Monday, 25 May 2009

Technology – An Amazing Thing with Some Unwanted Consequences

Hello everyone, I’m Fawaz one of the contributors to GreyedOut Magazine and I will be sharing my thoughts on this blog. So if you are interested in a lot of random and probably downright strange events and ideas then I think you might enjoy it. But don't worry, I will find a way to relate it to IT (somehow).

You may have been aware that GreyedOut Magazine had an Ipod Competition recently. There was a huge debate about what the question for the competition was going to be. Since my suggestion ended up on the cutting table, I have decided to share it with you, as I believe that it had a lot of potential. I felt that it would give anyone who came across it a moment to reflect and maybe give us some interesting anecdotes about the topic.

Right that's enough build up. The topic is: “What Manual Task did you enjoy doing before it was overtaken by Advances in Technology?” There were a lot of valid reasons why we couldn’t use this as a competition question but I think it’s an interesting subject worth considering. Think about it. There are a lot of things we used to do manually that will likely be considered a waste of time if you continued to do it the same way e.g Handwritten Letters, Dating (without checking some online profile), infact quite a number of regular things that are now available online like shopping, gaming, socializing, etc; Other things like voice and image manipulation have become big business meaning people can completely remodel themselves on what they feel is perfect and beautiful at the time. Whatever happened to natural beauty? More on that later.

As the topic of my blog suggests, I love technology and the convenience it brings to some of the things I highlighted above. The reason it bugs me is that I think people have gone too far to the technology side and now we all spend more time with our gadgets and other electronics than we do with one another. Instant messaging and texting ability is taking over from good conversational skills.

Personally, I enjoyed writing letters because I believe my handwriting is pretty good. You know, just short of being an artistic masterpiece worthy of display in an institution (ok, so I’m a little vain). Nowadays, all I get to do is pick a nice font after typing out my message just like I’m doing now. As a result, the fine art of calligraphy will continue to diminish because no one will bother trying to write nice when they can simply type it out and print it. Even secret admirers sending anonymous letters to their dream girls now type it out before doing all the other stuff that they do (don’t ask for details, I don’t know many secret admirers). Some even skip the whole letter stuff and just get it over with via email or text messages. This means the personal touch is being eroded from romance as well. As I mentioned before, emails and texts are good for getting a quick message across to friends or at work. I just wish people didn’t abandon the old style altogether.

Another thing I enjoyed was true beauty and talent. I realize that this can be a touchy subject but bear with me. Once upon a time, you could look at errrr… say a musician and say; “Wow, she is pretty and she sounds like an angel”. These days you’re more likely to say; “Wow, she is pretty. Her makeup artist must be a genius and her voice is probably augmented by some voice thingy-ma-jig technology. Obviously, I am generalizing here but you get the idea. You’re never sure if it’s implants or plastic surgery or natural endowment. Sometimes it’s not even the same person thanks to graphic manipulators. If you’ve ever used Photoshop you’ll know what I mean.

I can go on and on however, time and space constraints means that I have to conclude this blog entry by saying that technology is a wonderful thing. But unchecked, it can take away some of the essence of our individuality and humanity.

Fawaz Hamodu.

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