There was a time people would get excited over every new technology. Two-generation-old children would gather soon after listening to the humming of an aircraft and run after it until it vanished in thick clouds and became invisible.
People are so used to escalators and elevators that they hardly have time to enquire about the existence of staircases. In most buildings, staircases have become only an emergency arrangement.
Many new solutions have emerged where machines have emerged as an alternative to manual work. Robots are employed to do the most basic job of a waiter in restaurants and coffee shops, posing a real threat to those humble humans who have to wear a smile and serve their clients in good and bad situations.
New technologies have continuously helped humanity with inventions in transport, infrastructure, healthcare and even in the creation of new job opportunities.
Too much dependence on it, however, is dangerous. A recent example was an outage in some areas in the Sultanate of Oman. It literally took life out of gear. Forget about its impact on power and water supply; people were not able to come out of their offices and houses because the machine-operated electronic gates stopped functioning in the absence of power supply. Outsiders were not able to enter, insiders were not able to go out causing road blockade in many areas.
Since the outage continued for reasonably long hours, people realised their dependence on technology.
It sounds funny, but some people forgot to drink water during the outage because their mobiles got discharged, which had an app to tell them to drink water after some interval.
These funny sides need to be taken seriously. Technology is not bad, but becoming overly dependent on it is terrible. It should always work as a facilitator, not as a master.
As soon as the power goes, traffic signals stop working. It creates chaos on the roads, and many accidents also happen.
"We can have hybrid traffic control signal systems fitted in traffic control vehicles and used when such situations arise. Not as effective as a regular traffic signal but certainly something that can address an emergency," a health and safety executive suggested.
There are many good and bad examples of too much dependence on technology despite knowing that, in most cases, this dependence is causing health and environmental issues.
"Most lifestyle diseases happen due to our over dependence on technology. For example, most people will not get out of their cars until a doctor writes a prescription to walk, and many will spoil immunity by continuously sitting under air conditioners," said general practitioner Dr Harish Kumar.
Anything that involves operation through a machine requires energy consumption, which results in carbon emissions. Over dependence on technology, thus, is a double-edged sword. It affects health as well as the environment.
The technology trap is not a good idea. Humanity should mend its ways instead of surrendering to a digital authority to rule the world.