I heard my neighbour’s toddler scream loudly as she wanted to play a game on her mother’s phone when she was being fed. This was not an isolated incident, but a repeated occurrence in their home. Of late, I have been listening in on this scene so often that I began wondering about the future of this child and all other children her age.
What will these children be like when they are 18 years old? What will their physical, mental and emotional conditions be? I, and other people my age, started using smart devices only recently, but we are already reeling under the side effects– dry eyes, spondylosis, eye related problems…the list is a long one. What then is the future of our tech-savvy teenagers? When will we realize the ramifications of technology on their bodies, their emotional and mental faculties? Will it not be too late?
I remember as a young girl when I wanted a gel pen, my father bought me one after much cajoling and that too only after I got good results in 10th grade. I had to wait a long time for a simple gel pen. But today’s generation gets what it wants instantaneously. They don’t know the joy of waiting for their wishes to be fulfilled. Today I realize that all those years ago as I was waiting to have my wishes fulfilled, subconsciously, I was learning a vital lesson of life– PATIENCE. Young people, today don’t have the opportunity to learn this lesson.
If technology has its pros, it also has cons, whose consequences are grave. As responsible adults we have to do something about what clearly is slavery to technology.
It is time for us to act. How, you might ask? With online classes becoming the new normal of today’s education, it’s really hard to keep children away from gadgets. But at least we can try. Let’s start doing something from today.
- Keep track of their time table and do not allow gadgets beyond classes.
- Give them a time limit to complete their school work.
- Check that your child is using electronic gadgets only to do schoolwork and that he/she is not using it for entertainment in the name of schoolwork.
- Be a role model by not using too many gadgets yourself.
- Inculcate other hobbies like nature walk, cycling, swimming, gardening, cooking. If you invest a little time now, your child will reap the benefits throughout his/her life.
- Encourage SOCIAL DISTANCING from gadgets. Yes, you heard it right. Social distancing is a necessary evil that we have to practice in this pandemic but let’s give it a positive twist by distancing ourselves and our kids from gadgets.
We may not be able to completely do away with electronic devices in today’s times but we can certainly try and limit their use and use them intelligently.
The author is an English teacher at Vidya Soudha Public School, Bengaluru. She is a passionate teacher who works hard to build good vocabulary and presentation skills among her students. As an English teacher she is very passionate about English literature.