MIDWAY : Of technological revolution

Eak Prasad Duwadi

Mailmen no longer deliver your letters. The chore of picking up the morning newspaper at your doorstep is quickly becoming a thing of the past. And libraries will soon be outdated as well. Welcome to the information age!

These days, our mails are delivered in inboxes. No more licking and pasting of the bothersome stamps; all we have to do is hit the ‘Send’ icon. Express delivery has a whole new meaning. A mouse implies more a sophisticated computer device instead of the annoying pest we are accustomed to in our houses. Surfing is best done over the Internet rather than on the beaches. Games are no longer bought at stores, but downloaded directly into computers. All sounds fascinating, but will we benefit from this?

How do we as a society adjust to this technological revolution? The answer lies in each society’s ability to measure the costs and benefits of technological advancement. The growth of technology brings great hope, but it can also portend despair if care is not taken. Kids are growing up with computers. They are learning more, and faster. All seems wonderful at first sight. But who knows if the computers are not depleting the social skills of the children, for example! So, whether it is more beneficial to be a member of ‘America Online’ rather than a local group is for us to judge. We need to lead this boom in the right direction. We need to make sure the rapid cha-nges induced by the IT revolution are not detrimental. The contents of the World Wide Web need to be monitored and its ill got ridden of. We need to make sure the people with ill motives are not using the net for their benefit. And Internet should act as a catalyst to find jobs, rather than a tool to replace them. The possibilities IT industry has opened up are endless. But with such sophisticated systems come equally complex problems. Let us hope that better brains will always be able to lay these problems to rest. But we need to be careful. Mailmen can keep delivering the mails, but computers may be used to make the deliveries quicker. The librarians can augment their bookshelves with the latest educational software. Teachers like me may also benefit if we learn to use the new technology with a bit of caution and a dash of acumen.