Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Weirdly wired..

Once upon a time, very long ago, people visited each other when they wanted to connect. They would go to weddings and functions, meet up during festivals and when they thought about each other. Alexander Graham Bell then gave the world a magical gadget, called the telephone that helped people stay connected when they could not physically meet each other but so badly wanted to. And then all the smart Alecs in the world kept improvising it giving the world smart phones, smarter phones and the smartest of phones, stretching the very limits of imagination.

While people like ‘yours truly’ were still gushing about and making a big deal of how they could access the internet, make presentations, and enjoy video calls, the world zoomed past by their beautiful long noses into a more fantasy filled realm, which by the way, was more real than you could ever imagine.  

People could now not just take pictures on their smart phones but also print it super quick just by connecting to an app and a printer. Another app could convert their smart phones into remote controls and switch on the TV, or the music system. Yet another could connect their fitness bands to their smart phones, race cars, fly drones, or play legacy games. 

People could now glue themselves to their seats and yet know who was at the door, just by looking at their smart phones. When on a journey, they would not have to ever bother about losing their luggage, that they had just locked using their smart phone which also gave them a GPS update should it lose its proximity to them. Their smart phones also connected to their cars, telling them what was wrong with their cars should it develop a snag. Their smart phones were always at their beck and call should they need anything from mechanics to doctors, an app for everything.

But amidst all this, the true magic of the gadget was lost. A G Bell lay turning and twisting in his grave, thinking if he did indeed the right thing in giving the world his invention. People could print pictures but memories were becoming jaded. People could live stream the visitor at their doors, but the joy of opening the door to an unexpected guest was gone. Maybe, there would be no unexpected guest visiting their home after all, in the era of the smart phone, whatsapp and facebook had them all covered. An app could double up as their doctor, but could never compare to the love of being tended to with care.

Everyone had turned into solitary little islands connected to the world only with the smart phones they held in their hands. A phone that was smart enough to connect to everything in the world except to the hearts and minds of people for whom it was originally intended. Bell wished that someone would invent an app to actually connect to that. 

Maybe then, a son would know how his mother pined for him, a man would know the anguish in the heart of his beloved, or a friend would know how sorely he was being missed, just by connecting to an app.  Or better still; the app would miraculously bring their loved ones together even as they thought about them. Exactly like in the times of yore, when all they had to do when they thought of someone, was just go and meet them.

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