The other day, I came across a message on WhatsApp that reflects how dependent we have become on technology and its long term implications. Felt like sharing with the readers of Alt Lipi.

Here it goes…

After an excruciatingly long wait for my father, who I had escorted to a bank, I took a deep sigh of relief when he was, finally, able to transfer money. As he joined me I couldn’t resist asking him, ”Dad, why don’t we activate your internet banking?”

”Why would I,” he asked back.

As I was taken aback by his pert reply, he conjectured, ”Well, in that case, you won’t have to spend an hour here for things like money transfer. You can even do your shopping online. Everything seems so easy, isn’t it.”

Urged on by his interest, I was excited about initiating him into the world of net banking.

He further said, ”If I do that, I won’t have to step out of the house?”

“’Yes… yes…! I nodded in affirmation animatedly.

I explained to him how anything and everything, including even grocery, can be delivered at our doorstep now and how Amazon works. He listened to me attentively. However, as he responded I realised he didn’t mean what I inferred.

He said, ”Since I entered this bank today, I met four of my friends, I chatted a while with the staff who knows me very well by now.”

He went on listing the benefits of his physical activity.

“You know I’m alone… This is the company that I need. I like to get ready and come to the bank. I have enough time. It is the physical touch that I crave for. Two years ago when I fell ill, the storeowner from whom I buy fruits came to see me and sat by my bedside and cried.

“When your mom fell down during morning walk a few days back, it was our grocer who saw her and immediately fetched his car to rush her home as he knew where I lived.”

Once he was done with the explaining, he said, “Would I have that human touch if everything is accessed online?”

“Why would I want everything delivered to me and force me to interact with just my computer?”

“I like to know the person that I’m dealing with and not just the seller. It creates bonds, relationships. Does your Amazon deliver all this as well?”

His narrative rendered me speechless.

True, no technology can ever replace the real-life needs and necessities. The information technology can provide momentary relief, but in the long run it proves a bane for our life.

Apart from rendering us lazy and physically inactive, overdependence on the technology has ruined our social life. While this tendency, on the one hand, has adversely affected our health and wellbeing, it has cut us off from the real world on the other. Most of us are becoming recluse.

So overtaken are we by the virtual world of cyberspace that we seem to have lost interest in the real world and the real people in flesh and blood. The need is to draw a demarcation line on the use of internet to guide us as to how much is too much, lest the boon will soon turn a bane for mankind.

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The opinion expressed in the article is of the writer. Writer is a freelance journalist/journalist based in Delhi

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