Road to 700: Techno-Lazy

Update: This post has featured on BlogBharti

I landed up on full2faltu's blog which was counting down to its 700th post, through a post on Bohemian Rhapsody. Full2faltu is inviting guest writers to help him reach 700 (the count now stands at 697). The post you write will contribute to charity.

Here's what I managed to come up with for Full2faltu's charity initiative. Reproducing the post here.

There have been discussions in the recent past about technology breeding ignorance, or even plain stupidity. Well I tend not to agree with this. I’d rather say technology breeds laziness, hence the title of this post – techno-lazy.

Scene 1:

Sometime last year, I had been to a mall in Kuala Lumpur and enquired about the price of an iPod. The lady told me its 740 Malaysian Ringgit (RM). Now, obviously, I had to convert that to Indian Rupees, and 1 RM equals Rs. 12 approx. So what do I do?

I reach into the left pocket of my jeans to pull out my cell phone (for the calculator you know). Uh-oh! The phone is in the other pocket. So I pull out the phone from the other pocket. But damn! This pocket is so tight that along with the phone comes some money that I had kept in that pocket. And it falls to the floor. Aargh! I bend to pick up the money, give a silly smile to the pretty sales-lady. At last, I can start calculating .. but wait . . how do I get to the calculator on this phone? (I rarely use the calci you see).

Finally, maybe 3 minutes after I had first reached into my pocket to pull out the phone, I arrive at the answer – 740RM = Rs. 8880.

Had I not been so over-dependent on technology, I would probably have done the calculation in 30 seconds (700*12 = 8400, 40*12 = 480.. make that approx 500 … so cost of that iPod is approx Rs. 8900). Not to mention that I’d have saved myself from embarrassment in front of that cute salesgirl.

Scene 2:

I forget birthdays of three close friends within a span of 2 months. Can you imagine? Not one, not two, but THREE birthdays!!! And what’s the excuse I give them? “Hey, how would I know? You have not mentioned your birthday on ______ [fill in the blanks with a social networking site of your choice].”

Aww c’mon now. How difficult is it really to remember birthdays? During my early teens and before the advent of internet, I used to remember them effortlessly. Then how come this sudden loss of memory? Well .. its not loss of memory. Its just pure laziness, that’s what it is.

These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg. In the first case, had I not had access to that stupid calculator on that stupid mobile handset, I would definitely have performed the calculation mentally; and much more efficiently at that! In the second case, I certainly remembered birthdays before I started relying on Orkut for the same.

Point I am trying to make is, technology is not making us stupid. Its just making us lazy to the core. Take away the technological prop, and we will still continue to perform the same tasks as efficiently. Its only because the technology is there that we use it. And we will continue to do so. I will continue to call/SMS the person in the next room (instead of walking up to him).. until Airtel keeps offering me the dirt-cheap call rates and hundreds of free SMSes every month :D

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