There is a problem with the way people walk now, says British newspaper Daily Mail: most people don’t hold their head high.Look at the street-you see a lot of peoplewalk that way. Thegadget called mobile phone keeps our head bent.
Always checking SMS and calls, our heads get tilted down to the phones. The revolution in communication has actually made us slaves to it. It is time we knew the difference between a toy and a utility gadget. When mobile phones entered our lives in the late 90s, they didn’t take much of our time, because they served just the primary use, communication. After that,rapid innovations brought in camera, stereophonic sound system, music facilities, inbuilt-FM radios, and it passed on to touchscreens and android platforms. We don’t know what more is left. We are just getting more tied to them. So new apps are devised, innovations made, new features added.
What purpose do they serve beyond communication? Yes, entertainment. You might as well say you can listen to songs while travelling. It sounds good. But the truth is you lose inner quietude. Earlier we had lots of quietude when we travelled. We had time to be left alone. Scenes came to us vividly, letting our brain process them, and refreshed us in turn. Today travelling doesn’t refresh us; because, we are always disturbed by a call, an SMS, if earphones weren’t already plugged in for songs. In loneliness we come to ourselvessettling our mind in its inner peace. That is the source of art, literature and philosophy.
When you are left alone, you think about your past, present and your future. You turn your experiences up and down, re-look into your priorities, observe your mind, and form a philosophy of your life. Now the moment you are in the bus or train, you plug up your ears. Music, often the same stuff you played over and again, flows to your brain. You only want to shut down your brain with sounds. This is going to bring some serious mental disorders shortly.
The daily revolution in mobile technology will make more nuts than urbanisation did. Bernard Shaw once said the dentist shouldn’t bring his forceps to the dining table. Forceps are tools of a dentist’s trade. But eating is more personal where he is left to his devices. These days we are not left to our devices. But instead we are carried away by devices.
We are fixated by this hand-held device with access to the Internet, applications, games, music, mobile-banking, sending photos and videos. It is difficult to forgo these comforts. The frequency of our looking up to our surroundings is becoming less. Over time, we will only see the nails of our toes when we walk. That could be enough to manage our steps ahead. Remember what TS Eliot said in The Waste Land:
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
He was speaking about the disoriented social life of early 20th century. People were moving dreamily on London Bridge, with no sense of connection with surroundings, cut off from simplicity, loaded with existential doubts. And pleasure-seeking defined them, as it does now. That was in the 1920s, whentechnology didn’t dominate life the way it does now. If Eliot were alive today he would have simply gone mad.
If things go at this pace, shortly there would be only head-bent people. Then generations of such humans might lead to some evolutionary change: then the world will be peopled with spine-bent ones; a possible U-turn in evolution. We can avoid it only by fitting these devices inside the human body.
(Photo courtesy: http://www.dailymail.co.uk)