Technology – the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. There were those days, when we went to school without a mobile and our parents would worry thick until we were back in sight. And then there is today, when our parents, as well as the police, know our every move with the help of our mobile. Below are a few technologies that have impressed me:
- Facebook – What can I say about Facebook? It is THE social network that has allowed us to find long lost friends from the past and keep in touch with them. Something that all of us needed. I’ve been away from my cousins for the longest time but managed to keep in touch with a few, who did not mind writing letters back to me. Perhaps, if they sent me a recent picture of themselves, I would know what they looked like but otherwise I would just write, imagining them as the person they were when we last met. Electronic mail made the picture sending easier but with the arrival of Facebook, we can not only write to them, or send pictures, but also enjoy their, sometimes annoying, videos they keep forwarding and tagging us on. This platform has made many happy but I was impressed with it right when I could merely type a person’s name and find them according to their profile picture.
- Google – Till today, I remember the man who went house to house selling a bunch of encyclopaedias that were supposed to make us way more knowledgeable than our friends who didn’t possess these general knowledge bibles that took away a lot of space in many showcases. These books only gave us facts and, probably, figures but Google can even answer a question like “who was the first woman prime minister of Timbuktu?” Sometimes, spending too much time on Google may drive you to misperceptions but everything has its pros and cons. All I can say is, with the help of a laptop or mobile phone, you can access Google, which has also proved to be space saving, anywhere and get an answer to the dumbest question and no one will ever know.
- Whatsapp – When I first began using a computer, I chatted with many people from across the world, many unknown to me. Of course, back then that was something that impressed me because I could talk to people and keep in touch with my friends and family. Today, with the Whatsapp application and its various features, we can chat, talk and view the other person who is several miles away. Plus, it is an application that everyone has on their phone today. Many chat applications have come and gone, but this one stay till today.
- GPRS & Location pin – You have no idea how this particular technology has helped a disoriented soul like me. I am horrible with directions, to the point that I once got lost in a mall and had to call my husband to direct me out of there by telling him which shop was on my side. I will not even start with losing my car in the parking lots several times because I cannot remember where I had parked it. So, when people could actually send their location to me, I was rather impressed. Now, I can go anywhere, as long as it is available on Google Maps and there’s a data network tower there. If not, I’m doomed, or perhaps do it the old school way and call my husband, considering there is mobile network available.
- Online shopping – As I have probably mentioned many times before, I am not a big fan of shopping; at least I wasn’t until a couple of years ago. The word ‘SALE’ never excited me unlike some women who get an orgasm with the mere mention of that word. I am not the type who will go shopping with a stroller, a baby and a 5 year old, just because the mall has a sale. But ever since Jabong (and now Amazon), online shopping has made it easy to even buy an oil dispenser, with various options, online. What impressed me about this was that from the comfort of my bed, even in the middle of a kid-noise-free night, I could buy anything, from diapers to books to power banks, and the same would be delivered to my door-step. I agree that some things, like shoes, are preferably bought after trying on a few, but if you can buy everything else, that does not need your size, online then why not use the easy way to purchase it? Works well for me. Lately, the watchman doubts that I could be a dealer with Amazon.
- Activity trackers – With the increasing awareness of the need to be healthy, a company manufactures a product that helps you track your steps and shows you the number of calories you’ve lost in a day, step by step. I was amazed with this device when I was shown what it could do. I’m not sure if I want to possess one yet as I dislike wearing anything on my skin all day, but it still is a wonderful concept for the health conscious folks like me. Some of these trackers are also available on one’s mobile but it has to be held in the hand all the while, which can be quite uncomfortable sometimes.
- Paytm – The night of November 8, 2016, was a memorable one. I had just celebrated my grandmother’s birthday the day before and was heading to my cousin’s house when my friend called and articulated that I go to the nearest bank or ATM and immediately give away all my 500 and 1000 rupees notes to them. I thought she went senile so asked her to calm down and call me back in a while. We reached my cousin’s house and once my phone automatically connected to her wireless network, loads of messages, with regards to the 500 and 1000 rupees notes my friend was harping about a while ago, flooded all the Whatsapp groups. Till a few days later, everyone, from the rich to the poor, was in a state of panic but the Paytm team worked harder and out came the technology that a few used to pay taxi charges with, and made all the cash-only traders’ life easy. Shops and large stores had the debit/credit card swiping machines, however, the hawkers and small time dealers did not. But, they had mobile phones and Paytm can be used by anyone with a mobile phone. Smart!
Technology has made things easy for us, no doubt; but while making good use of it, we should also not allow it to control us. Technology is a useless servant but a dangerous master. Sometimes, I keep my gadgets and devices aside and spend quality time with friends and family. What about you? Do you keep technology-free time for yourself too?