Expression of our thoughts depends on the data of words stored in our brain. We connect the words according to basic laws of language and make a sentence. For using a word properly, one requires to know its meaning, for that purpose we have dictionaries. It is the most reliable source of building up your vocabulary. Consulting words for their meanings from dictionary is one level and understanding the science of dictionary is another level. Unfortunately most of us limit ourselves to the first level. Probing into world of the words and tracing their origins not only fascinates us but also help us to understand the cultural context in which words take birth.

Every year different words are updated to the various dictionaries. Every word has to come up on a certain criteria for making a place forever in the dictionary. The editing team continually monitors the corpus and reading program to track new words coming to the language: when they get an evidence of a new term being used in a variety of different sources, it becomes a candidate for inclusion in dictionary.

Recently, Stephen Hawking warned about the future atrocities of over obsession with the machines which have ability to think like humans but unfortunately no one would listen to his naïve warning and companies will keep pushing for more in unprecedented competition for latest technologies.

In 2014, major portion of updates were related to technology and social media, many informal slangs, abbreviations, and trends have made their space as well because of excessive dependency on cells, tabs and laptops. Let’s take a tour of this year’s new entries and get an idea that how technology has affected the language and culture or “how humans are turning into machines”.

Hyper Connectivity

People looking for charger holes everywhere are connected with each other more than ever now yet the actual distance between them is ever increasing. Apart from facebook, there are various mobile apps which focus on interpersonal and social connectivity. Consequently people are squeezing their personal space with their own hands. No wonder “hyper connectivity” was bound to be part of the dictionary as it readily explains the obsessive human tendencies towards socializing. Rousseau once said, “man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains”. Chains he mentioned are distinctly visible now.   

Cyberespionage

Because of hyper connectivity , modern digital crimes are increasing remarkably in cyber world. Brand new is “cyberespionage” which means “the use of computer networks to gain illicit access to confidential information”. People love to share their personal activities on social networks, and many hackers use that information for undesirable purposes. No doubt this technology has put mankind in constant state of insecurity.

Digital Footprints:

The information about a particular person that exists on the Internet as a result of their online activity is what we called “digital footprints”. For instance, if you Google your name you will get almost all the information related with your name uploaded on the internet.

Selfie:

It is a healthy activity that once in a while you praise yourself and give a pat on your own back but there is a difference between self praising and self obsession. Who thought that most civilized of all the human beings in the history will be obsessed with taking their own photos? Apparently it seems a very harmless activity but when million around the world are uploading infinite photos of their selves and for that they are willing to go to any extent, then one must think that there is something seriously wrong with how we take our social interactions. Most of us do not create but follow. Creativity distinguishes between two people. Scientifically, what I can think and create cannot be replicated by anyone. But instead of creating, if I keep following the mainstream ideas, I will lose my own identity somewhere downs the road.

Just like different brands in the racks of utility store, people poster their selves 24/7 on social websites, for that reason, “selfie” is one of the famous words of 2014.

Duck Face:

In last quarterly updates of oxford dictionary, I read a word “duck-face”, familiar with term, I thought this is a hoax but after double check I realized yes it’s true. After some years, when future generations will become mature and get over with this tsunami of self obsession, we will be definite source of their entertainment for them, I can foresee a collage of duck faces in universities with a title, “lost generation” . Between, duck face means over exaggerated expression relating to pouting of lips. Girls are the soul responsible for this inclusion and I am not commenting further on it

Sentiment Analysis:

Ever wonder why facebook keep asking you, what’s on your mind ? Why you cannot install a mobile app without providing them access to your personal data? Go through a person facebook profile and you can analyze the personality to certain excess. The rise of social media such as blogs and social networks has fueled interest in “sentiment analysis”. With the proliferation of reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression, online opinion has turned into a kind of virtual currency for businesses looking to market their products, identify new opportunities and manage their reputations. Again this phenomenon is a indicator of dying human emotions because even your daily live mood swings are being scrutinized.

Binge Watch:

People are too busy to wait for a whole week for their favorite TV season. The impatient audience have taken care of that, they download the whole season and consume back to back episodes, this phenomena is called “binge watching”. Again this is not a healthy sign, people get so much into the seasons that when they finish they hardly get attracted toward normal ways of living. Everything related to technology is creating obsessive tendencies in humans.

Hate Watch :

It means watching a television program for the sake of enjoyment one drives from mocking it. No wonder, people love to hate watch . Take Pakistan for instant, don’t we love hate watching? Almost everybody is agreed upon the fact that almost all political talk shows are instrument of sensationalizing the atmosphere and nothing else, no anchor ever concluded the argument or presented any concrete results out of any show, still people love watching because unconsciously we have become habitual of watching such shows but not without hating them. 

Clickbait:

“This is for young girls, boys don’t dare to click”, this was the caption of the online facebook ad. It was irresistible so I clicked. To my surprise, that link on which I clicked took me to the site of boy’s accessories website. On one hand I was impressed by the ultimate marketing technique because they accurately hit the mark of Pakistani “boys” mentality but on other hand I was disgusted by the fact that marketers can go to any extent for projecting their products which will consequently disturb the social fabric of society.   Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-through and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the "curiosity gap", providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.

Economic Man:

This is my personal favorite because it’s extremely close to the hypothesis that man is turning into machines. Discipline no doubt is primary prerequisite of a balance life but too much calculated patterns in life desensitize the personality. “Economic man” is a person who acts rationally and with complete knowledge, but entirely out of self-interest and the quest to maximize personal utility. We all are economic men, and that is why we have lost the spirit of collectivism. There is no general will, no cohesive polity, and there is no mechanism which can sync different life styles together. Individuals in perusing their own dreams have unconsciously laid the foundations which are proving counterproductive for building of a society based on humane principals.

Time Suck:

Eight out of ten people are not satisfied with their jobs today. Attitude which is so common cannot be a product of an individual but system of corporations which is prevailing since industrialization has forced the masses to think according to their terms. Consequences are in front of us today; even working tirelessly for the whole day hardly we get a satisfaction about the fact that we have contributed something to the society. Every rational person is aware of the fact that no matter how much effort he put in his work, he is only adding substance to his company but not to society or humanity. “Time suck” is the feeling you get after inefficient or unproductive activity. So answer to the question that why humanity is touching new levels of low is because we all are sucking our time.