Technology has made the lives of people simpler by better and faster communications. Gone are the good old days of writing inland letters, shopping for the birthday cards, buying postage stamps and rushing to the nearest post office to send those precious letters and cards or waiting for the money order. Now everything is just a mouse away oops click away.
Internet banking for transfer of funds, e-greetings or a sms (short messaging service) for a quick greeting are some of the boons or the banes of technology. On one hand it has helped people and thus countries in bridging the gaps of communications by bringing them closer professionally. While on the other hand it has succeeded in widening the gap between friends and relatives.
Do you remember the good old days of landline? Well I do because every time a friend called to discuss something about her boyfriend we had to speak in code language for the fear of our parents or siblings overhearing our girlie talks. In college we would collect one rupee coins and rush to the nearest public booth in between our breaks to make that precious 3 minute call to that someone special. I bet the person manning the booth knew the secrets of the all boy and girls of our college.
All the young boys and girls thanked Graham Bell for inventing the telephone. Next in the line were pagers and then came the cell phone or mobile or hand phone. Every technology has its advantages and disadvantages. I am all for new technology but anything in excess is an addiction.
These days I see most of the people glued to their cell phones either they are talking non-stop or sending text messages or checking their e-mails or if they don’t have anything to do with it; you will find them playing games. All this is fine when one is alone; what do you do in a social gathering?
Recently I lost my paternal uncle and during one of the rites ceremony, one of the so called well wisher took the call of his stock broker and was discussing the sensex and his stocks; I was totally aghast to hear him speak loudly in front of the grieving family discussing the performance of his stocks; that’s what I call bad cell phone etiquette.
Traveling in public transport can be quite amusing. I still remember one of the occasions when I decided to travel by local train from Andheri to Churchgate and had a young college girl talking on her cell phone. From her conversation it was amply clear that the caller on the other side was her boyfriend; because she was professing her unconditional and forever love to him; which brought a smile on my face.
I wasn’t prepared for the next call which came in immediately; it was again a lovey dovey confession and then all hell broke loose and the boy on the other side starting using abusive language. The girl busted out crying. Being a good Samaritan; I offered her water and told her to calm down. After thanking me; she abused men in general and I supported her; which woman won’t when we get a chance. Its then she told me; that her ex-boyfriend had called earlier and she spoke to him as she still loves him and just to prove that she is a flirt he called her current boyfriend while he was talking to her on a conference call and her current boyfriend overheard her conversation with the ex where she was professing her everlasting love.
I had a tough time maintaining a straight face. Well isn’t the new cell phone technology funny; you bet it is when you are not at the receiving end. I love trying out different cuisines and most of my friends know that the way to my heart is through my stomach. Few months back we decided to have dinner at a Thai restaurant. One of my friend’s is a database administrator and is always glued to his cell phone. He was always either talking to some one or sending a text. He didn’t bother to order his meal and asked us to do the needful for him. While we were waiting for the food to arrive and catching up on all the latest masala gossips of our lives he was busy. After the meals when we ordered dessert he was still on texting and that was more then enough and the group made it clear to him that if he doesn’t have time or respect for the people dining with him; he need not bother joining us next time. He was embarrassed and apologized and promised not to use his cell phone but he couldn’t keep his eyes away from it. This is what I call an addiction and abuse of the technology.
There are times when I switch off my cell phone specially when am on a holiday or on weekends and laze with a good book; no e-books for me; give me an old paperback any day. It feels so peaceful; try doing that if you have a landline and your family knows where to reach you in an emergency.New age technology should be used smartly for our advantage without making us slaves.