Youngsters of today are a different lot than what we were in our times. It is true that they are a lot smarter in many respects as they live in a technological environment that did not exist previously. With each passing day things are improving and newer technology is finding its way into our lives. Consequently, the level of exposure of the youngsters is growing by leaps and bounds every moment. Each day you find newer apps populating the google ‘play store’ that solve some problems that were too old and intractable that we did not know how to get rid of. What I see is that a child of barely 2 years can operate his parent’s mobile phone so deftly as if it was his second nature.
The programs on the TV, rhymes on the lap top or the notepad and the mobile phone are proving to be life Changing for the kids of today. They are so engrossed and mesmerized by these gadgets that they even forget whether someone else exists. Hand over the phone to a child and feed him anything, he does not refuse or bother anymore. Unmindfully, he performs all other activities as if these could not unsettle his peaceful state while royally absorbed with the gadget. I sometimes wonder in amazement, the exponential power of a child to learn almost anything and everything, that normally we would consider it an unlikely occurring or an event. You can see this at work when you see the TV programs on singing with children as participants. You can only feel awe at their performances and each subsequent performance beats the previous one by yards. These children may not put together a few dialogues but the expertise with which they sing the lyrics is simply breathtaking.
All is not well. Off late, children have also started feeling the brunt of technology like never before as technology is a double-edged sword. If it can help and assist you in solving a problem, it can also create an entirely new set of problems unheard of before. What started as an innocuous dalliance in childhood may well blow up out of proportion in teenage. When they grow up, most children remain thoroughly occupied with electronic gadgets rather than playing outdoors. This translates into compromised level of physical activity that leads to lifestyle diseases. You can find obese and diabetic children with adult like ailments. Children of today do not know the kind of fun we had in our times playing all the outdoors games. Don’t you find youngsters with strapped headphones walking on roads and streets unmindful of the traffic or the crowd, thus imperiling their own lives and those of others too.
We have seen in TV about the addiction of children with selfies that costed them their lives. Another trend that is expressing itself so vehemently is the prevalence of playing video games. Some children are so much absorbed in playing video games that they are totally oblivious of what is happening in their surroundings and are cut off from what they should pay heed to instead. They pursue gaming to the extent that they spend something like 10 to 12 hours continuously, comfortably forgetting any idea about day or night. What kick they get out of the same is what only God knows. But it is a disturbing trend that is rising the world over. Games like dota2, that can accommodate multiple players, are robbing our children of their mental and physical health. When this habit may turn out to be a compulsive disorder one might not tell.
The habit of compulsive gaming has been classified as a kind of mental disorder by the WHO as it leads to an impaired control of over one’s senses and motor actions as if they are possessed. In this situation, one loses the ability to decipher clearly and distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. The person stops living in real world and transposes into the virtual world. Gaming takes precedence over daily activities and interests. Over the last few years the number of teenagers being diagnosed with this disorder has increased manifold. When the children are admonished for their habit, they become irritable, violent and impulsive.
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Technology is also making our children lose social skills and they are becoming loners. Most of the children have virtual or online friends rather that in real life. They feel comfortable texting but uncomfortable conversing. Most families while seated together in the same room are busy with their own personal mobile phones with no talk between them. Are you witnessing the same at your home too? Was this what we wanted for our children?
Reality of today’s life. 4 members of family sit together with 4 phones seperately in a same room only talk on WhatsApp