Saturday, August 8, 2020


When I heard about robots taking over humanity in future, little did I realise until recently how profound and true that prediction was. Robots not in the sense shown in Hollywood sci-fi movies but more on a level of how we make decisions have taken over our lives. We are bombarded with targeted not just ads day in and day out in every walk of life to influence our decision making. In the 90s and 2000s, consumerism has taken over the west to buy things that we don’t want and it was done to constant marketing through TV and print commercials but it wasn’t personalized and targeted.This decade technology has made huge advancements to influence and dictate people to do what they want to but what the technology behemoths want them to do.. Algorithms driven by monetization metrics decide what we should see and do. Each element of our lives is taken over by artificial intelligence driven algorithms piece by piece influencing and in fact dictating what we see, listen, say, think, buy, do and eat. Technology and smart devices have invaded our privacy, our homes, our relationships and lives. Every key we stroke, every post we like, every picture we take, every word we say, every video we watch is giving away a piece of us and replacing with a piece of robotic nut and bolt, slowly an arm and a leg. And before we know, we are robots. 

Don’t believe me! Ponder a moment on your life. You don’t watch what you want to but the one youtube recommended. You go to spotify to listen to a song that you want to and end up listening to dozens that you haven't thought about. You order what’s on “50% OFF” or “Today’s specials” rather than what’s good for you or what you are craving for. You go to vacations that makemytrip says because its a must visit before your turn 40 or goibibo discounts the hotel fare. You spend hours and hours on fake forwards and useless videos while the reason you are in whatsapp was to be in touch with family and friends. You buy apparel that some celebrity suggested and of course is in a deal. You buy appliance because its a BIG billion day rather than you are in need of one. You buy toys since its Diwali Dhamaka rather than that your kid wanted something. Even the groceries and vegetables you buy - Big Basket suggested Broccoli, Amazon Fresh suggested Avocado, Swiggy suggested spring mix, Grofers suggested greens and Milkbasket suggested organic-bred Gir cow milk freshly delivered the next day.  

This has not just played on how we live. We don't have time to watch a starry night from the terrace but watch cosmos on Netflix. We don’t have time to appreciate the beauty of sun rays kissing the window panes but catch a sunrise in the Himalayas. We don't have time to adore the beauty of swarms of birds swaying in the air in a sweet sunset but catch a sunset at South Goa beaches. We don’t have time to enjoy the sweet fragrance of flowers in the garden, have to go to valley of flowers to show off. Our attention spans have gone down. We are hooked to smart phones and sophisticated devices. We want instant gratification - appreciation for every picture we take, adulation for every move we make, adoration for every post we share for every tweet we like. We cant strike a 10 min conversation with a friend. We cant meditate for a minute. We cannot play an hour with family. We are always on the run. We are in a constant rush. We have become restless without a reason. We have become busy without work.  We are living without purpose. 

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