Technology: Competition’s Ally or Enemy?
Charles Darwin had said that only the fittest will be able survive in this world. The question is who is the fittest. If we consider competition among human beings themselves, the meaning of “fittest” has changed multiple times. In prehistoric times men with supreme physical strength used to be the fittest. Coming closer this notion of physical strength has given away to the notion of possession of intelligence and resources. Resources which make a person/country superior to its counter parts. Technology today has a big part to play in the same. But is it required? Is it desirable? Like everything it has its pros and cons.
Technology first & foremost makes our life easier. It helps us automate certain tasks which helps us to focus on more important tasks which require more complex and intricate solutions. In most cases technology does a better job than us humans because the “Human error” factor is eliminated. Take for example cricket. New Technologies like Hawk Eye, snick-o- meter etc are allowing us to be more accurate in our judgments. This allows cricketers to focus more on the game rather than worrying about the outcomes of close calls which would have led to a greater chance of error had it not been for the above mentioned technological help. Another aspect where technology is a big time ally of competition is the aspect of “Reach”. Without technology a lay man from Germany could have never thought of competing with a person from India in computer games on a daily basis. This has helped build new alliances and increased the reach of competitions manifold. Technology in many cases has also made it cheaper for people to compete in the sense that now people can apply online instead of having to travel to different places in different kind of competitions. Nowadays people are more aware than they used to be due to easy availability of information through technology where provides them better access to jobs and other opportunities which in turn encourages fruitful competition. This only encourages to better themselves in order to overcome competition.
Technology also on the other hand also makes us lethargic. Why do we have to do stuff if we have technology to do it for us? So for example we ring a bell when we need something and someone gets it for us. This lethargy refrains us from doing things beyond necessity and we lose our motivation to do the same which again renders us incapable of competing. It also leads to an unhealthy lifestyle which in turn leads to health problems which leads us to becoming unfit physically. Too much technology also tends to interfere with the human touch and makes enjoyable activities too bland and boring. Another facet of competition which encourages the same is bonding it helps create between people. Nowadays youngsters prefer staying put on the internet rather than going out and enjoying with peers as a result of which that bonding aspect goes for a toss. In a country like India where maximum part of our population is oblivious to the technological revolution taking place because of technology a large part of the population is not even able to compete, hence, increasing the divide.
So as we see Technology has 2 sides to it when it comes to competition. Either it helps nurture competition in some cases or it leads to depletion of the same in other cases. However proper & controlled usage of technology is desirable to benefit us. As to whether technology is an enemy or is an ally of competition remains to be seen. It will be more about the attitude of our race that will help determine whether technology leads to the apocalyptic end for competition as shown in various Hollywood movies or does it aid in the formation of a world where there is healthy competition resulting in a Utopian scenario for everyone – winners & others.
The author, Siddarth Chowdhary, is a 1st year student of IIM Shillong with a varied work experience in the domains of IT, Education and E-commerce. He likes writing short poems, playing table tennis & cricket apart from flipping through pages of novels while sipping on a cup of tea.