The other day, my colleague and I were sitting at a cafe during our break hours. While enjoying our coffee, it was interesting to note that couples or groups at various tables were mostly on their phones. In the case of singlets, I would be able to understand but for couples to be mostly on phones felt strange. Late that day, during my drive back to home, the similar situations were seen among the students waiting for or on the bus, passengers on the bus, at the grocers’ – everyone were on their “screen time mode” be it phones, iPads or tablets. The question that popped in my mind was “how much of screen time do we attend to each day ?”
The sad fact is we all live in our screens. Trips are taken to showcase photos as proof of fun, not vice versa. If one disagrees, then why do we cram up so much sights in one day to see when we go on a break instead of enjoying each hour that we spend.
Sometimes you have to disconnect to stay connected. Remember the old days when you had eye contact during a conversation? When everyone wasn’t looking down at a device in their hands? We’ve become so focused on that tiny screen that we forget the big picture, the people right in front of us. Regina Brett
Screen time has cost us our ability to talk. We lack communication primarily, because we are too busy staring at the screens, or tired from staring at the screen all day or we are too caught up on thinking about what is happening on the screen. Each one of us have our own coat of interests, acquaintances offline and online, yet when they interfere with our social bonding, family ties, relationships and health; its’ time to re-evaluate.
The drawback of modern communication is that we “message, chat or pictorize” but we don’t communicate or really know how one is feeling or understand and listen to each other. Consequently we lose out on real love, kinship and bonds; instead we get swamped by bouts or periods of loneliness, inattention, superficiality and emptiness. There are many instances in families, communities or campuses, where individuals live under the same roof but know squat about each other. Privacy should be respected, but knowing basics of whether you like tea or coffee, vegan or not, healthy or unwell, address or one’s dislikes and likes is essential to forge and maintain bonds.
“It’s not just about limiting screen time; it’s about teaching kids to develop good habits in real life As well as managing their screen time.” Cynthia Crossley
The worst hit from excessive screen time are families. They live together but sit in their gadgets, completely oblivious to each other speaking “different languages”. Parents and children forget to talk to each other. There are exchange of words but no connection, intimacy, enjoyment or relaxation to just be together. “The key is to teach them how to be safe with technology, because ultimately, we want our children to be in charge of technology, rather than feeling technology is in charge of them,” as said by Elaine Halligan, London director of The Parent Practice
Knowing to delegate screen time is necessary, as each year in life happens only once. Adults can’t relive their childhood years like their children. Each one will grow up quickly and time will fly. Kids will grow up quickly, and we will not be able to sit with them, read books or just have some fun. We adults might find it late to spend time with someone dear, because life in general is lived quickly. We need to distribute our time to one another. When “screen time” becomes “screen life”, its’ time to change before we too get swiped by a tap.