JournalismPakistan.com March 26, 2013
Stuck without a computer the other day I found myself in the awkward position of having to write longhand, something almost strange in that it was three full pages and I got cramps half way through. Not just that but my handwriting, having been defeated into a poor second place by keyboard dexterity was rusty and shaky and wobbly and lopsided. It hit me with a certain force that I hadn't done any writing in months beyond scribbles on post it yellow stickers or some sorry sum cheques.
It also struck me that there is a generation behind me that not only risks never even developing to any acceptable stage its ability to grasp a pen and write but also the stamina to think for itself. We use borrowed words. From the thesaurus, from other people's thoughts, even having to buy cards to express basic sentiments. Sad, isn't it, that even love has to underscored by browsing through the cards section of a bookshop because we haven't the energy to think original thought. This we call advanced communication.
We can't write as well, we can't think as well, we can't produce enough action, we have fallen so far behind and yet we think of ourselves as the generation with the edge.
Make some of your own observations. How difficult it is to write a letter to a friend, how often you begin and cannot write more than five banal lines. So much easier to use the soulless if effective Email…better still SMS someone and get it over with…lol to you,too Sir. We don't engage in conversation because we no longer listen, we socialize to score points and collect scalps, networking to make contacts showing a flicker of interest only if it is gossip. We seek the refuge of the TV because we are now addicts and can't do without this fix. You don't believe me. Conduct an experiment. Unplug the TV for seven days. No one watches. House rule.
First day, you will feel smug. On Day Two you will go into withdrawal. By Day Three you will be fighting with each other. By Day Four...you don't want to know.
Don't believe it...try it. Walk up to the cord and pull. It isn't tough, just a gentle tug will do it.
Call me if you get this far.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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