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Screen or No Screen

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June 6, 2023

Well there is no doubt that technology is certainly changing the way we do things, making a lot of things easier than ever, connecting not just the earth but the entire universe. Not only this, but it is also changing the way we perceive and experience things at every moment in our lives now, and that is where the problem lies. 

Remember the days when we celebrated birthdays without Social Media wishes, but surprise visits from those close by, and long conversations with those away. This was one of the days in the year, when we ended up catching up with all our friends and family, even those we barely spoke to throughout the year. A simple b’day wish would lead to an endless conversation, re-connecting me to them each year. 

Remember how we opened up our picture albums, comprising of carefully selected photos. OH! and what joy we felt putting those photos into the album, going back into time, filled with nostalgia, each time we went through them. Now our hard drives and phone memory is swamped with pictures (most times multiples of the same shot), making it a task to look through. We can come up with a billion such experiences that have been ruined because of the way we use technology.

What changes our experience with technology is the way we use them! 

Do we really want our children to experience things naturally? Do we want them to feel the joy in playing tic-tac-toe with a paper and pen, running around with friends and playing hide and seek ? Then why is it that we swamp them with iPad, Tablets and Mobile phones from the moment they are born?

Some parents fear that if they don’t equip children with iPad and laptops at a young age, they will not turn out to be very technology friendly adults. Really? It takes a 2 year old child, just a few swipes to figure out how to open the Gallery or YouTube. Will they really not be able to figure out technology, when our parents who are now 50-60, and didn’t have access to iPad or smart phones for almost 30+ years of their lives, have figured most of it with just a little acquaintance.

Other parents believe that is the one and only way they can feed their children, educate their children or get some alone time. What happened to listening to stories by the bedside, playing board games and eating together? What happened to learning through books, and singing rhymes?

Introducing your children to screens early on will do more harm than good in the long run. Parents complain all the time, of their children having very short attention spans. This is due to excessive usage of screens from a young age, and it is just the start of it.

The question here is, how do we want our children to perceive this world ? Should we give them the liberty to experience the natural world through their senses? or Should we block their senses, from this beautiful natural world , and create an alternate virtual reality for them ?

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