Are We Truly Free Or Are We Still Slaves?
We entrust our data to different entities online, we lock our data behind "data privacy" and give them the key. We abide by everything those entities say and we still say, "It's a free world." Indulged in the greed for newer and better technology we tighten the bondage over our hands. We have Freedom according to the law, but do we have Digital Freedom?
Click, click, click, don’t you ever think? You give your digital freedom away with just a click.
We all ramble about this particular term, our ancestors did everything for it and even in today’s time, we all run after freedom in one aspect or the other. Freedom is existing without any bondage. Digital Freedom is living without the things that hold us back. It is the state of being absolutely and utterly unrestrained.
We Are Being Restrained
Our need for water is only felt at the time of scarcity and our need for oxygen is only realized in its absence. Similarly, we have been successful in incorporating technology into our day-to-day lives in a way that we don’t perform a single function in its absence. We have made technology an integral part of our routine, we even use it while we perform basic bodily functions. We don’t exercise without having it judged by gimmicks and gadgets somewhere on or around our body, we rarely ever eat without using technology, honest to god; some of us don’t even use the loo without our phones.
Everything about us, we are sure to store it on some digital/virtual platform for we feel it’s easier and better for our lives. And of course, a virtual space is better for storage, it frees us in many ways. It saves us from the unnecessary physical burden. We KNOW that this virtual presence and space in this digital era is a blessing. But we are humans in the end and none of us are perfect. We tend to over-do everything that is good, to the limits that it becomes toxic for us.
Similarly, our digital dependency is something we over-do. It has started to become toxic to our well being and some of us even plan vacations and regimes to detox our bodies of this dependency. We are hooked, addicted, controlled by our desire for technology.
We Are The Puppets Of Technology
We are sure that the technology in our hands is in our control; that we are the masters of the virtual web, the contraptions in our hands are ours to command. But that is definitely not the reality. There is a social virus that is running through our veins, spreading and taking over everything. It is the beginning of the end, the apocalypse’s start.
That does sound dark but the reality is hardly ever all rainbows and sparkles, we are completely under the control of the technology available in the market, giving away our privacy. We are more interested in recording a moment than living it, we text random people every day, we have friends all over the world but we don’t even know the name of our own neighbours. We go out of our house but we never see through our eyes, we see through the screens of our phones as we are so absorbed into the notion of posting everything “exciting” that we do.
We abstain from actual human contact, but we talk to random strangers all day.
We despise sharing and working on our emotions when we need to but we don’t mind making #relatable posts about emotions in the hopes of getting more “likes” and “comments” because that is what the virtual society thinks is the amazing thing, the only thing worth doing online; having a gazillion “friends” or “followers” and having all the power in our hands when our real lives are falling apart. We are hardly ALIVE.
We are the puppets of the technology we created to be our puppet.
This is when we realize that we have reduced ourselves to nothing but mere salves with better facilities and “rights”, we are slaves who are delusional; we are all modern-day slaves. We do everything around technology and the internet. First, we couldn’t survive without our gadgets and now we have successfully moved one step further, enslaving ourselves even more. We now are almost crippled when we do not have access to the internet; when we are unable to use our social media accounts, access our cloud storage, view stuff on platforms like youtube and so on. We lack social skills which used to be the absolute basic of society and we feel proud when we say that we are #introverts but no, we are subservient to the internet and we believe in the virtual world more than what our 5 senses pick up in the physical world.
We limit contact to calls and texts, we limit art to what we see on Pinterest, we limit travelling to eye-catching and like-worthy Instagram posts, we limit memories to pictures in google photos, we limit freedom of speech to posts and blogs and we limit our lives to revolve around the internet and technology.
That’s not all, we let technology control our social lives and our homes. The lights, the locks, kitchen appliances, even our showerheads and toilets we submit to the control of gadgets, to the control of technology.
And our slavery is absolute when we click on I AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS and let the tech record everything about us. These records are overlooked and recorded by the providers of this technology. With these records, they “optimize” their services and make them “specialized” for us.
Why are we failing to realize even now that we are absolute slaves?
Our Digital Freedom.
We are beings that have been programmed to never give up but we are losing sight… we once again are in the clutches of slavery. Humans have a history of resilience, a history of innumerable battles for what is right. Why let our ancestors down? Why let go of the one good thing that so many people fought for? Our ancestors are the freedom fighters of the pre-independence India, the slaves that broke through the racist systems? Why are we backing-down or ignoring the smell of rot in the modern system?
It’s time we breakthrough, it’s time we arise and claim our own digital freedom. We need to stop blindly following the carefully mediated trends in the market that aim for more and more digital dependency under the control of the providers. Stop following the “terms” that we agree to and sacrifice our privacy and sign up for a lifetime of surveillance. Rebel against these platforms and fight for control over what is the “hip” thing to do, things that do not sacrifice our privacy or mental health.
Let us induce positivity over the World Wide Web and focus on living a better life rather than running after better technology. Create a world rather than dominion, live in homes and not dens of appreciation-hungry salves. A safe space and comfortable space where no one can pry into our lives and induce their strategies into our minds. A place that is home but that exists in the digital world as well. It’s a private place for you, which is owned and governed by you only known as Houm.
It is time we stop being modern-day slaves.