The modern era that we live in has become so advanced in technology that has undoubtedly created an addiction among the people. Let us remind ourselves that we have become totally dependent on technology like electronics, electricity and satellites that have left us indeed vulnerable. But is this technology making us dumber? Is it stopping evolution? Are we allowing our natural creativity to be destroyed by technology? What is the future that we look forward to if artificial intelligence takes over the human brain?
Doug Tompkins, the co-founder of retail brands, The North Face and Esprit, believes technology has enslaved us and is destroying the very health of the planet on which all species depend. According to him, “The computer is a mechanism for acceleration, it accelerates economic activity and this is eating up the world. It’s eating up resources, it’s processing, it’s manufacturing, it’s distributing, it’s consuming. That’s what the computer’s real work does and it does that 24/7, 365 days a year, non-stop just to satisfy our own narrow needs.”
Today, we seem to be too immersed in a system where cell phones are a necessity just to be around or to even function! But do we understand the implications of the electromagnetic waves it emits? Are we aware of the sleep issues that are created due to the light from the screen of monitors and smart phones? The release of melatonin in the brain is blocked by this light giving it a message to stay awake eventually leading to nervous exhaustion. The extensive use of technology is going to pose serious problems in the long run which we do not realise while we are just convenience oriented.
The number of our daily exchanges of emails, phone calls, messages and photographs these days was unimaginable just a few years ago. The important point to be affirmed here is that laptops and tablet computers are another primary source of radiation. These devices generate three different harmful radiation — extremely low frequency radiation, radio frequency radiation and heat radiation.
The fact before us is that high-tech devices, including our mobile phone, laptop, tablet and wearable tech like the Apple Watch, all generate a near-continuous source of unseen pollution that can be stressful and toxic to your cells.
The most common effect is heat generation (though non-thermal biological harm has also been demonstrated), which can alter the characteristics of various body tissues depending on the amount of radiation present and its ability to penetrate the body.
Tissue damage can promote the cellular mutations and increase your long-term risk of developing cancer. It is advisable to avoid Bluetooth headsets too as these pose serious radiation hazards due to the fact that they act as mini wireless antennas that blast electromagnetic fields directly into the ear and head.
I believe we must address the situation more seriously since scientists are shedding more light on discoveries about health hazards caused by the radio-active waves emitted by cell phones.
WHO has also warned about the increased risk of cancer and tumours in the brain and around the ear in addition to the change in the behavioural pattern of individuals due to the disturbance in the brain activity caused by these waves.
There’s no question that mobile phones and computers offer many conveniences and have made our lives easier in countless ways.
The convenience factor may outweigh the worry of radiation for many. But the need to be aware of the hidden dangers and understanding the urgency to take adequate measures to control it is absolutely necessary to keep civilization from crashing.
(Contributed by Agnivesh Jyotiraditya Kannankara, who has authored a book on Shillong)