It’s official. We are losing it.
See that crowded office elevator with eight people in it? Surely you see how six of them are busy tapping away on their cellphones? Oh, then there’s that friends catch up session you had last weekend. Did you manage to put out that Facebook post on “lunch fun” tagging each other alongwith that group selfie? Oh, and let’s not forget how Instagram-worthy your steamed fish looked when it arrived…well…the filters helped. Remember those crucial five seconds you spent on the phone when you halted the car at the signal for 15 seconds? Newspapers are no more our loo companions. Hey the phone is the new kid on the block. Office emails, Whatsapp chats, Twitter chatter, games, and probably a gizillion of other social networking apps out there – they are all a part of our family time today. The dinner table. The TV huddle time. Those last few minutes of the day when you just relax in the bed and do nothing. And God forbid – talk!
Let me table this thought right here: When was the last time you managed to pass five minutes of spare time without touching your cellphone? Think hard.
I realised this sometime back.
I’d got home from work and sat with my baby daughter as she played away. I absolutely love this precious time we spend together after I’m home after a hard day’s work. We hang out, we have fun. Now coming back to that day. She was being typical baby herself and trying to get my attention to give her a hug. Every three seconds. (Yes, more on that later). Next up, she wanted me to hug her bunny. I was busy checking out something on Twitter and unknowingly kept ignoring her. Cut to bedtime. She rushed towards me with her bed time storybook. I, on the other hand, was busy checking office emails. She tried longer – and I was brilliant enough to hand her the teddy she so loves. Genius! She forgot all about the story and went to play. Soon after…she fell asleep. It was just about then that I got done with my phone and notice the ‘us time’ I had just missed. This was a one off incident, but it did get me thinking.
As a working mother, I’m game for being all with my kiddo once I’m home. Sometimes, work continues to drag me even then – but days like these are rare and accommodating your baby to your lifestyle is always a good thing. And there is ofcourse that occasional time when you decide that is is okay to be human and want to check Facebook to check what everyone you know if upto. But – what about the mindless attention the entire world is giving to their phones?
Are cellphones or the internet really the only things left connecting us all? Is there any life beyond?
Sure – it is fun, it is engaging. And in many many ways – a necessity. Technology is a great enabler for the lives that we lead today. But striking a balance is crucial here. On some things, the offline flavour just tastes better. Like what?
As a kid, there were many crazy games we experimented with. Whatever happened to hide and seek? When was the last time you saw a bunch of kids playing hopscotch? Remember the good old newspaper? Or those things called (real) books?
Make no mistake – one needs to move with the times, else suffer from the high probability of going extinct. The TV, the cartoons, the XBOX, real time online news…are all very good. But somewhere…we are trading this all for some great and compelling experiences…experiences that were better the traditional way. And eventually – losing it all.
Hypocritical me. Because I, for one, have multiple email IDs, fairly active Facebook and Twitter accounts etc etc. Am I saying I will switch off? No way. Let’s get real. I just think it is important to give yourself that time out and sometimes – just consciously log off.
Detox drive. Day 7 today. I trying to consciously avoid obsessively checking my phone for notifications, or posting updates, or figuring work emails. Believe it or not – when I pick up the cellphone again after that break – the internet is still there. Patiently waiting for me.
Logging off for now.
Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.
In my mind and in my car, we can’t rewind we’ve gone too far.