Modern Technology in Pakistan

Its amazing all that technology has done for us. We can talk live to a person sitting in Gilgit while we are in Karachi. If you think about it a little, it is absolutely mind blowing. The scale of development through use of technology is unimaginable.

Let’s come to Pakistan. Due to Technology, our elders don’t have to stand for hours in long queues at the bank to get their pensions, they just get their money from the ATM. Our National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) is one of the most organized and efficient database systems in the world. Our students are continuing their education by taking online classes even in this pandemic. We can shop online, order online, connect to people online and a million other things. We can just look around and see countless blessings, made possible by use of modern technology.

But of course, nothing is perfect in this world, everything has a downside. Let’s talk about some of the issues with modernization.

Pakistanis facing difficulty in usage:

Using technology is easier for generation-Z but a lot of millennials face difficulties. Let’s take into example elder teachers who aren’t quite familiar with using online software for online classes. Using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Classroom is quite difficult for them. Very-aged people don’t know how to use ATM cards. A lot of traders, shop owners, pharmacies and hotels still use registers instead of computers to keep records. If we take a look at the remote areas of Pakistan don’t have internet yet, of if they do, its of very low quality. This keeps those remote areas isolated from the rest of Pakistan.

Technology’s dark side:

“nothing is good or bad, it just depends on how you use it.”

A coin has two sides, so does every invention. We have talked about the light that technology has brought into our life. I am going to discuss some of the darker aspects of new technology in Pakistan. Somebody’s Identity is stolen every 3 seconds as a result of cybercrime. We can see a rise in cybercrimes through the past years in Pakistan. Some common cybercrimes are listed below:

Hacking
Identity theft
Cyber Bullying
Cyber Stalking
Financial fraud Digital Piracy
Computer viruses and worms
Malicious Software
Intellectual property rights
Money Laundering
Denial of Service attack
Electronic Terrorism,
Vandalism and Extortion

Technological Diseases:

Surely technology makes our life easier, but it can also be harmful to our health if unchecked. Computers have become an integral part of our daily life work. They are used in variety of professions from banking, communication, health to entertainment. By the term “Technological diseases”, I mean the diseases caused by the harmful influence of the job which is involved excessive work on a computer. For your awareness, let’s discuss some of them:

  • Computer Vision Syndrome:

If you log significant time in front of a computer monitor, you’ve probably experienced computer vision syndrome: eyestrain, tired eyes, irritation, redness, blurred vision, and double vision. Luckily, this isn’t a permanent condition.

  • Insomnia:

Working into the evening face-to-face with a screen can disturb your internal clock. One study showed that playing a game involving shooting suppressed levels of melatonin, the hormone that’s involved in regulating cycles of sleep and waking. Another study showed that adolescents who watched three or more hours of television per day were at a significantly elevated risk for frequent sleep problems by early adulthood. Replace work with exciting stuff like video games after dark.

  • Repetitive stress injuries:

The constant tiny movements needed to maneuver a mouse or type on a keyboard can irritate tendons; swelling can press on nerves. As little as a half hour a day of computer mouse use could put you at risk for pain in your shoulder, forearm, or hand. Repetitive stress injury, or RSI, can affect your whole body, not just the part you’ve overused.

  • Obesity:

“Basically, the more TV you watch, the heavier you are.”

Jason Mendoza, MD, MPH

Nowadays, screen time isn’t limited to television. We may spend as much or more time using a computer for work or school. Then, for recreation, instead of going outside to play soccer, we play video games. When Jason Mendoza, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, compared the body weights of preschoolers who used computers and those who didn’t, he found the computer-using kids were tubbier. More than two hours a day parked in front of any kind of screen seems to be the tipping point.

  • Hearing Damage:

Even when we’re out and about, we take our electronics with us, often in the form of iPods or other digital music players. It’s nice to be insulated from the hurly-burly of modern life, but listening to music through headphones can increase the risk of hearing loss.

  • Narcissism:

A study published earlier this year by two US academics claimed that students are becoming increasingly self-absorbed, in comparison to previous generations, as a result of modern technology. Students are more likely to display narcissistic behavior and less likely to show empathy – which is displayed in habitual behavior, such as constantly updating social network sites.

What we can do:

The sense of citizenship and ownership is very important for a nation to flourish. First and foremost, higher the literacy rate, higher the usage the modern technology. According to a survey conducted by Pakistan Social and living standards measurements (PSLM) in 2018-19, Pakistan’s literacy rate was recorded to be 60%. This is an improvement in comparison to 1998, which was 43.90%.

Through education, we can spread awareness about the advantages of equipping our nation with basic knowledge and usage of modern technology. Similarly, Our current offices should make “learning technology” a compulsory course before job application. Basic understanding of online systems like using Microsoft Office should be taught. Moreover, we need to step up to crimes like cyber-bullying, harassment, and stalking. Social activists like Fouzia Saeed are taking the lead in these portfolios. Pakistan’s constitution covers laws against harassment.

For a deeper read, click here.