The significance of communication in the modern world cannot be over emphasised especially as our society becomes more and more cloistered and withdrawn.
The causes of these are obvious. With an array of electronic fancy equipment like smartphones, tablets and other sophisticated gadgets at their disposal, our youth are communicating lesser and lesser than their counterparts of earlier generations.
This alienation affects social and societal relationships profoundly. A youth with a smartphone lives in a world of his or her own blissfully oblivious of nature and surroundings. To him, his phone has become his confidant: his alter ego.
Over the years as a teacher, I have found this retreat from the immediate environs by my students most disconcerting. There had been considerable decline in the reading habits of our children. During our days reading was a pleasurable and ennobling experience. We used to be so absorbed in our books and be transported into a world of our own that we empathised with the characters in the books.Today unfortunately even newspapers are read only under coercion from the teachers. The concept of reading fiction seems to have become obsolete and proponents of this dictum fossils!We are in great danger of permitting this present generation regress to robots. Even mnemonic skills are becoming redundant as a student does not have to remember anything, thanks to the smartphone which has replaced his brain!
If this trend continues science fiction of yesteryears may well become reality.
The situation can be salvaged if only parents realise the enormity of the problem and curtail the use or rather the misuse or abuse of this ubiquitous gadget.
Allot children a specific time to use the internet daily, make reading of newspapers mandatory, encourage reading of novels and books on varied subjects and make their wards aware of human values.
Parents need to spend quality time with their children. Have at least one meal with the whole family together. Infuse a sense of belonging into them. Encourage them to speak out on social and political issues. Guide them on basic values like courtesy, politeness, sympathy, loyalty, obedience, hard work and other virtues so badly lacking in today’s world.We have today in the elusive pursuit of success only focused on pleasure and not happiness.
Pleasure is of the body. Happiness of the mind. Let us convert transitory pleasure to sustained happiness. We owe that to our children and posterity.