Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Smart phones and dumb people.

On my birthday, Paresh, Arrow and I dined at Smoke House Deli. Lovely place. Amazing decor, smart staff, fantastic food. But this post isn't about my birthday, nor about the restaurant. It is about something I noticed there.There and almost everywhere that my eyes turned to. Every eye that I saw there was glued on technology. Technology sure is a blessing but, should we really be allowing it to control our life so much? We constantly keep connected with the outer world. We socialize, we share, we comment, pass judgement, give away opinions to a person 10 miles away and yet, forget the person sitting besides us. The table occupied beside us had a beautiful lady, a sophisticated gentleman and a kid or, should I say a pre-teen. The girl hardly ate a thing but continuously  kept clicking pictures, instagraming it and sending it to friends or, posting it at various social channels. The mother asked the girl a few times to eat, but finally gave up and glued herself with candy crush. I could not see the gentleman's phone screen, but he was on it too. The only time they looked up was when a cheerful waiter would come with food to be served. Every other table had a similar story.
Did dining out not mean, spending time with that one person or, a group of people you want to be with? With over a thousand friends on Facebook, how many of them do you really know to be called friends? You speak to most of them online, share moments of your life with, but who are they? Community, companionship, the sense of inclusion, what else is it if not a world full of confusion? As a kid I was taught to look into the eyes of the person I talk to. I was taught the art of having a firm handshake. But with the given digital obsession, will we ever have to teach that to our kids? I want to be there for my friends, just the way I want them to be there too. But will it be ever needed if a group message would do? A game of scrabble over cups of coffee and gossips have been taken over by a false self of friendship over candy crush or farmville as I remember it. There were times when I had all the important numbers by heart and did calculation in my head. But now, neither am I capable of 14X14 nor, do I know what my Dad's number is. The world does not have any lost travelers, a conversation creator -- for every phones comes with Google maps. We have turned into a generation of idiots. Smart phones and dumb people.
I decided to get myself rehabilitated of this smartphone addiction. So stop complaining if I take my sweet time replying to a whatsapp message or, do not comment or like your pics. I do not carry my phone when I am with Paresh and no more answer a call if Arrow is in my lap. Now stop reading and get off the phone. Grab a book, call a friend, hold hands of the one you love, teach you kid to ride a bike, embrace life the way it was meant to be.

I have a thousand friends and yet, I am lonely
I speak to most of them, but do they really know me?
Community, companionship, the sense of inclusion
But when I look up, it's a world of confusion.
I share moments of my life in pictures,
But what are they without emotions.
My sadness, my joy; commented by all,
Is worthless when sitting on a sofa alone.
I hardly leave home yet you call me popular, I am busy socially.
I want to be there for my friends and wish, they will be there too,
But who will be, if a group message would do?

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