The boon and bane of machines

Apr 4, 2023

The boon and bane of machines

Innumerable machines have been created in human history. Humans have used technology to automate many activities. Computers fired up automation for calculations and controlling of mechanical works. Now we are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. First, it is one person or a team who brings an innovative idea. It is then developed for the benefit of the masses.

The mobile phone was Martin Cooper’s discovery in 1973. He is the Father of the (handheld) cellular phone. He placed the first public call from a real handheld portable cell phone at Motorola. It was brought to the market in 1983. Although he invented it, he told people not to use it. He spent only five minutes a day on his cell phone.

Technologies and machines are for the comfort of people. There are machines and gadgets which enter the market without sufficient testing. The governments have no control over this matter. We do not know if all these technologies and machines are good or bad for us. We buy the products and become their users. We bear the consequences of the malfunctioning and hidden risks of the technologies as we do not know the products we own.  Mobile phones are not for our health. Today, we cannot live without a mobile. People want to contact each other while they move without any hassle. Though people can avoid it they are used to it as if it is an addiction.

A mobile, a television, and a refrigerator are our everyday necessities. We cannot live without these things. There are manufacturers, sellers and consumers. As consumers, we buy without knowing much about it. We only want to satiate our feeling of necessity.

Mobile and mobile numbers have become mandatory for everyone. Even if someone does not want to use it they are bound to have it in their hands. Today’s communication revolves around mobile phones. You have a choice – either you work with your phone or have a good life without it.

If you don’t have a cell phone you are no person in society. You cannot have your fundamental right as a citizen. You will remain isolated and non-contactable with others. Banks will not allow you to open an account. Today, our access to the world and relations with others are bound to our mobile phones.

Water Purifier: A water purifier has become a necessity today. Aquaguard introduced the water purifier in India in 1984 after spotting a commercial opportunity in the concern of water contamination.  There are still many houses that don’t have a water purifier. Can anyone guarantee that the purifier is purifying the water? Perhaps it is only an assurance. We believe that the water we fetch from the lakes is not good. So we need a purifier. Even though we do not know the science behind it, we need a purifier. Most of us are not even aware that many essential minerals are lost in the process of purification.

Mixer grinder: In India, Mr Satya Prakash made the first mixer grinder in 1963. He created a mixer as per Indian cooking needs. It was for grinding anything, dry or wet. It is one of the unavoidable machines in the Indian kitchen. But, do we get the same taste of the food that we used to get in those times when everything traditionally was stone grind?

The refrigerator: The first electric refrigerators for home and domestic use were invented in 1913 by Fred W. Wolf. It was brought into the kitchen to prevent processed foods, fruits and vegetables from going stale. But how healthy is it to consume refrigerated foods? The foods lose much of their nutrition when they are refrigerated. Yet, we hoard and store foods to save time and effort and use them for our convenience.

Humans want everything in their house: a refrigerator, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher and every other gadget that makes life simpler. We cannot escape our temptation. We don’t understand if these machines are saving our time or creating problems. We do not know how worse these machines may become for health in future. We humans sometimes do not have the purpose or deciding ability to choose what is good or bad for us.

Machines pamper us and make us overweight and lethargic. Machines consume plenty of costly energy. They are convenient but we need time to clean them to make them hygienic.

Everyone must ask a question to self:

Are machines helping us or are we increasingly relying on them is a question.

And in doing all this we are living a meaningful life, and we believe that.