JournalismPakistan.com January 25, 2015
Two hours in mindless chats on Whatsapp. The same amount of time crushing candy. Another hour fiddling for emails and messages or ending them. The desperate loneliness of a generation that needs electronic eavesdropping or diversion to keep itself from isolation.
I am no psychologist but I can safely submit that it is also becoming a nation of watchers with fewer people actually becoming doers. There will come a time when the affluent will lead the way to the tadpole like adaptation of the new homo sapiens, a couch potato man with only appendages for limbs and a round, pear like body, thin on top and rotund at the base. You think I jest. Look around you. Millions of people doing nothing physical at all, yet paying huge sums of money to watch a minuscule percentage perform for them. This is already happening, this vicarious satisfaction, getting tired sitting and watching other people labouring away.
Even as TV has stunted physical growth it has played complete havoc with the mind. Perhaps the saddest death is that of reading. Books. Good solids books… once your friend, guide and refuge. Now, I hear people speak with pride of how they have never read a book, who has the time? You have time to watch mindless garbage spew at you but you haven’t got the time to read and you can justify this aberration with a smile.
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. We don’t engage in conversation because we no longer listen, we socialize to score points and collect scalps, networking to make contacts. 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. Block your Whatsapp. No messages in inanity. Stop laying whatever game you play.
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 chargers 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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