Cheap tech gadgets: can they ‘make a difference’?

Technology at its best (Photo credit: Manuel Alarcón) When there is grinding poverty all around, and you flash a  >$500 phone or tablet, the lines of embarrassment steal their way to your face when someone poor inquires about the price. The old game of showing off costly gadgets still goes on in friend circles, neighbourhoods and offices. And never was the scene so hotted up than after the coming of IT gadgets. Surely the prices are coming down as competition makes it way, and we can buy tablets under this budget. But the craze for the ‘latest’ and ‘the best’ continues unabated. The demand is maddening and most casual conversations around us are filled up with the new magic tricks of technology. If everyone was not doing it, we would have thought that the big guys playing silly sling games had not outgrown the child within and needed treatment. Crossing ten levels on Angry Birds by moving your fingers won’t make any difference...
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A cell phone is not just a phone…

The title of this article is false. Yet it fits the real picture if all the implications of this device that keeps its carrier forever in the loop are taken into account. What was once a hardly noticeable device kept in a corner, announcing its presence with a shrill trinn trinn from time to time, is now a constant companion that refuses to let go. Some half-serious thoughts on what it has done to us. The game begins with the very introduction of this device in the market. Not owning a mobile reflects on your standing – the haves and the have nots. Having it puts you on a forever alert mode. Consider this. When the device is swithced off, it carries a meaning. When it is not reachable, it calls for interpretation. If the call goes unanswered, it could be for certain reasons, good or bad. When calls are diverted, that too means something. The mobile acts like a permanent...
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