From mobile screens to laptops to projector screens in classrooms, I feel that the ‘screen-time’ my child is exposed to, is far too much and is gradually chipping away at the cognitive and physical abilities of my child. Often when I pass my daughter’s bedroom at night, I can see a narrow beam of light from beneath the door, as the laptop or mobile screen illuminates the dimly-lit room. The way these gadgets have invaded our everyday lives seems to be inseparable. We have fallen so deep into this abyss of addiction that there doesn’t seem to be a practical way to free ourselves from this trap.
As I yell at her for not listening to me, I realize that I am no less independent on this wave of technology. Working from home has made me stick to the laptop for majority of the day and maybe this habit has been passed on along the generations. I vow to myself to make a conscious effort to limit my exposure to these gadgets 24/7 as my children are inevitably getting affected by it I guess.
As I fight with myself, to teach my child to include some healthy bedtime habits in her daily routine like reading books maybe? She finds herself sleep deprived a few years from now. She retorts back, her temper shooting up instantly like mercury in a thermometer. Sweet sixteen is indeed a dangerous age to live with as the fever of adolescence is all over her and she is almost always in a cranky mood ready to throw her tantrums all over the place. There seems to be a communication gap or more appropriately a ‘generation gap’ between us and I feel that I am missing out on something.
Our perceptions of the world do not seem to match, as the media has defined most of the world for her. What I think she needs is totally different from what she actually needs. Is technology going to distance us from our children? Is this why we have facilitated our children so much with all sorts of gadgets so that they can stay in touch with the outside world and not feel deprived in any regard?
Family gatherings have become a rarity and even by chance all of the family members gather in one room, guess what? They are ALL on their smartphones or tablets or whatever. We do not realize but it is a matter of great concern. Our phones are our constant companions, even on the dining table. The respect and sanctity of certain family members and rituals seems to be lost somewhere. We inadvertently find ourselves checking our phones several times in an hour whether it is to check text messages, any online portal for new varieties, business platforms to get updates or the all-knowing Google to get information on our interests.
It’s high time that we wake up from our slumber and instead of sitting back and relaxing; we need to address this growing issue of our kids falling to these gimmicks all over the internet and the untiring addiction on technological gadgets that have clouded our judgment. It’s not that you should develop a curfew situation around the house; you can pick the right gadgets for your kids and choose from the best ones with your expert skills. So that they don’t get affected by something you aren’t aware of.
As I leave my daughter’s room feeling totally helpless as all my efforts to convince her to get off her laptop seems futile. The glamorous world of technology seems to be more of a menace then a blessing and I really wish to free my child from the clutches of this monster.