Of late, life has become quite laid-back. On the one hand, while technology has improved our productivity, on the other hand, quite ironically, it has also made us comparatively lazier after the advent of these innumerable gadgets and gizmos in our everyday lives. Today, we are surrounded by technology everywhere, whether you like it or not, much to your chagrin.
Earlier, we never had to go to gyms as most of the household chores that we did used to take care of our health and enable us maintain a fit body and healthy life. Those chores had an inbuilt mechanism that would help you flex your muscles unconsciously without having to take special time out for it. Those chores had the exercise needed for our body embedded in them. Take for instance the washing of clothes. The acts of rinsing, wringing, and beating the clothes on a hard surface involved a good amount of exercise to your arms and biceps. But, with the advent of washing machine, which has substituted the act of washing clothes, we are reduced to just a mute spectator watching the machine do all these acts as we just flip over the knob or press the buttons on the washing machine as effortlessly as lifting a feather!
The act of climbing up and down the stairs has been substituted by elevators and escalators, the grinding of pulses by a mixer-grinder, chopping of vegetables by a vegetable cutter, cleaning of utensils by a dishwasher, cooking of raw rice by a rice cooker, walking in a park by a treadmill, flipping of switches in a TV or fan by a remote, the act of polishing shoes by an automatic polishing machine, the act of reading by audio and video players (text-to-speech), the act of playing on a playground by video games, the act of writing by typing and voice recorders (speech-to-text), etc. In addition, the invention of robots for several specific tasks has ultimately reduced the humans to a 'robot in flesh and blood'!
We have been made so immobile by technology that even at hotels the act of walking to the wash-basins to wash our hands after eating has been replaced by finger bowls delivered at your table so that you don't have to even lift a finger (well not literally though, for you need to swirl your fingers in the finger bowl to wash your hands!). When we go to a hotel, we don't even use our own fingers to eat, but instantaneously demand for a spoon or a fork. Truly, technology has robbed us of our freedom to some extent – the freedom to be our own natural selves.
There were times when, as a single joint family, we all used to sleep in a single room under a single fan. But, with the advent and proliferation of nuclear families, each of the family members sleeps in a different room for privacy reasons, resulting in three or four fans or air-conditioners being used, where one would have sufficed, in turn, pushing the electricity bills northwards. The same is true of television sets, DTH connections, audio/video recorders, mosquito repellents/liquids, cots, bikes, cars, laptops, desktops, etc. We even had a single landline telephone for all the family members, but now we have a mobile phone for every family member. To boot, most of these mobile phones come with dual SIMs, as if to manifest the inherent double standards of humans!
I sometimes wonder whether technology has made life simpler or more complicated, whether it has bridged people or alienated them further, whether it has helped heal the wounds in the hearts of people or has left them graver! Whatever it is, in today's world, we cannot escape technology so much so that it has become a "necessary evil" akin to "money".