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......