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As the world gets connected more and more virtually, are we forgetting our real life relationships?
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” – George Moore
Life is to be reckoned not only extensively, but also intensively: not merely by the number of its days, but also by the amount of thought and energy which we infuse into them.
Today’s fast paced world has created voids in many areas of our lives. Living has become more mechanical and artificial, resulting in loneliness and strained relationships. Meaningful conversations, humorous banters are a thing of the past.
With the advent of gadgets in our lives, a lot has changed for the worse. Social media has over taken real life relationships and how. One is considered to be hot and happening by the number of ‘Friends’ in the ‘Friend List’! Many of these so called friends are mere inclusions to build ones popularity. People are addicted to gadgets. So much so, that online gaming, shopping, chats, tutoring and more have taken predominance over one on one interactions.
Let us try to understand how this equation came up. In the olden days when there were no mobile phones, landlines were used for communication which were meant only for important and emergency issues. People refrained from sharing mundane issues on a regular basis. Communication was clear and restricted.
If there was something to discuss, one had to wait till the evening and choose an appropriate time to bring up the matter, allowing the concerned person to relax after a long day at work. This ensured discipline, orderliness and privacy in relationships. The value and worth of an individual was acknowledged.
Coming to the present day scenario, if a matter has to be discussed, one looks for an option (person), if he or she is unavailable at that moment, one moves on to the next available option (person). The online apps have ensured that one stays connected to people 24/7, 365 days! The thought that one may be intruding on another’s privacy never arises. One just ‘pings’ and connects instantly.
Patience and privacy are no longer practiced. Parents and siblings are last on the list of confidantes, these days. The same goes for a spouse too. One thinks that it is safer to confide in a virtual stranger, as one may feel less vulnerable or embarrassed. Perceptions have changed with time.
I remember those days fondly, when my family had made it a practice to have meals together with no interruptions. I cherish the times spent together, the picnics, the weekends when we all cooked together, played board games, did gardening and more.
Sunday mornings were meant for tackling issues and we would all assemble in the garden, discuss, and arrive at unanimous solutions. This ensured that we carried minimal emotional baggage at all times. The importance of a strong family was inculcated right from childhood. Television and music had specific timings and we adhered to it. We made time for reading, writing, gardening and many other interesting skills, as we were taught to fit them in our daily schedule.
Family was the backbone without which nothing or nobody progressed in life. Siblings shared closer relationships and marriages were peaceful to a large extent. The present day, with volatile options, has reduced real relationships to a mere fantasy and has managed to catapult virtual imaginary relationships to an all time high. As the high wears off, so do these relationships. There are exceptions of course.
Nature bestows the greatest of gifts to mankind in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, flowers and more. The soothing greenery is a treat for the weary soul. Healthy food nourishes the mind, body and spirit. Nature is healing and a big boon to man and he must make it a point to protect it at all times. When you cultivate your own kitchen garden, the sense of happiness and pride it brings, is indescribable. Every family must try to have a small kitchen garden and work together to maintain it. Pollution is a major concern today, and nature helps in controlling it to a large extent.
Giving the highest priority to your family and relationships is the most important investment as everything else may slip away from your life and yet leave you feeling content.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay
Kavita Panyam is a Counseling Psychologist by profession and a Freelance writer by passion. She
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