“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Are the famous words echoed by Albert Einstein.
Interestingly, the dining table which my father had got made for all five of us, with so much enthusiasm, is now only used by my grandparents. My parents and I watch television while eating, in complete silence. All of us live under the same roof but lead independent lives. I never realised how technology was taking over my life before I was asked to write this debate.
Technology, today, has had an adverse effect on people. We have become so dependent on technology that it is becomes a herculean task to function without it.
I am certain almost everyone present here has WhatsApp on their phones. Such apps only allow users to send messages to each other. There are times when the one-on-one communication between human beings falls through the cracks and technology can take control over a family. As a result of this, people who extensively use this application, over time fail to communicate properly.
Children and often adults are glued to their smart phones. The family does not talk to each other, but to other people not present there. Communication between family members forms the base of a healthy family. When this base is not strong, the relationship built on it is very unstable.
Children, teenagers and even adults have become addicted to social networking sites. Teenagers always complain that their parents don’t give them their “space”. I think we all lament about our parents being too overprotective aren’t I right? But the same child who wanted their “space” will updated his Facebook status stating where he is going, what he is doing and who he is with.
Social media has created a block between parents and their children. Although we cannot only say that children are culprits of being victims of the trap of technology.
My mother was me telling about how one of her students, when she went home, she was exceedingly excited to tell her parents about how she was selected to be a member of the editorial board. Though, when she finally went home her parents were working on their laptops. She tried to tell them but they were too busy in their work. In a while her excitement died out and she told them the next day when they were free.
We can see how laptops have evidently led to weakening of the bond of family.
Remember the good old days? When there was only one T.V in the house and all the family members would huddle around the small blue screen to watch one movie. I for one find it completely impossible to watch the same shows as my parents. We have three T.V’s in the house. Every night I have to watch one of my favourite shows House M.D. I cannot possibly watch the melodramatic serials my mother watches. You see how the television has separated the family….
Let’s take a journey back 15 years; when children our age had no phone at all. Now-a-days even a six year old has an iPhone. My Aunt and Uncle find it easier to hand their four year old an iPad than rather spend time with him. They are so tired after work they seem to find it an easier alternative. Don’t you see how technology is taking over our lives?
The bond between a parent and child should be given time and nurtured. However, with this rapid increase in use of technology this relationship is becoming weaker.
31st December, on New Year’s Eve, I went for a party with my parents to my cousins house. We were three teenagers in one room. Instead of what you might assume, we were all texting our other friends and checking our Facebook news feed; while the void of silence was filled by the T.V. Our parents on the other hand, seemed to be having a lot more fun than us. They were chatting and dancing to their heart’s content.
Isn’t technology affecting our social skills? Isn’t it overpowering our lives and entangling us in its vicious web?
I would like to end with the words of Dave Eggers said, “Here though, there are no oppressors. No one’s forcing you to do this. You willingly tie yourself to these leashes. And you willingly become utterly socially autistic. You no longer pick up on basic human communication clues. You’re at a table with three humans, all of whom are looking at you and trying to talk to you, and you’re staring at a screen! Searching for strangers in… Dubai!”