Thursday, 14 February 2013

The need to switch off - Lawrence High School

We have come a long way in the world of technology in terms of being connected. Those were the days of landline telephones and snail mails. The walkie-talkies, then the mobile phones and then the internet caught up with us and enveloped us all in a single enormous wave. We cannot function without google, Facebook and WhatsApp now.

While, the technology did bring in a lot of good, somewhere the social behavior in the real sense is being eroded, especially with young children and the teenagers. These have fallen prey to the technology in a not-so-positive way. Socializing has taken a new meaning for these youngsters, wherein they are extremely comfortable carrying on lengthy conversations with a stranger on the internet but clam up or turn into a recluse in real life.

Many youngsters can be seen poring over their smart-phones (who carries a basic cell phone these days?!) updating their Facebook statuses or chatting or browsing the net. Even when in the company of close family members, they seem uncomfortable to part with their gadgets. A pending online presence seems more important than conversing with parents or siblings or socializing during family functions. And, it is not uncommon to see young kids playing games on iPhone's or even being given a gadget as a treat for being good.

While, not everyone falls in the extreme case where medical help is needed, this phenomenon is slowly catching up to alarming levels. Even adults are not spared of being caught in the technological quick-sand. We are simply unable to switch off!

It is all about taking a deep breath and having a quiet introspection about our priorities. Is it really all that important to answer that email or respond to a Facebook status immediately? Will something untoward happen if the activity is pushed to some minutes later? We, as adults and parents serve as examples to our children and when we set ourselves boundaries, the children will follow suit or at least be willing to hear us out when they are pointed out to be in the wrong.

So, resist the urge to be a virtual person at all times and start living in the real. 

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