Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Digital Connectivity, a Boon

Unless experienced by oneself, it’s hard to explain how it feels to be studying all alone far away in an alien world distanced from one’s kith and kin. Being an international student might seem a matter of privilege. Although it is very much true, it also means a lot of sacrifice. It forces one to separate from the familiar setting of environment that one had been brought up with – the culture, language and the way of living that one has been accustomed with since birth. Discomfort and a sense of utter alienation is quite one trouble that an international student like me must face; the nostalgia and homesickness that I perpetually need to experience is quite another problem. I wonder how difficult it would be had I not been able to remain always connected to my family and friends back home. Thanks to the digital technologies such as Blackberry and Skype that this is precisely the thing that I do not need to think much of.

There are but many ideas that have been debated for or against over the recent time regarding the effect of connectivity that certain digital services provide. Many are of the view that they reduce the distance between one’s loved ones and hence are very useful while a few others  firmly disagree arguing that such things only clasp people for overindulgence. Such different and often opposing ideas or sometimes persecutions are not new or surprising to witness.

Not to disagree with those who do not have much good impressions with these digital worlds, there are good numbers of demerits about them. As many accuse the technology, overuse of the services such as Yahoo! Messenger, Skype or Blackberry can make the users addictive to them. This overindulgence can make people generally slack and lethargic. No other works might be perused with enthusiasm and interest including the most important household chores.

The most disturbances can be caused to the students like me who are prone to be influenced by the distractive nature of such technologies and remain indifferent towards their important responsibility of studying well.

Adding up to the above disadvantage, certain services such as Skype can not, moreover, be easily accessible. It can be accessed only when we are in front of a computer. Internet disturbances or problems like server breakdowns can cause a lot of trouble in connectivity.

However, considering the need to remain connected with our family and friends and being accessible to one another in need, the merits of the technology of the VOIP (Voice Over Internet Process), and internet emails far outweigh the demerits. Firstly, being in a faraway lonely place, estranged from one’s family and friends, a student like me can be able to not just send electronic mails regularly but also talk limitlessly for hours altogether with them – that too in a very cheap rate. It is literally only the cost of the monthly payment of our internet connection by which we remain connected with our dear ones continuously and limitlessly.

Secondly, the connection that I will be able to make is quick and efficient. I will be able to make instant emails from my Blackberry and be able to directly link and talk to those who are online. Not just do we get to talk to those whom we want to, we can see them too in video calls in VOIP services such as Skype. This technological marvel has in fact, demolished all the geographical barriers and boundaries and made this world an interconnected, highly inter-accessible global village. They have literally reduced the size of this world and the gap among people. Moreover, I can make use of these revolutionary technologies everywhere I go. No matter where I am, I can sent mails and remain connected to my loved ones with the help of a mere handy set of my Blackberry. 

And indeed, the ‘handy’ part of the entire game is one big advantage that scores the most. I am perpetually and effectively connected with everyone globally with a device fit in my small palm. I do not need to carry the whole PC with me; the entire world is literally in my hands! Moreover, the need to remain in constant check with the changing time is an important aspect. These technologies are the vogue of our time and the inability to access them would be a matter of regret. Better still, they are not a disintegrating element, rather just the contrary, advantageous for the benevolence of the entire human race.

Conclusively, it is a matter of great technological marvel that we are very fortunate to access and witness. VOPI and internet facilities such as Skype and Blackberry have proved useful in increasing connectivity among people globally. For an international student like me who is located in a place far away from one’s family and friends back home, Blackberry  Skype and least to mention, facebook are indeed a boon.