(This particular post is written while listening to this)
Coming from a developing south Asian country, where technology “happened” like overnight in last decade. Like there were barely a radio or two in remote villages and now a good portion of population (of very remote villages) own cell phones. It’s NOT a bad thing. I repeat it isn’t. It has made the otherwise difficult rural life easier and now dependency in communication has reduced.
The problem is, we were NOT ready for the “good thing”. That is causing the chaos (now dear first world country readers (if there is any), stop smirking or feeling smug, you people are no better, you are abusing technology, or at least using it incautiously often (seriously? Explain the stupid the selfie accidents and Pokemon Go incidents.). You are no better anyway). Before understanding the “power” of technology, we started playing with it. Like letting a 1 year old baby “explore” the main power circuit of your home. We were not aware of all the possibilities, and responsibilities of technology. So, when the flashy technology contraptions started entering in our life, we without even thinking twice started assimilating ourselves with those. Not thinking twice about what we are gaining and what we are losing. It might sound pretty hypocritical for me writing this, because I am writing this blog in a “technological contraption” which will be shared with virtual audiences whom I will probably never contact in person. But the point is, I AM AWARE OF THE FACT. I am aware of the truth that if we are not careful, the contraptions will overpower us (not that that did not overpower me to some extent, but at least I am aware of it. I don’t feel good about not getting to meet my friends on daily basis, I don’t feel happy for staying at home and browsing internet for my favorite books instead of going to shops and touch the spines of those beautiful motionless things (unless of course it’s a monster book 😛 Then it will try to bite 😛 )) .
Modern technologies have given us so much, I am thankful for it. But the inconsiderate handling of it by the first generations who got to mingle with it resulted in several setbacks. I will focus on a particular one.
READING STORIES TO CHILDREN FROM BOOKS.
Dear reader, when was the last time you tucked your child or put your sibling to bed after reading them a nice bedtime story from a book or made up a great one. Showing them pictures, making gestures and all that?
I can’t speak of people from other countries and cultures. But in our culture, that particular practice is diminishing rapidly. I remember my father would tell me a series story, where three protagonists a deer, a parrot and a monkey survive a harsh jungle against all odds. I would get to participate in the “story building” and often get to choose the ending from alternatives. He would also tell me bits about his experience when he fought the liberation war, while I was being fed. My mother would never fed me without telling at least two or three stories from the books she would buy for me. And I can say, pretty much most kids were tucked to bed with a bedtime story, if not a story-series like my dad designed for me. The whole process planted a seed of reading habit. I am not saying that every kid of my generation turned out to be avid readers. But in the subconscious level, I believe there is a difference.
Later, TV shows and smart devices started replacing bedtime stories. An alarming number of kids find books “boring” because they are “long”. A generation is already in their teens, who didn’t read anything beyond a few thin Disney children’s books until teenage, because BOOKS ARE BORING. And their first confrontation with “published literatures” are Twilight or Vampire Diaries because “they are cool” (the compulsory literature taught in school are excluded). And I believe these kids as well as their parents in general should be held responsible. These “new” parents of late nineties and early 2000s thought it would be a good idea to replace bedtime stories with late night TV shows, drawing kits with mobile devices and taking them to gadget stores instead of bookstores.
I’m saying again, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH GADGETS OR LETTING YOUR KIDS TO USE THOSE. I’m saying that, WE SHOULD NEVER LET GADGETS, GAMES OR TV SHOWS REPLACE READING, WRITING AND OTHER CREATIVE OUTINGS THAT A CHILD NEEDS.
You may say that, “Hey hormonal mother of a pup, there are sweet, tree-friendly things called e-books, you know?”
Yeah, thank you for that precious bit of information.
I know a lot of adults do take advantage of this amazing blessing of technology and enjoys the digital version of black and white magic. BUT TELL ME HOW MANY KIDS READ EBOOK IN THE SMART DEVICE THAT IS FILLED WITH GAMES AND OTHER APPS?
The bottom line of my plea (or this overly bitchy(?)) post is, PLEASE BRING BACK THE HABIT OF READING AND STORYTELLING BACK. There is nothing wrong with playing candy crush or fruit ninja, but make sure your child does not miss out reading about Tom Sawyer’s adventure or Oliver Twist’s misery. It is okay to have both. Believe me.