March 25, 2023

Every activity that governs our life these days have the letter “e” before it. Thus, we have e-shopping, e-conference, e-viewing, e-trial, etc. The “e” before each word mentioned stands for electronic. Yes, our daily existence now revolves around electronic devices – the computer, be it a laptop or a tablet, and cellphone, making Internet connection a necessity.
Just as cases of the Covid-19, the development of technology evolves at a dizzying speed. What is here today is enhanced tomorrow. No era has seen such advancement in terms of connectivity and availability than this present generation. At the press of a button, whatever one wants or whatever one needs is there for the picking, everything is right under the tip of our fingers, literally and figuratively. And we are only starting.
It helped that the pandemic necessitated the institution of programs and applications that allow people to meet and greet without the need of seeing each other in person. The computer provides a virtual reality that simulates the presence of people and things. It makes it very easy to access anything and anybody, wherever and whenever; very convenient indeed. But there is a drawback. Virtual reality is dehumanizing us. It makes the interaction between people less personal. It is like talking to a gadget. Everything is done electronically. The failure to actually see and feel the one we are communicating with is devoid of any emotional attachment thereby robbing us of our human sentimentality.
Observe the people you see and meet every day. Observe your co-passengers inside the jeepney. Observe the family members while at the table eating or studying. They are all glued to their cellphones, laptops or computers, concentrating on something that is flashed thereon, unmindful that there are others around them. Their minds have become so hypnotized by an unseen hand. Their concentration revolves around their gadgets that they forget that the most significant aspect of their lives is not what they see but what they feel. It is ironic that despite the development of gadgets to make interaction and communication easier, people are speaking to each other lesser and lesser. Simon and Garfunkle best articulated the current situation when they said in their classic song “Sound of Silence,” “People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening…”
If our grandfathers and grandmothers were alive today, they will be confused with what they see and will be confounded with what they have to contend with. The technology will lobotomize their brains. They will be thankful that they are better off dead than alive.
All these “e” factors that influence our lives, whether we like it or not, are transforming us into something that we are not supposed to be. Soon, we shall live e-lives instead of real lives. In the process, we are getting modernized but less emotional, superlative but less ethical, technologically savvy but less moral. Think about it.