The dark age of ignorance has returned in the enlightened world of today. Yes, you read it right. By years of patience, silence and devoted meditation man had successfully achieved the highest level of peace, a state of statelessness or nirvana. The solution lies in end of desires to achieve salvation.
The de-cluttering of the mind from the worldly life, introspection, soul searching, self-correction was shear part of existence. Living in isolation either on a hilltop, in a cave or quietly meditating under a tree were trends of normal life.
Along with peace and sobriety, intelligence and discoveries made inroads in human psyche simultaneously. Inventions and research gave mankind the power to design better equipments for communication, transport and a comfortable living. Technology and science changed the course of human story. And today the brightest hour of technological revolution has begun. We are the blessed ‘modern age ‘ people our ancestors once predicted about to their contemporaries. They even warned them about us. We are the ‘ Neo ignorant ‘.
We are ignorant of the presence of life energy around us. We are absorbed in reading data, gaping at pictures and storing unnecessary stuff in the mind. We smile alone at the posts, we think randomly, get influenced by media reports or tempted to shop online. YouTube has captured our minds 24* 7. Yes, you will agree as you are reading this and as I am typing this, we are both users and utilitarian’s of the world of information technology.
This is the age of information and less about wisdom and adventure. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and our precious cell phones. Earlier there were Chinese, Mongolians, Caucasian, Negros, Arabians, Asians or Europeans. Today everyone on the globe looks the same. The race of the modern era belongs to Nokia, Samsung, Apple, one plus series and so on. Every individual is a prototype of each other. He or she behaves the same. In fact people across the world feel, think and react the same way for every situation. Will you not agree, the most used emoticon on the keypad today is a yellow smiley. Sad, excited, tearful, angry, furious, symbols follow.
Every few minutes we religiously browse the screen or fiddle with the device. We live in parallel worlds. There is a guest with you, your beloved sitting beside, a group of friends around, your parents at the dinner table, you are sitting, standing, walking, or could be in deep slumber, be it anything the addiction of the cell phone is real.
The internet, the social networking websites, the chatrooms, messaging apps have hypnotised one and all. There is no night today. Night has lost its essence of bringing rest and energy to the mind and body. The green symbol that shows you online is your new address. Your new identity is with .com or a mere 16-digit number.
The most hilarious is when I see something like ‘ harry was Live five minutes ago’ or ‘ feeling good with Mr. X or eating dinner with Mr. Z. We are forced to see, forced to read everything on internet. It is inevitable. Sonia is going for a party tomorrow. Someone else has reached the airport or has landed in a city.
Nitty gritty Information does not help your intellect to grow. Neither do you grow nor do you gain anything from the irrelevant data. Distractions, ignorance and hypnosis of the highest order have creeped in. We are in the midst of a digital world. Our eyes blink more, reflect less, fingers move quick and mouth remains shut for hours. We desperately need to unplug our self to feel the air around us.
To realise that the traps of the digital world have engulfed our life and clogged the mind. The digital distraction is the new direction. The long walks, the warm talks around the table, the small naps and joy of play has somehow vanished from our lives.
The most essential part of life is the act of life. The script, the play, the act, the role of our life needs the main actor and that is ‘ the self’. But early morning what do I see.
The young joggers at the park, the vendors across the lane, the elderly, the kids and people of all age are engrossed and obsessed with their devices either listening or watching something unaware of anything or anybody around them. With their iPods or earphones on , each one has taken an invisible curtain around.
Trespassing their zone may offend them. I start my day every morning looking at these busy people all consumed by the iPhones or the iPods. I often happen to meet an acquaintance or neighbor outdoors but even before I ask him’ how are you dear?’ he is already attending someone else on his cell. I swallow my regards and leave.
My kids are busy watching nursery rhymes. They don’t need me to teach them anything, everything’s on the YouTube. Each member has drawn invisible curtain. Each member in the family and in office has an important task on hand and being done on the cell. The backdrops of life are no different be it work area or a restaurant or family get together. Be it morning, afternoon, night or any minute of the day, the digital world is timeless.
Its excesses and infinite use have sapped away humour, fun and human to human touch.
The virtual world has become real. I am afraid the society is transforming into an isolated, lone and indifferent civilisation. We need to discipline this unchecked habit of growing ‘mute’. We need digital minimalism today.
The idea to connect far and wide was profound but the deed of disconnecting with the near and close is sinful. Technology is growing like a giant monster and is engaging us in all waking and sleeping ours to become immortal.
The pride of being the inventors of the modern life is a misconception. The belief that our age is the real benefactor of technology is no more true. For we have turned to be the slaves of the new master.
Man has been living on this planet with courage, vigour and hard work since thousands of centuries but the race today and that of tomorrow has already been chained by the traps of the spectacular and glittering digital world. Look up, look around the world needs to be discovered still, moments have yet to be lived with wholeheartedness and mindfulness. Science is still primitive for it cannot fathom the depth of human heart entirely.
The grace and light of mankind cannot be eclipsed by the enchanting digital world of today.
Hai Dil Ke Liye Mout Machinon Ki Hukumat
Ehsas-e-Marawwat Ko Kuchal Dete Hain Aalaat (Allama Iqbal)
( Death to the heart, machines stand sovereign,
Engines that crush all senses of human kindness)