September 25, 2013
There was a time when we used to be glued to our television watching long movies in which hero would chase the villain hours together in a car. The scene seemed to be never ending yet we would patiently watch it with lot of interest. Those were the days perhaps when we would wait for the arrival of postman , and celebrate his advent keeping our dogs at bay, fearing that they might pounce on our important visitor indeed ‘the messenger’ who brings news of our loved ones. Those were the days when we played with our friends ‘outside’ our homes, talked with neighbors, laughed ‘heartily’ at the jokes cracked by friends, exchanged postal addresses instead of mobile numbers and ‘social networking IDs’, wrote letter to our friends and loved ones also sending them greeting cards sifting through a bunch of them patiently, and selecting a one which suited aptly to mood and the occasion. That was also a time as one would recall savoring a ‘traditional dish’ at home quite often, which required lengthy process in the kitchen for its preparation.
Call it a change, progress, transformation or ‘evolution’, the phase in which we are moving seems drastically influencing our lives; moreover, our ‘relationships’. Thanks to the latest ‘smart’ gadgets like smart phones, TVs,PCs, notebooks etc. which have intruded our lives and the variety of ‘engaging’ activities which they offer, we have invented weapons to kill boredom. Now we can boost of improved typing speed, good reflexes while playing games and a longer involvement or engagement in an activity (esp. in games and social networking site).
We now have lot of ways and means of contacting our loved ones, relatives and friends. There are several social networking sites, messenger services, telecommunication services with uninterrupted service available at will. We can see them, talk to them, message them, and send them smileys or cards at an instance. Seldom have we felt any hassles in the way of contacting them now and then with the improved network all over. Yet in reality there surfaces a question – are these means have improved our relationships? The past and present are in conflict when we speak of relationships. Why the urge and longing which we had earlier to meet and speak to our friends and loved ones when these means of contacting them were not there has diminished at length in the present? These means were to improve and enhance our communications; yet we find ‘everyone’ out there available always but we hardly notice their presence. Our communications have moved from occasional hi, hello to nothing. One question goes unanswered: Are we averse to these very means of communications, or gadgets or people themselves? Or are we moving with the phase in the ‘faster lane’ where we are ‘busy’ and have become ‘choosy’? Whatever it is, the fact is ‘our relations are strained and it’s time to introspect. It might be an exaggeration to say that there may be a time where family members would limit their communication to ‘good morning and good night in the smart phone messengers.
Technological advances are good and the point here is not on lamenting or criticizing on the growth and the advancement and its effect. It is important to note that in many areas it has improved our lives for better. It is just to highlight and stress its reception in our lives and relationships. It is about how much one can allow these advances to pervade his or her life. It pains to see a group of friends or children on a common vehicle busy on their phones instead of talking and sharing with each other or a chubby lad being busy on the Xbox being oblivion of the other lad of same age residing in the another flat of same building. We also note a friend complaining about his or her spouse spending long hours on social networking site. Are these gadgets of our choices have led us into the habit of keeping ourselves engaged in the pretext of ‘privacy’ and ‘personal space’?
There is a saying that ‘life is a journey ‘and also another that ‘it is not a race track’. In this era where fast food and ready to cook items are preferred by majority of people undoubtedly everything moves on the fast lane. It’s a test of one’s patience and how much one can stretch. As referred earlier in the article even the movies have a shorter duration and people just want light hearted content. Majority want fast results and fast delivery like a pizza. The toll is on the’ relationships’. Has the warmth and depth in a relationship at the present era is relatively less? In a time which swings between ‘hold on’ and ‘move on’ the main element of relationship is missing -‘Patience and persistence’.
We are not far from the people who have given a testimony for lasting relationships, togetherness, and love warmth in the family and friendships. Sharing and communication was the strongest pillar which kept their unity strong. On the fast lane it is important to pause and reflect and to take charge of our lives again. It is time to draw a line how much this advancing technology could actually permeate our lives. Thanks to the rapid evolution; we may destroy our relationships or ourselves in the process just like technologically advanced ‘Krypton’ and ‘Cybertron’ depicted in Superman and Transformers -fictional movies if we do not learn to master and use the technological growth in a right manner.