“Dinner’s ready,” she shouted from inside the kitchen. He didn’t even stir. She kept flipping the dosas on to his plate, piping hot, the TV aunty shouting from the rooftop. She stood there, asking him if he wanted more, and there was no response. Then came the screaming and what followed was a fight that scared the living daylights out of the two little children they had.
If you think, our dinner time, which is what we used to call family time back when we were kids, was very different. It would mean the entire family sitting together having a meal, fancy or not, making small talk, discussing careers and future, private family jokes, spilling secrets and just, bonding.
However, today, technology has taken over and spoilt everything for us — our relationships, our health and our concentration powers.
I remember when I was a kid, we didn’t have a dining table. We — my mum, dad and my grannies and I — we’d sit down on the floor, sharing whatever my mum would have cooked. We wouldn’t just relish our food, we’d relish the time that we got together as a family. It was a strictly ‘no tv’ time.
Cut to today, dinners mean employment time for our useless hand (left one, in most cases). Our smartphones and tablets sit with pride right next to the plate of food we work oh-so-hard for, demanding that we give it our undivided attention. Stuck between our paapi pet and our addiction, we stuff our mouths and then just gape at our facebook feed, chewing slowly until our food goes cold and we can no longer tolerate it. While our money goes into the dustbin in the form of the discarded food, our gadgets get cuddled.
As soon as we get back home from work, we want to know who posted what on facebook, who instagrammed which picture and all of that, as if the whole day wasn’t enough to keep tab. We then either get busy with the television, or ap away into one of these gadgets.
When do we then get to interact or bond with our families? Via technology of course. Rithika Agarwal, a 26-year-old software engineer says, “I didn’t realise the value of family time until I had to shift to Hyderabad due to work. But even then, technology is so addictive that it’s difficult to put it down. Whenever I get back home, my mum always shouts at me for being glued to my phone, but I regret it when I come back here.”
For Bujji Ravulapati, the story is in the reverse order. She is a homemaker and waits for her husband all day long. But when he comes back, he hardly talks to her, as he is busy either with the phone, or with the TV. Frustrated, one it seems she refused to serve him dinner!
Technology is taking over precious moments that we spend with our near and dear ones. Let’s remember that keeping in touch with the world and its wife might be important, but keeping in touch with immediate family matters more than anything else!