Tag Archives: addiction to smartphones

The Bulbul’s message

We are at my mom’s, enjoying our summer vacation. We have just had a sumptuous lunch. The children and their cousins are playing a board game in one of the bedrooms.

All the adults are seated or stretched out in the living room, as the day curtains billow in the cool breeze. Each time the curtains billow, one can see the green leaves of the trees outside, glistening in the bright, afternoon sun.

Most of us are trying not to sleep after that heavy lunch. We chat on and off, the pauses and silences are comfortable ones – those that belong to family, to love and to familiarity.

A sudden sweet bird song cuts through this family web.  There is a pause, and the bird song plays again.

My sister says, ” Someone’s got a message.”

Hands and bodies reach out to their phones, like the arms of an octopus.

Most people in the room say that the ring tone is not theirs. The bird sound continues.

We quickly discover that there is a ‘real’ Bulbul bird sitting on our balcony, singing away merrily. We gently move the curtains to watch this beautiful bird.
             

                   Picture courtesy – Wikipedia

How musical it sounds! How could we even mistake it for a ringtone?

We laugh uneasily. The Bulbul gave us an important message today. 

Maybe we should take more time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, those that are not in any way connected to technology or smartphones.

The Smart Generation

There was a time, long ago, maybe not so long ago, when smartphones did not exist and videogames used to be faraway things that you only saw in the movies!

There was a time when happiness could be contained within a chocolate given to you by your parents.

These days, it is difficult to motivate children with simple things, those things that made up our childhood. 

From what I observe all around me, today’s children love the games on their iPads and their parents’ smartphones. They are easily motivated and enthusiastic about these games, much like we were about chocolates and picnics.

image

         Courtesy – http://www.ctvnews.ca

My son is no exception. He loves this game called ‘Minecraft’ (hope I’ve got the name right! 

We spend a lot of time talking to him about the ill-effects of playing continuously (exaggerating sometimes, for good measure).

To reach a win-win without his getting addicted to these electronic devices, we have worked out a system where he gets to play the game thrice a day, for 10 minutes each. This seems to be working very well.

Last week, while we were at the airport, we heard an announcement that our flight was delayed by two hours. I went back to my book, while my husband napped. My daughter and her grandma were busy chatting. My son paced the airport floor, back and forth.

After a while, his constant pacing got to me. I called him and asked him why he was pacing?

He said, “I am actually working out how to move to the next level in Minecraft.”

I rolled my eyes and said, “Is this game all you can think about?”

He knows I get irritated by game-talk, so he worriedly asked me, “If I am only thinking about the game in my mind would that count as strategic planning or as an addiction to the phone?”

Hmmm..Strategic planning eh? I quietly went back to my book.