Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Struggle with technology – The Generation Gap (PART 2)


Complete ignorance to a worrying obsession


“I think there's a gigantic generation gap in terms of how people understand the Internet and how much they think technology is an important factor in social change” – Alex Steffen  ( American Futurist )


I do wonder - Smartphones or Smart Kids?


“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it”- George Orwell


We all still get a lot of stick from our parents about how bad our generation has turned out. I’m pretty sure they received plenty from their parents as well. That’s just the way it works. Kind of like a cold war between generations. It never really amounts to anything but the tension is always palpable.


The 90s kids have seen a lot of technological transitions and have learned to adapt pretty well. When the smartphone was introduced we were the first to get our hands on them. I remember us being referred to as the smartphone generation. After looking at today’s generation I hardly believe we deserve that tag. These kids are on a different level altogether.


During my school days parents used to be worried about their kids drinking or smoking. Adding smart phone addiction to the list wasn’t even something one could think of 5-7 years back. It’s happening though. Kids are so used to showcasing their life via their smart phone I wonder whether they’ll be able to eat their food without taking a picture of it first. Stop showcasing your life!
“Remember when people had diaries and they would get mad if someone read them? Now they post everything online and get mad when don't”  - The Irony!


I do wonder - Smartphones or Smart People?


"I didn’t expect to find myself living in the future, but here I fucking am." - Dialogue from the popular Netflix series - Black Mirror


Have we ever thought about where technology has driven us? Have we forgotten the line between virtual and real? What really is the like button on Facebook and why does it give us joy or a sense of pride? Reality is a blur and we have a larger presence online than in real life.


A popular episode from Black Mirror called ‘Nosedive’ sheds light on the powderkeg that is social media. A world where everything revolves around your social media presence. Everyone rates the interactions they have with one another on a scale of 1-5. People are therefore polite, courteous and very helpful. Everyone is happy around you and there are no nasty altercations with anyone. UTOPIA !!!!
Well the flipside is a downward spiral caused by a tiny altercation causing one's ratings to plummet and therefore losing out on everything you have in life. All of the people rate you down and you are shunned from society. The episode is very harsh but a real eye opener at the same time.


“What I did in my youth is hundreds of times easier today. Technology breeds crime” - Frank Abagnale


It’s hard to ignore the words of Frank Abagnale. You’ll remember him, don’t you? Leo DiCaprio played him in Catch Me If You Can, ring any bells? For those who don’t know, Frank managed to con his way into becoming a pilot, a lawyer and a doctor all before his 18th birthday. This date back to the 1960s when the best technology Frank had was a crummy old typewriter. He used to forge cheques, certificates, degrees, documents etc. I can only imagine what all he could have achieved if he had a smart phone.


What we knew so far about cybercrime was credit card theft, stolen identity, data breach or illegal bollywood songs which we used to download. What's the worst that could happen? Some rich organisation will lose out on a few bucks, that's it. It can't kill anyone can it? You require a weapon to kill, don't you?


We never thought technology could breed crime and disrupt society. We do know since these new suicide games reached our shores a year back. Nowadays we wake up to the news of suicides every morning. What started off as a few isolated incidents has now become a massive problem. Few gullible kids fall prey to a monster behind a screen and give into his demands. Child grooming, child pornography and blackmailing are a very common occurrence, which we ignore or which we want to deny happen? With a phone in every young child's hands you are exposing them to monsters you only heard about in bedtime stories.


Vigilance on the parents part isn't enough. We are fighting a battle against monsters who know who you are,where you are, what you like and what you do - They are a part of you. You have exposed yourself to this monster. Your likes on Facebook, the pouting faces on Instagram, the sensual pics via SnapChat, the NSFW pics on WhatsApp or the visit to those +18 websites - they lurk everywhere and are ready to pounce.

If your life is an open book - someone will read it !!!

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