Today’s topic for reasons I can’t yet piece together reminds me of a time when I was eight years old. I had just been promoted to primary three. That meant we’d have debates every Friday afternoon. I didn’t know what debates were. I couldn’t speak to a group of kids whose eyeballs were shooting at me. I was shy and could easily get intimated. What did opinions mean? I had no clue.
That Friday, the topic to debate was “Water is better than fire.” It was written in such calligraphy I still recall the semi-circular shape those words took on the blackboard. The main proposers and opposers took their seat at the front. They defended their stances with their best points. This was my first time attending a class debate.
The floor was opened to the rest of the class. I don’t remember if it was the Chair of the debate or the class captain who would call on anyone to make a case for whichever side they believed was better. You’d never be prepared for this. It would be random. I was called up. Damn! I wanted to vanish.
I was so shaken I couldn’t feel myself. I couldn’t stand. I wanted to pee in my khaki shorts. My knees got weak, my heartrate shot up. A light blow of the wind would’ve knocked me off my feet. Every eye ball was on me. My head dropped. I couldn’t make it to the front of the class. I turned down the call. And my name was written down. I was a traitor who had called venom upon himself. How dare you refuse to debate?
At the end of that session, I got three lashes from the class captain. That sh*t hurt me so bad I cried.
See, I’m able to share such a story with hundreds of people in one go using a click because of technology. I don’t have to wait to write it in a book and have it published, then distributed. Instantaneously, I can share content, moments, thoughts and opinions, all enabled by technology.
A couple that’s unable to have a child of their own through conventional means has a chance of getting one through invitro fertilization. I can reach out to a doctor for medical help online like I recently did through The WhatsApp Doc.
Wearable technology allows us to track our health in real time. How much deep and light sleep do you get per night? What’s your Body Mass Index (BMI)? How many calories are you burning per day? What’s your heartrate and blood pressure? How fit are you? With the right technology around us, we can live healthier lives.
There is the convenience of shopping online, ordering groceries and food from your phone, getting a cab by tapping an icon. One is able to checkout possible education opportunities in any part of the world.
In the newsroom and investigative journalism, technology allows reporters to paint a clearer picture of what happened. The BBC’s Anatomy of a Killing is a perfect example.
Technology is an enabler in every sphere of our daily lives. We’ve just got to use it well.