Suppose a girl flirts with a boy, and the boy reciprocates by holding her hand, asking for more. Any of the following three cases may follow; 1) the girl might hold back his hand; 2) the girl might push his hand away; 3) the girl might have her hand held by him and do nothing. Notice the difference between “holding back hand” and “having the hand held”. Both the first two cases correspond to a responsible decision. However the third case corresponds to an irresponsible decision. It is the hanging in between situation (based on a Sartre depicted character in Being and Nothingness). Just as “holding back hand” is different from “having the hand held”, in the same way “driving” is different from “being driven”. To a very large extent we are being driven by technology, when our core foundational intent was to drive technology according to our need. And this irresponsible choice, if we may call it, isn’t the worst thing, the worst thing is that it’s an unconscious choice. We don’t even realize it.
“We grew up with the internet, but the internet didn’t grow up”. – Dr. Sherry Turkle
Yet, we so much believe in the internet, that it has become an indispensable part of our lives, we don’t question it, and we blindly trust it. It comes naturally to us. What we don’t realize is that it’s still young and we are a part of an experiment, and it sure has started to drive us. To where we are being driven, is what we must start to question. We surely don’t want to get caught up and trapped in the vicious cycle of technology. Technology is made for us; we are not made for technology. Using technology for the better is just another role we ought to play; it doesn’t have to become more essential than that. However we have become so much dependent on gadgets like our Smartphone and laptop, that our well being is defined by how well our Smartphone and Laptop work. If you call any technology a “need”, ask yourself again, is it really one? Because when you come to think of it, technology itself might just have altered our definitions.