The advent of these so-called smart phones, I am afraid is outsmarting our intellect and taking over our emotions. I do appreciate their contribution to the various aspects of our livelihood, including instant updates and relaying of information as they happen. We are continuously getting updates of deaths at a road carnage, lovers caught in the act, thieves getting mobbed, various assaults and weather patterns both across the globe and the country. What marvellous technological intervention these smart phones have proven!!
But not so fast. We have become so engrossed with getting the latest photos and becoming the first to post latest information to our contacts, friends and associates that we will do anything or nothing to help those in need. Picture a scenario when a phone beeps to signify the arrival of a text or photograph. The first thing the recipient does is to exclaim in shock at the sight of blood smeared windscreens or steering wheels with the probability of one passenger’s brains gashing out or another screaming in excruciating pain as a leg gets stuck in a door. Then again, imagine one getting a post of a nude couple in a compromising position as they were caught at it. What about that photograph or video of a pregnant woman delivering on the street, engulfed by a mob of photographs looking on as she screams for help, with none coming as everybody is busy on their phones, taking and sending her pictures in distress.
What has happened to humanity so that we cannot help each other out in our times of need simply because technology has taken over? Why should I rush to my phone to record the calamity before me instead on rushing to the victims’ assistance? Why is the sight of blood, tissue, marrow, bones or debris exciting us because we own smart phones? If we cannot assist when we should, do we find it hard to walk away rather than embarrass or disgrace the dead, injured or compromised?
For purposes of informing to get help, news coverage or genuinely alerting people, smart phones have revolutionised our world. No doubt about that. Every message alert assures us of additional knowledge in spite of their form. But should we really forgo reaching out to humanity because we are trying to fit in or mock others? It happened to a woman who went into labour and delivered her baby on one street and her calls for help went unattended as everybody took photographs of her and newborn baby. For what? To send to relatives or friends who do not know this poor woman and will not care expect jeer at her nakedness and spectate the entire episode of baby leaving womb? What about that dying driver? What amusement is in his last gasps of breath? Wouldn’t a last ditch to help him to a hospital or out of his seat go a long way rather than capture his last moments? Should we photograph the deceased lying in state because we want our friends to see?
Next time anyone sends you such horrifying pictures, ask him/her what they did about the situation, if it is one that needed human assistance. Yes, we need to alert, inform and spread news as far wide as possible. Let us not, however, not confuse our priorities.
Have a Merry Christmas and remember to help those in need and not rush to expose their circumstance. n