Grandpa versus Google
We thought we had to worry about our own future and adapting to a constantly changing world. Yet it seems that we should have even more concern about our future generations.
Listen to the Audio (Music by Chris Spheeris)
It seems that the World Wide Web has cast its net in such a way that we cannot avoid it. The Internet is an all-pervading presence that we have come to rely on.
We have more information at our fingertips than we can possibly need on how to live every aspect of our lives from the cradle to the grave. It seems that most of our conversations take place in cyberspace, and we can easily live a life divorced from the reality of the world. How will this affect human relationships in the younger generations, those who perhaps have never experienced anything other than having most of their interactions with others via a piece of hardware?
Almost every child has a phone or tablet in hand. The attraction of the ease of use, the fact that almost anything seems possible, that anyone can be a superhero, or an artist at the press of a virtual button or the swish of a finger, lures us into the illusion that are we are all-powerful.
One friend was telling me recently that whilst they were on holiday with the family, their kids would set their alarms for 4am so that they could get up and play their games on the net before the parents could get a hold of them and stop them! Now, what else would persuade a child to get up at 4am?
These days’ kids are bypassing their parents and finding out all they need to know about life from the Internet. Puberty, sex, drugs, marriage, divorce, you name it; it’s all there.
It’s even a fact now that kids seven years of age have mastered the online opportunities and become millionaires. Just how much name, fame and fortune can anyone handle at that age?
It’s possible that the new generation will forget the church, the temple or the mosque and instead wake up every morning to commune with Google God!
They’ll put forth their queries and have answers within seconds. Answers that we, in past generations had to explore, work hard and penance! We had to have faith, patience and tolerance. In the process we learned, we grew, we became resourceful, we interacted with others and we learned the meaning of wisdom.
These days our children are so up-to-date that they can see their parents as ignorant and uninformed. This can only result in a lack of respect and regard for seniors and adults whom in the past we may have revered for their experience and sage advice. There has to be a greater reason for children to turn to parents; to give something to the children that the world of Internet cannot give.
Whilst we reach out to the wider world through the Internet, the world within us is missing the human touch. The soul-to-soul connection is shrinking. Our trusty computers, laptops, tablets, pads and phones may give us facts and information, but they cannot give us a feeling of peace, love and truth in its real sense. It cannot teach us how to respect, honour or appreciate. It cannot teach us manners and wisdom. For these we need to invest in human relationships.
The Internet has been a great invention and I also am leveraging on it to get this message out. Yet as adults we have to do more to curb its indiscriminate use. I don’t think it’s a question of control, but more about managing the use of it, and mitigating the effects on young minds.
If families would make more family time to be together, have real conversations and express genuine concern for one another then the love and respect would flourish. That would make for healthier families and solid relationships.
These practices may help:
* No phones or gadgets during meal times
* Shut off Wi-Fi for certain hours of the day
* Make quality time to be with the family to discuss things face to face
* Manage and secure websites
It’s time… to replace the Internet with inter-relationships. Create more family time and invest in your children, so next time they come to you for attention, love and guidance, rather than running to the net!
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK