Written by Veenaa Logenthiran – ME120
The ringing of the alarm wakes you up and you open your eyes to a new day. The first thing you do is to silence the alarm on your phone. No, you don’t stop there. The notification bar seems tempting. Your fingers are drawn to the Facebook app, flashing in all its glory, almost daring you not to click on it. The screen turns blue as your feed loads and you fidget, waiting to see how many likes your latest post has received. Meanwhile, your pupils, unadjusted to the bright light, begin to tear but you wipe your eyes with the back of your hand. After all, keeping up with the latest updates is more important than your eyesight. You keep scrolling, minutes turn into hours; until you suddenly realize that you’re late for work or school. Yet, as you quickly gulp down a glass of milk, you login to Instagram. What a fascinating morning routine!
The word ‘digital’ embodies electronic information in the form of digital bits, including Images, PDF and recording while ‘technology’ is the medium through which digital data is published. Social media is one of the most widespread forms of digital technology that people from all walks of life are directly exposed to.
It is ironic, how “social” media contradicts its own name, ultimately, making us less social. Our friend lists grow, yet we are friendless, for we become experts at scrolling but forget how to communicate with someone beside. With feelings becoming status updates and blue ticks being used as an instrument to demonstrate annoyance, relationships lose their worth. All this, a product of digital technology overstimulation. Each time we open a social media app, we double click on posts that spark jealousy, posts that make us wrongfully benchmark ourselves against others. However, are we doing justice to ourselves when we compare our behind-the-scenes to others’ highlight reel? Slowly, depression creeps in, destroying our self-esteem and disrupting our lives. Additionally, with digitalization, privacy ceases to exist. With every action, the snap of the camera lens echoes, publicizing our most intimate moments. It’s so easy to swipe our credit cards, however, that one piece of plastic, once lost, takes our entire life savings with it. The risks of digital technology have also been exacerbated by the ease of access and increased visits to entertainment and pornography. In a world where everything is over exposed, the best thing one can do is to maintain one’s mystery.
On the other hand, digital technology and its related advances have proved to be extremely useful, almost indispensable in today’s world. With international news and a whole wealth of information under our fingertips, global transactions made within seconds and instant worldwide connectivity, it is safe to say that digitalization has greatly increased opportunities of global economic as well as social growth. In times such as the period we are currently in, the ability to communicate online has been the ultimate savior. Regardless of which corner of the world students are, learning can still progress. Similarly, employees can enjoy the comfort and safety of working from home, with only limited disruption.
While it is truly a blessing to be born into a generation where digital technology simplifies and betters so many aspects of life, I do wish I could experience, just for a few days, the old era where digital technology was but a faraway fantasy!
1. Quotes by Richard Williams (Prince EA)
2. Pictures from Google Images