A desensitized community

Less than a century ago, a certain Nikola Tesla was making breakthroughs with his numerous inventions. He was such a brilliant mind that he predicted the technology that will enable people from Europe to communicate with people from Asia via a device smaller than their hand.

He also predicted a specific technology which would connect all people, and which would store data. That prediction’s fruition is the Internet.

A rather radical prediction of his was communication with aliens, which didn’t do much good to his reputation. Bar alien communication, we are now reaping the benefits not only of Tesla’s works, but of numerous inventors and scientists who have shaped the workings of society.

We aren’t only reaping the benefits of technology- I daresay we are dependent on it, in fact, too dependent that a normal person would not able to resist texting at least once a day. We wouldn’t survive in today’s world without using anything borne out of human technological ingenuity. It isn’t humanity anymore that’s shaping technology – it’s technology shaping humanity.

We have lost control of our lives anymore, and all this started just a few centuries ago. We have become the robots we have for so long wanted to develop to make our lives easier. Our lives are that mechanical and predictable already. We have lost that zest for life.

Even our fast-paced lifestyle, our insatiable desire for more, our manners are dictated in a way by technology. Simple appreciation of sunsets and sceneries are now replaced by playing on iPads. This is the zest and free-spiritedness that has been lost.

Sure, we are now more peaceful, more sensitive and more globally conscious, but where is our unpredictability and individuality? We are now more predictable than ever. One can work his bum off 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, buy all the things he wants, buy all the gadgets he wants and still not find happiness.

This lifestyle is a hamster wheel. This is the lifestyle dictated by society, which means working hard all week, spending money you don’t have through credit cards, getting sick because of overwork and using your hard-earned money just to pay for your medical care. Media makes you think getting all those glittery clothes, gadgets and all that wealth would actually make you happier. They make you want to be rich and renowned, and we buy this ploy.

Well we now have learned that we can’t be all that, only after we have wasted our life working too hard to please others, and in this case it is too late. We want to acquire so much material wealth that we have lost ourselves in the process. This is the life we live to please others and to support our debt-ridden life.

I admire our less fortunate countrymen, because food alone will bring smiles to their forlorn faces whilst we may splurge on unnecessary luxuries and still never find joy in life. Their simplicity is their best asset, their best weapon to go through an arduous life.

Gone are the days when gentlemen could only meet women by visiting them in their homes. Men can easily make a woman fall in love through text, and then dump them in the same brutal manner. In this case, we have lost our gallantry. People can now meet new people online, a far cry from the way our grandparents met each other. It is in personal conversation where we comprehend a person’s feelings and ideas, for we are never our true selves on the Internet or through text.

I admire free-spirited people, who don’t mind trekking around the world to find their true selves, who don’t mind letting go of their phones and laptops to find themselves. They are the ones frowned upon by society, but in their minds they have done good for themselves; they eventually find themselves through others. They don’t need a Swiss bank account, they just need Swiss chocolate in the morning to kickstart their day. Those who do this do not possess enormous wealth, but they do have enormous hearts and spirits, and these make our existence more meaningful and fuller than any bank account we have.

It’s only been a while since technology has developed so quickly. From sticks and stones we now possess cellphones and laptops, and the list just keeps going on. This advancement in technology has done so much to help us, but has also pierced the fabric of our sense of community with other people. Instead of being with friends, being alone in front of the computer is now a viable preference. Clearly this can’t go on. We can only go so much, to a point where ignorance and apathy is a norm, where individuality trumps community, where material wealth is better than spiritual and mental wisdom. Remember the incident in China where people just passed by a dying child on the pavement?

Jonathan Mendoza

By Jonathan Mendoza

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