Striking a Balance — Technology and Nature

The child comes from school, drops his bag and runs to his tablet/iPad/mobile phone. The husband and wife are back home from work and as soon as they arrive home, after exchanging hellos with their family, the television is immediately switched on and remains on till it’s time to hit the sack. We have all become slaves of technology. Although a lot has been written and said about this topic, I chose to write about this as one of my readers requested me to pen down my views on how technology has killed our quest for nature.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have mobile phones and tablets yet we had a very interesting childhood. We would come home from school, finish our homework, have some snacks and then we would go outdoors to play games. Television and radio was a very important part of our growing up yet it would be switched on only for 2–3 hours in a day. Now the children of this present day generation may wonder how we spent our time if we didn’t play games on computers or tablets and if we didn’t surf the internet or message people on WhatsApp or Facebook all day? Apart from playing outdoors, we used to spend our time reading books or comics (remember Tinkle and Archies) and we used to engage in conversations with our neighbors, our family and friends. That is how we gained knowledge and learnt life lessons and values. We didn’t have google but we had encyclopedias and elders to help us solve our queries. How many people take their children out on nature trips instead of malls these days? When I go to a park, I see less children than the ones that I see in the malls. Our parents used to take us to Juhu beach in Mumbai or to some parks and gardens on weekends. We really enjoyed playing on the sand, water and grass.

Technology is very important and has undoubtedly opened up many opportunities and new avenues in all aspects of life. But it is important to strike a balance in life for overall personality development. Instead of always going to the mall, take your children to parks or beaches. We learn so much from the trees and the sea. It is also very important for our health to go out in the nature and spend some time with our loved ones or simply ourselves. The walks in nature inspire creativity and positivity in a person and releases stress and tension. Nowadays even our exercise regimes are enclosed within the four walls of an air conditioned gymnasium. We are so comfortable indoors that we just don’t feel like stepping outdoors to get anything done. I have a few suggestions for my gadget loving friends that may help them strike a balance:

Sometimes we can go outdoors for a walk or jog or swim or play a sport instead of working out in the gymnasium. I am not suggesting that one should not work out in a gym, but a little change is good sometimes for your body and mind.

Instead of looking at your phone while walking on the road or sitting in a waiting room, let us engage in conversation with our neighbors and other people sitting in that waiting room. Many great friendships are born while commuting in a train or a bus.

One should read books as each book teaches us some valuable lessons.

We should focus on developing new skills every year and develop new hobbies and interests to keep our mind happy and healthy.

When we go on a vacation, try to get away from your mobile and tablets for a while and instead of taking pictures to post on Facebook and Instagram, build memories.

Go to the park and beaches instead of going to the malls sometimes. It’s good to get some fresh air instead of inhaling the carbon dioxide emitted from the air conditioners.

We may love machines but we are not machines and that we must never forget. Don’t let your world be trapped in the small screen of a tablet or a mobile phone. The world is much more than gadgets, there are many mysteries of life which can only be unlocked in nature and with human touch.