by Dr. Monika Yadav
With the holidays just around the corner, I felt moved to write about an issue that is not primarily medical, but is just as important as any illness. I am 45 years old and have had the distinct pleasure growing up in 2 very different eras: OLD SCHOOL and MODERN TECHNOLOGY. So, I’m a half-breed of sorts…. Before the advent of computers and the internet, there were typewriters and the local library. Immediate information was not right at my fingertips. Most of the times it would take days to find an answer that SIRI could spew out within seconds. It seems that cyberspace connects us to the worlds unknown as we disconnect from the local towns in which we were born.
“Be aware of your surroundings”, is a statement I make to our children multiple times a week. When they were toddlers it was meant to protect them from fast cars in a parking lot. Now as a tween and teenager, it is said in a more philosophical way. Although they both have smart phones, there are time limit restrictions. I want them to look up and pay attention to the people and nature and situations around them….. and instead of snapping a picture of something interesting, I want them to enjoy and experience it in real time and cement it into their minds, like I have for most of my life. Those memories may be blurry or enhanced as the years move on, but there is still a charm about it when it’s not as clear. I realize there are advantages of being able to record instances when it comes to legal matters and such– still, putting the video camera down and listening to the music as it’s being played is a pure joy on its own.
Although social media has helped us connect in some ways, I feel like it’s hindered the more traditional techniques of communicating. There is something to be said about a person who notices another person sobbing silently on a bench and comes over to inquire if they need aid or a child witnessing a grand gesture of someone helping an elderly person cross the street on a slick day…. but in order to SEE things like this, one must not be hypnotized by a screen. This blindness is an affliction that effects the young and old alike.
I actually should be happy for alot of the electronics out there. It’s good for business. First came the computers, then gaming systems, followed by cell phones, Kindles, and iPads, etc. Patients come in with new neck and back pain– children have thumb arthritis from overuse due to these electronics. Even if they minimize time on one device, they will just increase usage of another. I really should be content, but addiction of any sort disturbs me. I’m just waiting for Electronics Anonymous to pop up in every village, town, and metropolis.
In conclusion I want to state that although I understand the benefits of technology we have been provided, I also feel that “everything in moderation” is a good approach to most things in life. So next time you find yourself in an electronic trance, think of some of these points, put the device down, and thoroughly enjoy the moment!!