Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blinded by technology? Deaf to ambient urban spaces?


Reference this post, about bad habits we cultivate, as if nothing and nobody else matters, here's another habit which I find criticism-worthy. Why are people (youngsters, mostly) talking on phones while walking, driving, running, etc. I see this happening quite regularly of late. A woman is riding a scooter and speaking on the phone at the same time. What if a car, driven by a similarly engrossed person crosses her path. Have we become a cynical people? We don't care who is near us, who is in our immediate neighborhood, who inhabits our environs except us.

One way of manifesting this is speaking on a phone while walking. Imagine this: you are walking looking ahead and a guy barges into you. It isn't uncommon. Except for the wee little fact that the guy in question is talking on the phone and is not looking up where he is headed. Inside a crowded train, a man is watching a movie on his ipod. Imagine this: movies are no longer viewed in theatres and televisions. They are viewed on a hand held device. In my childhood I used to prepare a week ahead to catch the new movie being released on Friday. Friday, First day, First show (FFF) used to be a boastful remark to all and sundry who would listen. The paradigms of entertainment have changed, surely. Hasn't it?

Blinded by technology? Deaf to ambient urban spaces?

1 comment:

ms said...

i think, when we were growing up, half the fun was in the anticipation! the actual event was all the more special due to the efforts that went into it. 'too much, too soon' has robbed today of all its sweetness and charm. parents with young children are trying harder to keep their offspring satisfied with the latest gadgetry. years ago, rajesh khanna in an interview said it well: the tv has brought us into homes and put us within reach. we are now competing with family members, wailing children, cooking housewives. where is the glamour or the uniqueness?
the other day i realised that for the last so many years, i have not been surprised by any new invention. the mobile phone can record videos? the tiniest of iPods? the first videocam? the webcam? you can pause live tv? planes now come with beds? ho hummm. so what?
how to capture the wonder of the first radio? the first look at a TV? the chordless remote to the tv? the first car-phone and then the first mobile? have we become so blase about technology that every time someone comes up with a discovery, our response is "what else?" or "is that all?" how did this world lose their "WOW!"