Why 'We' are hyp­ocrite about tech­nol­ogy? ...............................................

Libertatem Magazine - - Content Content - By Mohd Owais Fa­rooqui

We of­ten see peo­ple blam­ing that watch­ing tele­vi­sion is the rea­son be­hind the poor per­for­mance of their chil­dren in ex­ams. Peo­ple are gen­er­ally crit­i­cal of ‘Tech­nol­ogy' for their own faults, par­tic­u­larly, the so­cial me­dia, Smart­phone, etc. Par­ents who are re­strict­ing their kids to be on ‘face­book’ are iron­i­cally found on ‘face­book’ them­selves. Peo­ple who are crit­i­ciz­ing drones for be­ing in­tru­sive are shar­ing ev­ery bit of their in­for­ma­tion on so­cial net­work­ing sites. Then, what is this hypocrisy about? Is it just that we be­came ha­bit­ual of crit­i­ciz­ing tech­nol­ogy all the time for own faults based on our own fal­la­cies?

In a democ­racy, the ideas be­tween the in­di­vid­u­als must be pro­moted. In the last ten years or so, we have seen a tremen­dous change in the way peo­ple com­mu­ni­cate in In­dia, it be­came fast due to the ad­vance­ment in in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy (ICT). We are be­com­ing more so­phis­ti­cated users of tech­nol­ogy day by day. ICT is un­doubt­edly pro­vid­ing one such plat­form for in­di­vid­u­als to ex­press them­selves. One can­not doubt that tech­nol­ogy is mak­ing us in­de­pen­dent, con­nect­ing us, trans­form­ing us, and chang­ing our per­cep­tion to look out the world in a new way al­to­gether. But, why do we still crit­i­cise it? Be it the Smart­phone or the In­ter­net or the Ro­bot­ics, they have just be­come a part of our so­ci­ety. Even the prac­tice of re­li­gion is largely de­pen­dent on tech­nol­ogy nowa­days. Be it the ‘tra­di­tional' loud­speak­ers or the sound sys­tem in any re­li­gious es­tab­lish­ment, or the ‘modern' dig­i­tal call of prayers at a sched­uled time in your Smart­phone, or read­ing of holy text in ‘kin­dle’, th­ese are all tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions and just mak­ing the prac­tice of a re­li­gion con­ve­nient.

Hence, the per­ti­nent ques­tion here is it jus­ti­fi­able to crit­i­cize the tech­nol­ogy for not bring­ing the so­lu­tion with it? Like, if a so­cial net­work­ing plat­form is be­ing used for fan­ning ru­mours & ha­tred as it did in ‘Muz­zaf­far­na­gar ri­ots', was it the fault of the users or the tech­nol­ogy? Who should be crit­i­cised for it? I'm sure the users must hold li­a­bil­ity for it; tech­nol­ogy should not be con­demned for it. Here what is nec­es­sary to be looked into that why the tech­nol­ogy has been in­vented, im­ple­mented, who are the peo­ple us­ing it and where it is be­ing used? The para­dox and the cir­cum­stances, be it so­cial, eco­nomic or po­lit­i­cal

must be looked into be­fore be­ing de­ci­sive upon a ‘tech­nol­ogy’. The so­cial sys­tem in which it ‘ex­ists’ must be con­sid­ered, for in­stance, peo­ple who are us­ing tech­nol­ogy re­lated de­vices like Smart­phone in met­ros like Delhi would cer­tainly use it dif­fer­ently com­pared to who are us­ing it in a small town. Sim­i­larly, a com­puter stu­dent can use a lap­top in so many dif­fer­ent ways than a phi­los­o­phy stu­dent. So, what mat­ters in the case of tech­nol­ogy is not the ‘tech­nol­ogy' it­self rather the fac­tors or cir­cum­stances in which it ex­ists.

I do not find my­self in agree­ment with those who say that us­age of tech­nol­ogy like Smart­phone is lead­ing to ‘so­cial iso­la­tion’. Fur­ther, that it is dis­tanc­ing us from our near & dear ones. I think it’s not. It’s rather em­pow­er­ing us and con­sid­ered as a com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy. And in a democ­racy any medium which pro­motes the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of ideas amongst the in­di­vid­u­als must be en­cour­aged. Talk­ing to some­body who is phys­i­cally near to you doesn’t mean he/ she is en­dear­ing to you. If a per­son wants to talk to some­one who is far away from him /her and any medium which is help­ing to do so must be ap­pre­ci­ated. And ob­vi­ously, in a free so­ci­ety none can be com­pelled to talk to some­body. Hence, tech­nol­ogy must not be blamed in any case for cre­at­ing for not talk­ing to peo­ple who are placed near to you as it is a con­scious choice.

Peo­ple like to ‘crit­i­cise' and never stop com­plain­ing about the ex­ist­ing things. They are ha­bit­ual of prais­ing the past or per­haps, ‘Manto' was right in his own way in labelling the so­ci­ety be­ing ‘hyp­ocrite' but tech­nol­ogy should not suf­fer due to this very hu­man na­ture. Hence, it is our duty as a re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zen to make the best use of tech­nol­ogy and should not blame for not bring­ing the so­lu­tion with it. Poli­cies must be for­mu­lated to reg­u­late any tech­nol­ogy by con­sid­er­ing the so­cio-eco­nomic fac­tors that have in­flu­enced its very cre­ation. As Sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals men­tion ‘in­fra­struc­ture’ ex­pressly and sus­tain­able tech­nol­ogy has a piv­otal role to play in its de­vel­op­ment.

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