Technology and Human Isolation

As I pen down my thoughts, I do not know what my friends next to me are up to for I have social networks to hangout if I am stuck with some ideas. Nor do they know what I am up to for they seem busy with their Computers (laptops) on their respective laps. Only common thing we know is, all of us are holding a Computer each…

World, enabled by inventions and discoveries has become sophisticated over time. Short conversation to high level diplomatic talks are all channeled through technology. The commonly used cliché, ‘world is at your fingertips’ bears the testimony of how far we have travelled along with the technology. Knowledge and information starting from one’s diet to statuses of the fellow beings across the globe is right in front for us to get hold of. Days of walk to deliver the official correspondences and private mails can be now done in a minute through internet. Television sets present us the alternatives to engage with – watching news or some entertainment programmes. Computer applications have provided space to store huge data bases saving chunk of paper, time and potentially eliminating risks. World is really at your fingertips, is not it?

Beside these, technology has reduced the burden of mankind. By employing ‘Hawk Eye’ (a technology designed to visually track the trajectory of the ball) in sports help match officials to make right decision through instant review, even if he or she is not sure of what he or she really saw. Use of smartphones has furthered the understanding of individualism, at least for me, disappointingly in narrower sense.  One touch, you have access to everything you need without any body’s help, but, the social support system and interpersonal communication are almost nonexistent. Did we reach a point where we need to redefine Isolation?

For a short conversation to your friend, residing next room, probably a distance of 10 to 15 steps away, you make a phone call. Obsessed to one’s favourite television channel, husband (father), wife (mother) and children resort to take meals at different times for they do not want to miss their most cherished television programmes.  Western soft power – food habits, dress codes, languages and behaviours that we see in television programmes, news and social networks sites has its part in our changing life style.  While technology has helped us keep informed; vilification, allegation and accusation have distanced us rather than bringing us closer in a fast globalising world. Do we really want to face these realities of life unfolding unto us?

With technology, parts of human faculties are less burdened to the extent that some tasks are done away with altogether. As we try to fit in technology driven human community, some original characters in us are losing their grounds, inadvertently though. If these trends continue, a time may come where human faculties will be incapacitated to perform some tasks otherwise its primary function. Therein, Lamarckian Theory of ‘Use and Disuse’ will come into play. Are we becoming robots acting in conformity with the commands of the Technology? 

Written at the Royal Institute of Management in 2014

Dechen Rabgyal

I am from Drepung, Mongar, Bhutan.

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