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Sunday , November 18 2018

Slaves to technology

Ahmad Al-Sarraf
No doubt, most of us are being carried away by information technology and have become slaves to our smartphones. Our attention is often captured by the huge number of messages that comes to us every minute. Most of the time, these messages are trivial, silly and not worth wasting time for downloading and reading or watching.

Social media represents a double-edged sword that can either be used properly for spreading valuable messages and exchanging serious information or for spreading rumors, trivial stories and scandals. Actually, there are very few people who use social media properly and for constructive purposes.

I had previously written about my experience in getting rid of my good and bad habits in order to free myself from anything that binds me. I simply do not like being controlled by any external factors.

In the process, I realized that I spend a lot of time following, reading and watching hundreds of WhatsApp messages that are sent to me every day. I also realized that I became less productive than before, and even more stressed because of some nonsensical messages.

The most important thing I discovered was that I lost a good percent of my decorum especially during family meetings as I am often preoccupied in following a silly story, a football game or a fire incident when I am actually supposed to be paying attention to those who are sitting with me.

My friend Tawfeeq Awad once told me that he feels ashamed when he realizes he neglects the people around him while reading messages on WhatsApp. He then decided to switch off his mobile phone or leave it in his car before attending a meeting out of respect for himself as well as the people he will be meeting.

He said many people go into some kind of a virtual world when they focus on their smartphones. He stressed that social media allows us to communicate with people who are far away from us but we end up ignoring those who are nearby, which is very rude.

I noticed that many parents in my family circle force their children to use smart devices as a way of avoiding being disturbed while they watch a football game or a TV show. This is actually a serious crime against not only children but also humanity.

So I have decided that, starting from today, I will gradually avoid WhatsApp, after getting a clear idea of the general context of the messages that are sent to me. I am certain that if others took similar decisions, they will realize that time will be more precious and valuable.

Einstein once said, “I fear the day when technology will surpass human interactions. The world will then have a generation of idiots”.

email: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

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