the technology militants. Technology being used to spread certain ways of thinking, and spreading selective information to mislead us. Science is no longer important. Your ability to fool someone , makes you smart.  And so ,we have a government that allows , completely misleading ads on television, including those hitherto banned liquor ads, where the stuff is called Casettes and CD's or soda, followed by a winking hollywood actor.  The list is endless.

I just read this post.  It brings back to my mind some one's similar hurtful experiences.

I've met the little girl in the above post.  And her joie-de-vivre , sparkle ,  shining  face and innovative logic,  would actually start a new slogan about chocolate , beauty, and  growing up  smart.

I hope she grows up and starts her own set up. And makes sensible ad-films. And gives some wonderful talks and speeches, as well as writes great books. And inspires lots of little girls and their mothers.  And gets applauded, for changing the way people think.

It is easy for me to say . It is difficult, but doable.

Her parents run the marathon every year.

I am sure, she will run hers.  And complete hers too.  Brilliantly......  





  1. You are so right. My Appa calls this overdose of technology also as a form of militancy. I just hope R turns out to be like your daughter, who sure is an inspiration for R. I hope R realises with time that one's skin colour has nothing to do with one's ability to achieve things!

    and yes we are running the marathon this year as well :) You remembered that, how wonderful :)

  2. I love this post and still very old fashion in many ways.
    So much is advertised to make our lives easier and I believe a lot of it is just more clutter
    and problems.
    I am constantly telling my youngest daughter
    to limit the time my young granddaughter's 8 and 11 are on all of these hand held gadgets.
    At their young age they know more about much then their grandmother.
    When I need computer help - they many times can help me :)
    I wonder about the future
    that I will no longer be a part of...

  3. love love love the post...few realizes how this constant bombardment of information, mindsets from every end is doing us more harm...

  4. love love love the post...few realizes how this constant bombardment of information, mindsets from every end is doing us more harm...

  5. I would say Thathastu! Amen! So be it. I thought the world had changed its idea about beauty. R's Mom's post tells me that it has not. We don't need to worry about insensitive remarks. How on earth does one explain it to a five year old?