Perhaps I’m one of the proud members of the last generation who had had a childhood livelier than anyone of today’s kids. We may speak endlessly in favour of the digital revolution of the 21st century and the sophistications that it has blessed us with. In a way it’s a fact hard to deny. Yet, what we- as human species- have lost on our way into these advanced technologies is worth pondering.
The digital life unlike anything else is literally compelling us to lead a life amid a sea of images, both static and moving. The children of this millennium are more induced to stare upon bright lit screens that pour torrent of images ceaselessly. It might either be a computer screen, or a tablet screen or a mobile screen anything of that kind, for that matter. This on one hand has enabled them to know things more than any other medium that I had at my disposal during my childhood. The gates of knowledge are not just wide open but the gates are fading away, to put it straight. The digital platform and the advancements in the communication technologies have doubtlessly shrunk the world.
Though this has let the children to experience anything and everything, all of their experiences across the digital platform are second hand experience. Today’s kids are more shrouded with techno gadgets that have literally cut their connection with nature. This certainly is not an over statement. Their experiences through images (video clips or still pictures) have over powered the possibility of experiencing something at the first hand. They have their ear hugging head sets that play the recorded music and sounds that keep filling their ears. These ears have hardly experienced that sounds of nature in its natural form.
This is just an example thrown to substantiate my argument. They miss the rawness of experience of any kind that I had enjoyed as a child decades back. They have an opportunity to know much more than I had but it doesn’t warrant them to experience or ‘feel’ whatever they come across.
The impact of technology has penetrated deep into human life lately, beyond our imagination, that not just children but adults alike seem more inclined in preserving memories via technological means rather than sinking into a moment soulfully. If we observe the behaviours of people in tourist spots we might understand this better. Instead of appreciating and sinking in the viewing experience of the beauty around most of them are more concerned in taking snaps in their devices, an attempt to preserve memories digitally. The centre of the irony is in their keenness in preserving the memory associated with a moment that they haven’t cherished in their present.
In the world of children, video games have replaced playing on grounds, experiencing the world as a whole will sooner might altogether become a virtual reality experience. The 3D experience is just the beginning of it. The ample opportunities of archiving anything digitally has enabled them to store more data than ever, which has forced them to question about the necessity and role of memory in their lives. (How many of us remember simple things like phone numbers for instance, in our memory, leave alone children?)
Blessed are those who had a chance to experience the world in the real sense rather than doing the same via digital replacements.
I feel blessed!