Has Technology Gulped Human Imagination?

This topic has been quite common for high school speeches and debates on a general basis and the viewpoints have been vast enough, as well. Then why did I come up with this topic in particular when there are many things going on in our day-to-day life. Well the answer is simple. A proverb says ‘Little drops make the mighty Ocean’. So if these things are neglected today, then they are bound to come back in future.

 

Albert Einstein once said that Imagination is more important than knowledge. He also said- ‘I fear the day that technology will surpass our human imagination and interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots ‘. Seldom did we know that he was referring to the near future that was awaiting the world at that time. Technology took its stride in full force after the Industrial revolution and from then to now, a self-driving car replacing a man-driven horseback ride has become the most noticeable thing. Is it bad that this happened? Definitely not! Even these things harnessed human imagination and made man scratch his brain harder. Then what bad did they do? Well they released the pressure of much more men from doing the same.

Many say that the future will be a generation of robots that will destroy mankind and what not. I don’t see robots doing this so soon but I don’t think that destroying mankind is what’s scary, destroying imagination is itself far more dangerous!

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Today I sit here writing this post and tomorrow a high-school kid gets a speech on Technology, he searches the web, gets this content, rehearses it. No wonder he gets a round of claps and appreciation but neither does he, nor does the whole class understand what the kid lost in gaining these marks- IMAGINATION. And that won’t affect him then, but it will definitely affect him in the long run.

The most common example that has also been trending is the shift from novels to ‘Kindle’. Amazon made a humble approach for the book reading enthusiasts by developing the Kindle-a technological facet to book reading. I myself had a try at it in the past days and I felt it was quite good. It is interesting to see how they have very well maintained the texture of a book on the screen, glare-free and handy just as a novel would be. It reminded me of the days I would wait in the queue to get a Enid Blyton novel in the school library and how I would cherish reading it, especially the ‘Famous Five’ series. The use of Kindle has not made the children stop from reading novels and I don’t criticize the approach. But what went wrong in it was reflected in the user questions on the Amazon website. You could relate to my saying if you ever had a look at it. The most common questions asked are: Does it support pendrive? Does it support mp3 formats? Does it have a video player? Now if a guy is purchasing a device for reading, then why on earth would he need a video player to be installed in it? Well the answer here is simple too. It’s because today the people don’t cherish the smell of books that we used to do. They don’t see the writer’s creativity that comes with the book. They just need to show off others that they are doing a job beyond imagination.

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God blessed the human race with a brain and some did use it to make huge leaps and great inventions. However , the majority waited for these people to make these inventions.  Today a common man waits on autocorrect to check spelling errors. What could be worse?

I guess this article could go on and on and many more examples could be given to which each and every person can relate. But what do we understand from this? Do I see the rise of technology as the Intellectual Apocalypse? Do I see humankind falling prey to technological rise? Will technology govern the planet as they show in the movies nowadays? Not necessarily. The best way to make technology work for you instead of against you is to be smart about it—utilize it in order to allow you the time and mental energy to engage in higher-level cognitive activities, not as a crutch because you don’t feel like activating your neurons. If you are creative about how you channel and process the limitless supply of information out there—remaining conscious about how, why, and when you use it—I believe technology can actually increase your intelligence. But don’t ask your device how to make that happen—figure that one out for yourself. Your brain will thank you. And so would you cherish the fruitful result. Technology is a resource and it will do whatever humans feed it with. If anything new is bound to come, it will come from human intellect and some brain brushing. All said and done here, seems it’s an individual’s choice to call the shots.

The best one can infer is what R. Buckminster Fuller once said: You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Imagine, and a bright future awaits!

 

Penned by Vinesh Iyyappan, a professional Tech blogger, Android enthusiast and a second year student of Instrumentation Engineering.