The technological revolution

Been quite a while hasn’t it fellas?

How’ve you all been?

Gnomy7 has been busy, you might say, or perhaps he was just wandering away without any sight.

Anyway, I recently wrote for a local magazine, and here it is

Ah, what a relaxing way to be reading the blog… as you read this, you are probably lying down on your cosy bed and reading it on your tablet, or perhaps on your smart phone after yet another tiring day at work. At work too most of us stare perennially at the monitor, and take breaks by playing games on our computer.

Technology, needless to say, has crept into our lives and has taken it by a storm! Think of how many of us can exist without connecting with someone else over the internet, or worse still without any form of electronic media. Such is the proliferation of technology today, that we lose our minds, if we are deprived of any of our ‘basic rights’, at least if you are living in countries such Finland or Estonia, where broadband access is a basic right for its citizens.

After the industrial revolution in the 18th century swept through the globe, the next major revolution has been the technological and the internet one. Consider this data for example, the number of cell phone users grew from 12.5 million in 1990 to 4 billion in 2010, while the internet users grew from 2.8 million to 1.8 billion in the same period. Facebook, Google, Android etc have all become common place as dinner table conversations. More posts from sobbing new generation mothers are popping up on popular internet forums, saying that the child’s first words were iPhone, or laptop. As hilarious as it may seem to an oblivious reader, it rises many important concerns. Where is the digital revolution taking us? And what exactly is this revolution after all?

To all those benefiting from the plethora of opportunities that are possible because of the spread of technology, there couldn’t be a bigger blessing from god. The techno savvy diaspora constantly provides mouths to feed for the companies which showcase mankind’s greatest advances in the digital world. But what about the others? Those who are outside this bubble? The average Indian above the age of 40, say, who has little to no knowledge about the boons of the internet, or what about the farmer ploughing his way away in the scorching sun, who is placing all his money on the hopes that his crop won’t be obliterated by an unforeseen thunder shower. How about the parents of a kid, who doesn’t want them to join Facebook, as they would then invade his privacy? It’s not really a complete revolution yet, if the entire populace does not benefit from the positives, is it?

We see thousands of applications being released every week, and thousands of new videos being posted everyday on the internet. But does it reach out and benefit our citizens as much as it can? In a country as wide and diverse as India, the answer without any apprehension, is “no”.

For the internet revolution to be truly called a revolution, one must make sure that the technology spreads itself throughout the far stretches of the nation. The North Eastern part of the country especially continues to be side-lined from the burgeoning digital advancements, as it has always been through the history of the country. The less privileged sections of the society, must be able to benefit from the advancements as well, just as they were able to, from all the industries churning our cheap products. The poorer strata of society must be able to at least partially able to taste the fruits that the digital wave is bearing. Students and workers alike must realize and appreciate the fact that, all the efforts put into by the developers and the programmers benefit only the people with access and the knowledge to operate on these sophisticated machines. Many villages these days, are fitted with equipment, for remote medical assistance, distance education and so forth. While this is definitely a laudable effort on the part of the government, it must go further to make sure that entire villages are enlightened, and must make sure that the digitally illiterate are able to come out of their shells and drive India towards a more technologically adept country. Volunteers can reach out to the people and give away old and outdated phones to those who can’t afford such luxuries. Schools can organise camps, where the roles are reversed and kids teach older people how to operate phones and computers. Benefits in many cases will come in more than just one form. Economically, if the average Indian does indeed go on beyond the novice he is now, to someone who is able to sustain himself – technologically, we will definitely be headed towards a bright future.

The mere thought of such a utopian nation is overwhelming! We can see a land where, farmers are a single click away from gaining information about approaching winds, and remote villages with all its bright young minds made even brighter by the virtues of education, a place where the voices of the hitherto mute sections of the public are posted and heard across the nation.

The possibilities are endless, and are a realizable grasp away, and this is where one must feel a part of the wave and surf it gleefully.

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