The Encarta Dictionaries define a Machine as “… a device with moving parts, often powered by electricity, used to perform a task, especially one that would otherwise be done by hand.” So we observe that there is a WORK to be done and there is also a WAY it was done (that is physically) and the machine does the same work but in a different way (that is mechanically or electronically) thereby relieving the hands of the responsibility of doing the work. While this sounds plausible, we need to consider that those hands that were relieved are also relieved of the wages of their labours. So machines are relieving many of their jobs.
Today I am concerned with the electronic machine which we call Smartphones. Graham Bell got us the first telephone and I am sure that he will be amazed at what that phone has transformed into. Initially, where our legs would have trekked to, we dial to reach. Today, the same device has taken up the duties of so many others that it will be needless listing. Google play ensures that. Therefore all the hands that fed from these have been relieved of their duties and dividends.
There is however, something that is more worrisome about this machine; it is the taking over of the duties of the mind. I grew up doing what we called “mental Arithmetic.” We used not even a pen to resolve mathematical questions. In so doing, we developed our minds and creative thinking capacities. This improvement in imaginative thinking was the dividend of the labours of the mind. Today, ask a simple arithmetic question and everybody brings out his or her phone; even to get change! Aren’t we really losing our minds? I grew up with a hardcopy of the Bible. I marked it and shaded it and in so doing, registered those marks in my memory. These were mental markers that guide you back to the page and place. That has been taken over by the search button. Our generation is losing our minds to the Smartphones and we do not seem to know this. We are becoming mentally very lazy. Many will not read this post because of its length. Facebook has provided colour plates for short statements because they know that our minds are no longer as active as they were. Nowadays, we are taught to put pictures to catch the attention of the readers. Are these not teaching techniques for the Creche? Why do people not recognize that they have become forty year babies. The electronics are causing us to lose jobs; but more painfully, they are causing us to lose our minds! When that is successfully done, we will lose ourselves for “as a man thinketh in his heat, so he is.” If a man can no longer think for himself, he is worse than a zombie. Such a person cannot maintain any healthy relationships. That’s why we have fewer worthy relationships. Someone says what you don’t like and a button is there to shut him out forever. What are we turning into? What are we when we no longer know our car plat numbers, bank accounts, phone numbers of core family and friends
Here’s my few suggestions:
1. Get yourself back. To do this, you have to device practical ways of regaining your mental independence. Get and use hardcopies too!
2. Give your mind tasks: memorization of phone numbers, car numbers. Memorize passages of scriptures by physically writing them down on a piece of paper and try reading it as often as possible in the day.
3. Govern your social media life. Take a break once in every quarter. Use that break to harness physical relationships.
Writter: Bishop CNC Onyeledo