Visual Cap

Slow down in a fast world – The Tribune

Chandigarh
Posted at: Nov 28, 2019, 8:01 AM; last updated: Nov 28, 2019, 8:01 AM (IST)

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While we have started depending upon our smart phones and everything that is smart for our day and night activities, we are sidelining the essence of emotions and simplicity. photos: istock

Jaspreet Singh

AS I was reading a comic by Jason Novak in The Paris Review, the idea of mechanised tomorrow left me wondering about the transient nature of everything. Rapid change is what makes human beings long for more and more. The comic highlighted several issues where languages are turning into emojis and filth and clutter is mounting. We have set off for Mars and Moon expeditions to find life on another planet while Earth is gasping for breath. The days are not far when we will worship internet and pray to Alexa for rain and other necessities and greater inter-connectivity is leaving people yearning for true human connections.

The mechanisation of the world with artificial intelligence and augmented reality is mind-boggling. The software and applications manipulating the content have inundated markets. With Facebook giving us the option of only six emotions to like or love to laugh out loud or express wow, to be sad or feel angry, we are slipping on the technological revolution brought out by 4G. Social media platforms are exploited to the core and every possible benefit is extracted from them by propagandists. Twitter deserves applaud for tightening its ban on political advertisements ahead of US polls. Privacy concerns on Facebook are still up in the air. While we have started depending upon our smart phones and on everything that is smart for our day and night activities, we are sidelining the essence of emotions and simplicity. The only option we have today is to slow down. The best example of slowing down is Paul Salopek, who has set out to find humanity by retracing the paths of first humans who migrated out of Africa in his Out of Eden walk. It is a 21,000-mile odyssey and an experiment in slow journalism. Keeping the track of all activities of Paul through social media and reading stories in slow or immersive journalism prove that going slow is fun and interesting too.

Industrialisation and soaring defence budgets have pushed for trade wars and cold wars among nations. The world is again dividing and taking sides. The recent tussle between the US and China with their so cold allies prove ramifications of globalisation. According to a data journalism site, Visual Capitalist, China (27.2%), the US (14.6%) and India (6.8%) are the three nations that generate maximum carbon emissions respectively in the globe. The nations are abdicating their responsibilities. It is really shameful that the parliamentary committee on urban development had to defer its meeting on air pollution because key officials skipped the meeting. It shows the gravity of the situation for some people.

Where nations are a first or top priority on the minds of some leaders, they don’t see value in placing others before themselves. It is a huge jolt to the teachings imparted during the classes of moral values in schools. It is also a big stumbling block in accomplishing the motto of ‘not me but you’. We cannot let national service schemes and volunteers fail.

Slowing down towards sustainable development can help in saving our planet. Human values are losing ground to human greed while empathy is losing ground to show-off. What we know so far is human nature of destroying the earth, amassing resources and seeping fear in general public because of the instant nature and greed of power to rule. Stubbing out plastic, creating awareness about environmental protection, saving water, electricity and other natural resources are global plans. Globalisation has brought us so close and together yet we are so far and divided. Overburdening the earth and complicating the life has invented the phenomenon of rat race. We just need to slow down on our ambitions and on our greedy motives.

Slow down a bit to save humanity, to enjoy in the lap of nature. It will give you solace and hope. Slow down on inventions and innovations that can kill life. The changes are fast but bleak. Make a choice now or never.