It is harmful for children to live a wired life because it disconnects them from studies, family and environment. They
turn individualistic and self-oriented.
A group of children were sitting in a circle with their teacher. She was asking them questions by turns.
“Davy, what noise does a cow make?” “It goes moo,” he replied.
“Alice, what noise does a cat make?” “It goes meow.”
“Jamie, what sound does a sheep make?” “It goes baa.”
“Jennifer, what sound does a mouse make?” “Err it goes…click.”
For youngsters who live in a wired world where gadgetry is an obsession, isolation is a way of life. They type, click or beep their way through the schedule of everyday living, barely aware of people who are around them. The older generation finds that today’s techno-savvy youth are so engrossed in their gadgets that they have lost touch with the outside world.
“My son/daughter is constantly chatting on her computer, God knows with whom…” This is a common complaint from thousands of parents.
For today’s youth, every situation demands a new technology to match. It’s a paradox that the very tools that are meant to facilitate communication with each other are sending them into isolation. Though most youngsters are networking digitally, they are losing the personal touch with everyone around them, to the extent that they don’t even talk to each other anymore.
One young man admitted, “A true sense of communication does not exist anymore among young people… things will get worse in the days to come and this is not a healthy trend at all.” Another added, “I agree that it limits our social interaction. All the information clutters our mind.”
According to sociologist GK Karanth, this trend indicates the techno-savvy nature of our lives “There was a time when we would enjoy watching children on swings and see-saws in the park. Today we can only watch them getting lost in their techno world. Parents now feel that they have no business to interfere in the lives of their kids and there is an absence of communication. We are unable to decode them.” He adds, “This is the age of the great gizmo divide… it will remain a challenge for this generation to keep up with the youth of tomorrow.”
The mathematics teacher saw that little Tommy wasn’t paying attention in class. She called him and said, “Tommy! What are 2 and 4 and 22 and 44?”
Little Tommy quickly replied, “NBC, CBS, HBO and the cartoon Network.” Children are easily influenced by TV, and by far spend most of the time glued to the tube. They watch TV daily for hours on end. Not only do they never seem to tire of it, they want more of it! Be it video games or cartoons, talk shows or documentaries, comedies or dramas – it’s all children’s cinema now. The fine line between adult viewing and children’s viewing seems to have blurred. Too much TV-watching can harm a child’s ability to learn; it even reduces his chances of getting a college degree. Three separate findings were published in the July 2006 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. One of the studies involved nearly 400 northern California third-graders. Those with a TV in their bedroom scored about eight points lower on maths, language and arts tests than children without a bedroom TV.
A second study, covering nearly 1000 adults in New Zealand, found lower education levels among 26-year-olds who had watched lots of TV during childhood.
A third study, based on nationally representative data on nearly 1800 US children, found that those who watched more than three hours of TV daily before age 3 scored slightly worse on academic and intelligence test at ages 6 and 7 than youngsters who watched less TV.
“The effect was only modest, but still worrisome,” said co-author Frederick Zimmerman, a researcher at the University of Washington.
Experts said the research bolsters advice that children shouldn’t have a TV in their rooms.
Doctors also recommend that kids under 2 should not watch any TV, elder children watch no more than two hours daily of “quality” programmes, and that, TV’s be kept out of children’s bedrooms. Previous research has linked television exposure in young children with attention problems and difficulty in learning to read.
The above studies prove that TV is not just an entertainment medium, but a black box that can influence, motivate, encourage and change a person’s attitudes and beliefs for the worse. Today, watching TV often means fighting, violence and foul language. Not only does TV interfere with personal communication, but it cuts into study time, bed time and more importantly, family time. Gone are the days when the whole family sat around a dinner table and discussed their day over a hot, wholesome meal. Today each member of the family speeds off to his/her room where they perch in front of the TV and bite a pizza.
For a sound, holistic development of one’s inner and outer personality it is necessary to unplug oneself. Reading books, playing outdoor sports, interacting with family and friends, visiting mandir and satsang moulds one towards success and happiness.