The Modern Sherlock

By Roshni Ganga

Last year, the fourth graders at Schakel received a book about Sherlock Holmes and his first cases. And to speak for myself, I was rather excited to read about the adventures of this master detective. 

As a child, I always imagined detectives in vintage brown coats and old-fashioned hats. Searching carefully on their tippy-toes for any piece of evidence.

But if I look at this modern era, I realise that one doesn’t need that detective hat anymore — even though it is incredible — to be a detective. I am almost certain that, in this era, Sherlock would have easily traded his magnifying glass for a laptop and access to social media.

Everyone voluntarily puts their entire life on social media; the places they go, the people they have met. And there’s no need for high-tech binoculars or a logbook anymore, because now you can even find a person’s last meal on Facebook. People seem to make the life of a detective much easier, so I wonder how they operate in today’s world.

Action and mystery films still seem to use the ‘Holmes template of a detective’, but do the real detectives out there follow suit. I can’t help but picture them like suspicious persons behind screens, occasionally out to click a few pictures or just to swing by their nearest friendly surveillance investigator for the latest recording on the CCTV camera.

I wonder whether a detective’s life is still as adventurous as it is in the books and films. Arthur Doyle did a terrific job in creating a character with such detective skills, yet I’m afraid it would disappoint him if I showed him the evolution of a detective.

Just a screen, some contacts and social media — now, the next ‘normal’ person with a device in their hand could be a ‘Sherlock’.

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