Gadget rules!

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Illustrations by Ahmed Amin
Illustrations by Ahmed Amin

The young generation of today — the Generation Z or iGeneration — is born with the spoon of technology in their hands. So sticking with any gadgets having a display screen comes naturally to them. 

After gossiping with buddies on the cellphone, via texting, people engage themselves with the screen of their choice to catch up with the rest of the world. Social media serves as a gateway to recreation and a chance of instant interaction with people all over the world. It feels great to read and react to those funny Facebook posts. And then there are e-books one can access through one of the devices to search for something new to read and enjoy.  

When reading starts to make them yawn, people opt for playing online games or watching their favourite cartoons and programmes on smartphones or tablets. Not surprisingly, such habits have turned us into screen-farers. We might afford missing a burger deal but we cannot imagine an evening without screen time.

These screens give us a timeout from the rut of routine and also keep us posted about what is happening around in the world. So far so good! Isn’t it? There seems nothing obnoxious about the extravaganza screen time allows. But, there is another version to the story. 

If you’re a screen freak, you might have experienced getting carried away for hours with online games and programmes. And when you finally raise your head and look around, piles of undone homework and chores greet you. Seems catastrophic now, doesn’t it?

The point is that beside the joy and infotainment it generously offers, screen time needs to be moderated. Why? Because too much of it cannot only leave you with less time to attend to your responsibilities, but can also make you more lethargic.   

Better not wait for your elders to make you rein screen time. You can cut down on the time you spend with all the various screens vying for your time by following some simple tips.

Shift preferences: Screen time is a part of life, but it isn’t more important than enjoying exercise, rearranging your books in the shelf, taking a refreshing shower, or cleaning your room and so on. Domestic chores may appear less cool than screen time, but they do have positive implications and they are your first responsibility as a member of the family.

Socialise, but not only on social media: No offence to Twitter and Facebook users! However, real life friends — not necessarily the trendiest on Instagram — could make your life more colourful and happening than you imagine.

Obviously, an emoji cannot carry the warmth of friendliness as a friend’s pat can.

Join a club: You may think e-games energise you, but this idea doesn’t carry weight. Computer games actually make you weary as opposed to going to a sports club, attending a literary session, or just sharing ideas with peers. Club activity channelises your physical and mental energy and multiplies it in the long run.

The crux of the discussion is that screen time is a blessing, but only in moderation. It is a horse that needs taming. So limit screen time and

enjoy the balance between infotainment, recreation and responsibilities. All the best!

Published in Dawn, Young World September 23rd, 2017