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21 Mar 2019, Edition - 1346, Thursday

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Coimbatore

Has technology hijacked personal equation?

Indrani Thakurata

Bengaluru: Recently I was amused looking at the board just outside my favourite restaurant. Apart from listing the day’s menu, it said, No wifi, talk to each other. Live’. It instantly put a smile on my face, i chuckled, at the quirkiness of the idea. I am a product of the 1980s, so I know very well how to live, converse and be happy without fidgeting with my phone, but do others know? ON second thoughts, I am not very sure about myself. Technology has invaded our home, office, and mind space. We no longer like to sit and chat, we would rather play with our phone; check statuses on facebook, instagram and twitter. Breakups and makeups are all happening via whatsapp, messenger or snapchat. Even marriages aren’t spared!!

So when Simon Bucknall, a two-time Britain and Ireland public speaking champion advocates communicating the old-fashioned way, I second him. He talks about our reliance on technology,and how inherently lazy we have become to make an effort. He warns of the dangers of using keyboard instead of your vocal chords. A recent survey conducted by technology market research firm Radicati reports that ‘pinging’ over a message is now the most popular way to communicate in business. “ Pinging has become an accepted way of communicating. It is fast and time saving. There is no denying that technology has replaced personal touch to an equation,” says IT Consultant, Sayantan Das. He is a technology enthusiast, but confesses that our personal lives have been hijacked by technology. “I am a parent too. In earlier times, dinner tables used to be centre point for conversations. Now, each one us is glues to the mobile while eating. The only time of the day when a family can bond, has been taken over by technology.

Even small children are glued to their serials while eating. So young mothers have conveniently agreed to the tantrums of their baby, lest they refuse to eat,” adds Sayantan. Furthering the same grievance, Meenakshi Kumar, an Architect in the city says, “ Earlier, we used to call our relatives to enquire about their well being. Infact, even now my mother does the same with the cousins and her friends. But our generation has changed the mode of communication. Now we watsapp or just go through facebook statuses, like pics and comment there. That’s how we connect nowadays. It is a slow evolution, if you may call that. There was a time when we used to write personal letters, then came our phones and now it is just messages or likes. You will notice how with time, the personal touch to an equation has slowly reduced.” Infact, sometimes , how we use technology overrides the basic emotion that should govern the situation.

The recent Malaysia Airlines disaster, where company officials sent text messages to the passenger’s families to tell them flight MH370 ended up in the Indian Ocean. This was the worst way of using technology over the most basic way of communicating. “In this day and age, it seemed like the easy way out to disseminate information but it definitely wasn’t the right way of doing so. We have a lot of choices to communicate the way we want to, but it is utp us to choose wisely,” says S Sreelekha, Communications Manager. Does that mean, we have lost the art of communicating? “No, our life has been made much easier with technology. We can connect in the nick of a time. We can video someone sitting in Alaska. We just have to know when we need to exercise our vocal chords,” concludes Soumya Pal, Gamer,Technology enthusiast.

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