BY NOTHANDO BHILA
The old age axiom, the more the merrier has been reversed to read the less the merrier. Can this be a result of the selfishness that we have been somewhat asked to partake in slowly but poisonously through technological advancement and of late the worldwide lockdowns which in my opinion have forced technological advancement to treble in an effort to cater for their specifications and, therefore, further “scattering people and not gathering them”?
The Annals of Behavioural Medicine conducted a study that found that when people discussed hardships in their lives with friends beside them (instead of alone), they had lower pulse and blood pressure readings.
Your ability to face life changes and challenges is greatly improved by strong bonds, adaptability and resilience is gained.
Knowing that you belong, you are cared for and needed provides a sense of meaning and purpose and gives motivation to push forward, grow and succeed.
Spending time together has been linked with living longer, healthier happier lives.
A strong social network helps people live longer, mental health boosts self-confidence and teaches effective conflict resolution.
Like microwave ovens that heat the food, but stay cold themselves, people are becoming more impersonal than personal even at relative level, superiority complex is fast penetrating the family complex where in some instances people now ask subconsciously or perhaps it’s consciously: Why should I ask how this person is doing when it is he or she who needs me more?
Why should I pass my condolences about their loss, but if it was me it should be automatic because I am superior materially?
Use of microwave reduces risk of burns
Similarly, people are now more inclined towards avoiding ‘burning’ so to speak, from people’s personal issues.
It is when you interact with a number of people that you get to understand the new world order of how people are no longer people-oriented in offering assistance, but have become as virtual as the virtual age of today, like microwaves that cook food unevenly, it is more about just dishing out solutions that are general and not tailor-made for the individuals.
Helping themselves strokes their egos in so-called helping you that helps them instead.
Rewarding those who do not solve problems, but rather appear to be solving them yet they are exacerbating the problem.
Shall we continue on this path where certain things are now just structures we carried from long ago, but with no meaning in the new world order?
Are we really going to keep the world safe by being asunder and not being together inasmuch as it has always been said that there is safety in numbers.
Perhaps some of you may say, but this is only temporary.
The real question I ask is: will the world ever really recover from this given for example, the “low cost orientation” involuntarily instilled in us from the workplace perspective.
For example, some companies have realised and welcomed saving of office space from employees working from home and saving of resources as these very employees manage their allocations at home more economically than they would in normal working offices.
Some have said working from home saves wear and tear of clothes while some women welcomed elongated “wig life” from the reduced public appearances. For how long shall we run on the microwave society principle? Is it sustainable?
The advantages of microwaves are not limited to radiation penetrating deeper than other kitchen appliances that can fry the surface without even heating the centre of the food due to the turntables.
Equally, the microwave society does have means of deep penetration interaction wise such as Skype, Zoom where you can see the faces of people you are talking to and perhaps provide the “personal remote touch” that gives a sense of closeness as that with physical presence.
Another advantage of microwaves is that they use less energy than stoves. Indeed, the means of interacting today demand less energy like those mentioned above, seeing they are instant and no travelling is required.
Some of the microwave disadvantages include loss of food taste, dehydration, and microwaves are not standard just like it is today with the vast means of communication.
These can be summarised as expedited communication and lack of physical contact with seldom disruptions of network, location related and unclear communication.
How do you manage change when change is unmanageable?
Simply take what is relevant to your progress and pretend you cannot see the rest, after all progress is a must.
- Nothando Bhila is a Pan-African writer passionate about issues to do with Africa. She writes in her personal capacity.