The Smart Obsession

Words carry meaning. Some words during their usage assume a unique prominence. Smart – is one such word that is keeping its pace and place with the fast changing society. Let us attempt to magnify the ways how smart has intruded all walks of our living.

The personal adjective has left the lap of man and befriended almost everything. This passive smart invasion is increasing its catchment. The growing graph of smart-prefixing in the society is an intriguing phenomenon. The society seems to be sinking in the smart sea. The increasing volume of smart vocabulary is an interesting affair.

The city is becoming smart. The students are studying in a smart classroom. The smart screens are on display everywhere.  The ordinary wrist watch is out of fashion and replaced by a smart watch. For communication, smart-phone has become a cosmopolitan necessity. 

Excessive encroachment of smart gadgets in our day today life leaves too little to be done manually or intellectually. Imagining the future completely driven and dominated by smart tools and techniques injects a fancy feeling.

In business, the smart tag is placed all over. To lure the customer, the product is smart. The offer is smart. The price is smart. The banks are banking on usage of smart loan to attract the customers. In a fast changing and complex living, for every problem, there is anticipation of a smart solution.

The deep dependence on smart machines/products has a double dimension. One aspect reveals how swiftly the society is sliding on the smart slope. The ease and convenience associated with smart tag makes it a trend.  Complacence finds a fertile ground to freely flourish.

Ready-made and instantly applicable smart ways seem to economical and less time consuming. But there is the other side of the smart coin that is of concern. This prolonged pattern of consumption approach of smartness paralyses the inherent creative potential of human mind.

Human mind is endowed with cognitive competence. The element of creativity embedded unless activated will remain a useless resource. Ingenuity demands invitation and ignition to radiate brilliance.

The dynamic confrontation of human mind to challenging circumstances to think out of box in innovative and insane ways has resulted in path-breaking discoveries and inventions. Capacities and capabilities die off disuse. The short cuts offered in the so called smart packets sideline the human cognitive capability..

Smartness is not just an adjective. It is a human attribute. Literally, the smart vocabulary is in fashion. Over-reliance on ready-made and ready to use ways is insulating the vast ingenuity and inventive attributes. Consumption cannot replace creation. The cushion of comfort wrapped in smart laziness is repetitive and redundant.

The illusion of smartness needs a serious scrutiny. Does this dependence sharpen or sedate the human capability? Holidaying of human intelligence can reduce the reservoir of resource to a dead rubber. Novelty nestles in new ideas and new approaches. Bye-passing the cognitive potential will only bear boredom. Plutarch – the philosopher portrays it beautifully, ‘Mind is not a vessel to be filled in, it is fir that needs to be ignited. ‘

Let the borrowed parlance of smartness not paralyses us. Let us encourage intellectual and creative engagement to explore the possibilities of harnessing human resource properly. Copying the ways of others is not smartness. But creating the innovative ways is. 

Bilal Kaloo, Assistant Professor ,Department of Teacher Education, North Campus, University of Kashmir

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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