Is life possible without a computer?

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Computers are now becoming a necessity. They are used worldwide for many reasons. Computers bring our economy at the point of globalization and expansion. Through computers, employees are becoming qualified and because of this the economy is stabilizing. They give communication a new definition. E-mails, chatting, and MySpace have all given people a new opportunity to meet new people.

Human race has been addicted to the process of evolution. So, as we all evolve, we want things around us to evolve as well. And computers have come closest in satisfying our ever-increasing quest for continuous improvement in everything that we do.

They have taken over our lives in such a manner that life without them is almost unimaginable.

“I use my computer daily in my home office — both offline and online. I also play games and record music. As far as earning income goes, I apply for jobs, receive job offers, perform jobs, and receive payment — all without meeting my employer,” says Abhimanyu Mishra.

“I can’t live a single day without my PC. I use it to play games, blog, watch movies, listen to music, surf the Internet, etc. So life without it would be a nightmare for me,” says Vishwas Kulkarni.

Every single aspect of our day-to-day life is in some way or the other connected to the computer — hospitals, educational institutions, offices and homes. “Today, we can “see” and keep in touch with our colleagues, family and friends from all across the world with a PC and a webcam.

Whether you are researching a new medicine or playing the latest PlayStation game, you cannot escape the spell cast by computers. They play a major role in globalization by bringing far flung nations closer. Life without computers would take us back to the age when you had to wait for weeks for a letter to arrive from another state,” says Subrotah Biswas, country manager, India & SAARC, Logitech.

How many people use computers as a way of communication? The Internet World Stats News recently published an article that stated that Internet usage for e-mail purposes has increased 107 percent in the year 2005. It is also documented that one billion Internet users were estimated by the end of 2005. This means that over 50 percent of the US population use email as a mean of communication. Whether it is e-mail, chatting, text-messaging through a computer, etc. the truth is that the number one way to converse is very rapidly becoming through a computer. People have even formed relationships through online chatting and e-mail. Many people are reaching for their computer instead of heading out of the door to meet new people. A recent study showed that over 7 million people have registered with professional online dating agencies to meet new people. Computers are very promptly becoming the new “social event.” Teenagers and young adults are relating to this more than any other age group. This generation is also known as the “digital” generation. The biggest formation recently of this generation is MySpace. MySpace is a social networking Web site that provides teenagers with pictures, blogs, music, videos, and profiles. Particularly teenagers and college students use this as a way to convene new people and comment on their profiles and photos. It has become so popular that it has its own search engine. The invention of MySpace is the clear evidence that computers have become a significant mean of communication. This expansion of communication has also led to the immense development of the economy.

Technology is developing so instantly that even the world is having a hard time keeping up. Computers are now becoming a necessity. They are used worldwide for many reasons. Computers bring our economy at the point of globalization and expansion. Through computers employees are becoming qualified and because of this the economy is stabilizing. They give communication a new definition. E-mails, chatting, and MySpace have all given people a new opportunity to meet new people. With computers there are no boundaries. Computers bring forth a new form of entertainment. Computers provide music, video games, movies, pictures, and other types of leisure. Like Asimov stated, “I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.” Now each individual must decide whether computers are a necessity or a luxury. So the main question is, is life impossible without a computer?

Chhavi Leekha Sharma, head-Marcom & PR, Avaya GlobalConnect Ltd., agrees. “With information being available at a mouse-click, life without computers sounds like Stone Age. As Isaac Asimov puts it, ‘I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.’ It is indeed true. Computers have become the new form of communication. They are means of evolving technology as well as expansion of the economy.”

But there are quite a few negative effects of using a PC. One of the main ill-effects is the radiations emitted from the PC monitor. Also, as we spend more and more time on the computer, we are bound to suffer from severe backaches that are caused due to lack of regular limb movements. Horror games and Web sites with obscene content also affect our children. Hacking into e-mail accounts and personal computers and accessing and using personal information are also on the rise.

The most obvious physiological effect is the risk of RSI (repetitive strain injuries), but these can be solved by the use of ergonomic equipment. Radiation from the computer screen can be blocked by special screen monitor shields. However, spending too much time in front of the computer reduces the amount of time spent on outdoor activities, as well as social engagements, which are all important for a healthy lifestyle.

How to lessen the ill-effects of computer use

– Place computer monitor and keyboard directly in front of you so as to avoid twisting your neck.

– Monitor should be 20-24 inches away from eyes and the height of the monitor should be 5-15 inches below horizontal line of sight.

– The mouse and keyboard should be at the same height.

– Shoulders should be relaxed with elbows forming a right angle and wrists extending straight and unbent from the arms. Hold wrists in neutral position, not upward or downward.

– Use an adjustable chair that provides firm, comfortable support.

– Adjust chair height so that thighs are horizontal, and feet are flat on the floor (use a footrest if necessary). Chair should be with a backrest for lumbar support.

– Do not slouch.

– Ensure that frequently used materials are within easy reach.

– Get up and move around as often as possible – at least once every 20 to 30 minutes.

– Block excessive sunlight with drapes or blinds and use indirect room lighting.

– Give your eyes a rest every 15 to 20 minutes by focusing on a distant object for 10 to 15 seconds and blink often to prevent dry eyes.

– Use holder to hold paper.

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