Remember how we’ve listened to the many history classes on the Stone Age, then how fire was discovered and the next couple of decades was about the Fire Age and then the Iron Age, and so on till we listened in wonder to how the many discoveries of man finally brought us to the present era called the Information age or the Digital media Age?
Well, I’m not going to bore you with a history lesson, but I’d like to share a realisation that dawned on me recently.
So, I was sitting in the canteen having tea, and just generally looking around. There were atleast five other colleagues sitting around in the same room who had come for a break as well. And what caught my attention was the fact that pretty much all of them , all of them had their noses buried in their phone screens. I sat and watched. Maybe , they were looking something up I thought and carried on. No one noticed that I came in, no one noticed that I left.
Later that day, as I was walking back from work , down the beautiful, flower petal laden lanes of the hospital campus, the deafening silence bothered me. In a place that once rang with voices of laughter, of people greeting each other and sharing random stories of patients they’d seen that day or a request for prayer or some experience of sorts, what remained was a bunch of people young more than the older ones, walking around with their eyes glued to the screens of their fancy phones. I saw more head-tops than faces, more glazed eyes, than eyes shining with joy, more zoned out people than real human beings.
And in my mind I thought- God, so this is the Screen- Age.
This is not a one day experience, but a daily one; not just a single-center experience ( as we call it for thesis sakes), but this is what we see everywhere, ain’t it?? Please tell me if I’m wrong. In buses, trains, at bus stops, in cafeterias, during that wee lil time we get a break from work, even in our homes, while we walk, while we eat and just before we sleep, and every single minute we can squeeze in to accommodate more screen time with this gadget we carry around.
Someone has to Whatsapp you to get your attention or post a status update or ‘like’ a post on any of the social media!
It really got me thinking- So what is the deal with these screens? How come they’ve enslaved us so much so that we have become a generation of introverted, insensitive people? What are we gonna pass on to the next generation? Smarter phones? How smart is that?
We’d rather scroll through random status updates than lift our eyes up and strike a conversation with the person sitting right in front of us. We’d rather look through youtube videos of no eternal consequence than share an experience with a colleague. We’d rather tighten the muscles of our thumbs with constant aimless scrolling than extend a hand to a person in need, or go for a run with a friend, or spend some time with family, or read a good book- Oh wait! How would we know that unless we look around right?
Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve only lived almost three decades here on Earth, and I already prefer the sound of singing and talking, to the sound of constant typing, I’d prefer looking at someone’s face than the top of their head, I’d rather hold someone’s hand and walk than be too engrossed in using both my hands to support my expensive gadget called the smartphone to type out something. I’d rather enjoy the sunset or the sunrise or simply the blue sky than all the brightness the phone screen could offer.
So there, I’ve made my point. Let’s make that effort to move out of the bubble that we create around ourselves, look up , reach out and enjoy the reality that God naturally ordained us to enjoy than the virtual reality we’ve created which does our body no good.
Get to know your neighbour’s name, go feed his fish, strike up a conversation with the colleague sitting opposite you, hold someone’s hand and pray with them. Do something, anything other than staring at that screen in front of you.
Look Up, Laugh, Breathe, Live…Embrace the beauty of creation, the glory of God your Creator, and Worship!
"Give me your eyes (Jesus) for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see,
Everything that I keep missing,
Give your love for humanity.
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me Your eyes so I can see"
Give me Your eyes- Brandon Heath