Sweeping changes in tsunami of technology

The tsunami of technological advancements has long arrived. It permeates all realms of our being, almost imperceptibly.

We are connected far and wide without leaving our homes.

Even when we leave them, we have ways to keep watch of our properties and operate devices way before we arrive at the doors.

The connection is not unidirectional. We let in the world to see how we are doing instantly.

We receive a barrage of messages but delete them like a daily cleansing ritual.

We are always short on time. So we program our robots as faithful servants to get mundane chores done.

We are spoilt for choice, yet we still cry that we are bored... While we connect everything at lightning speed and have them right in front of us and serve us, we seem to be sorely lacking something.

They have become smarter. They learn through their own experiences and avoid mistakes they have made before. We bypass the human maids who may not know our language or culture.

We should not be bored. Downloading not just one movie, but several concurrently, takes mere minutes, seconds for some. We are spoilt for choice, yet we still cry that we are bored.

It used to be that we looked for our spectacles when we rose in the morning.

Now, we look for the ubiquitous cellphone. Already, there are mail, photos, messages and missed calls waiting for us.

We are quick to check our social media postings to see how many clicks and Likes they have received.

Somehow, they always fall short of our expectations. It motivates us to post more shocking and eye-grabbing snippets of ourselves, if not of our neighbours.

We leave very little to the imagination. We print everything, and make them three-dimensional just to see them vividly.

Find the sun too glaring? Just put on VR goggles. They keep out the piercing rays and let one live in one's imagination, virtually.

While we connect everything at lightning speed and have them right in front of us and serve us, we seem to be sorely lacking something.

What's amiss? We're not sure, not unless we can print it, connect it in the blink of an eye and make it useful to us.

While we seek life forms on faraway planets, we ignore them in our midst.

Lee Teck Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2016, with the headline 'Sweeping changes in tsunami of technology'. Print Edition | Subscribe