Take a look at the world around you. It’s changing at a rapid pace. Our lifestyle has changed, our ways of getting things done have changed and moreover, our outlook has also changed a great deal. Credit goes to technology. It’s that instrument, which has allowed us to explore a world of our imagination.
From shortening the travel time around the globe, making communication super-easier, simplifying uncountable laborious tasks to making our lives ultra comfortable, technology has done a lot for which we should be thankful.
Which leads us to a somewhat controversial question – our attitude towards technology. How do we perceive technology today? How it stands in comparison to other world-changing fields of human thoughts. More interestingly, the possibility of technology becoming the new religion.
To address that question we first need to dive into the major areas in which technology is making a major impact.
To start off, education in the earlier time was considered to be the prerogative of a select few; people on the higher echelons of the social ladder. But the advent of the Internet, in itself a revolutionary technology, has brought the entire world on a level playing field. Education, as we know today in the form of classroom learning will soon go out of fashion. There’s a sea of information to be explored on the internet, be it news, social media, sports, weather, politics, history, health, you name it. We’re soon headed towards a time where to bear ignorance would be synonymous with a crime. Even today, when somebody doesn’t know about a certain notable event or happening, people frown or shake their heads and then ask that person to Google the said event. Our tolerance to ignorance is going down as we take it for granted that in the age of internet, one can’t have an excuse for lack of knowledge. Before we forget, it would be technology’s doing. Technology is making us more aware, informed and intelligent about the world around us.
Moving on to healthcare, technology has revolutionized this sector as well. First with the advance in the medicine and more recently with the state of the art tools and technologies, reading the inner workings of the body and understanding various disease at a more closer level. All of this is a triumphant achievement and a victory of ‘human curiosity’. Illnesses which would have given frets to people in the past, now better understood could be managed and cured without a lot of difficulties. When the subject is health, smartphone apps can’t go without a mention. These nifty and ultra useful apps can track our calories intake and exhaustion, read our heart rate, send us notifications when we have been inactive for a while and many, as unreal as it may sound, can help track the growth of melanoma or other cancerous cells. Now, who would have thought that possible even half a century ago?
Kids today grow up learning to send text messages on Whatsapp, Facebook and countless other instant messaging apps. A far cry from our days of physical postal service. Communication has always been thought of as a difference-maker. For example, in fields of battle, the outcome, in addition to the size of the army and its competency, used to hinge a lot on how fast and effectively one side was receiving directions compared to the other. A useful tip delivered at the right time could tip the balance of power in either army’s favour. Luckily, we don’t have many wars going on today but access to swift communication is still prized upon. No wonder businesses spend profusely on communication technologies and their security to ensure there’s no hindrance to the flow of communication. People sitting oceans apart can start talking to their friends and family by tapping into their smartphones within a matter of seconds.
In the field of travel, human has always been making steady process. Think back to our times as seafarers on primaeval ships and boats. Now there are flights taking people around the globe within a day or two where our ancestors spent many millennia to explore the whole known planet. Even super-fast trains, buses and cars are great for short distances, thanks to the invention of the wheel. Travel has been reimagined with the latest technologies.
Now, it was a lengthy preamble to prove my point about technology turning into something much more than just technology but something interwoven into our lives and being, much like a religion. The basic point about religion is that it gives people hope. A hope of deliverance in the afterlife, freedom from guilt, and power to face the tragedy in this life.
I feel that technology is coming close to doing the same. It’s giving people hope of a brighter future. The extraordinary attempts of entrepreneur Elon Musk to civilize Mars challenges the belief that planet Earth is our only home. If Elon Musk by a stroke of some genius succeeds in his vision, he would be revered no less than a deity by the people of Mars.
We can further probe the argument. As well as equipping us to face the challenges in life, technology also gives us the means to defeat them. Think of modern medicines and advanced surgeries. They’re nothing short of miracles. Defects, which people in the past thought irreversible and lifelong, can now be corrected with super complex procedures.
Finally, a word about AI i.e. Artificial Intelligence, which may just prove to our greatest invention to date. We’re infusing machines with the power to think and act like humans. In fact, one wouldn’t be wrong to say, we’re trying to create machines now in our own image, which draws parallel to the idea of God creating humans in his own image in the Bible. There isn’t a tech giant that hasn’t been working with the AI technology to clear the clutter and reduce human-dependency. There’s a belief that machines will do the bulk of our work whose remote control will lie in our hands.
At a concluding note, I’d just like to say that the tentacles of technology are too many to recount in this blog. There are tons of new technologies being designed and developed every day to make our lives convenient. For many people, the technologies of their interest is a lifelong fascination. They forget about the rest of the world and devote everything to its completion. For the users of such technology, it’s a power to do more or do something with the least effort. I really feel when people are brought up in an environment when there’s little to no sense of what world-religions teach, they may embrace technology as their new religion.August 10, 2018