Yesterday I read an article in Hindustan Times “Are smart phones app-propriate for kids“, regarding “Mobile Apps” for children, or child specific apps on Tablets or Smart phones. I was partly sad and partly irritated, maybe both for the same reason. The only question loomed in my mind was “where are we heading?”
The Gen Y is smarter than Gen X when it comes to technology, it’s an agreed fact. But this smartness at what cost, is the question we should ask. When I was 3 years old I didn’t have mobile phone to play with. But nowadays a new born baby too starts playing with the mobile. This is an effect of generation gap, agreed. We were more technologically advanced than our parents were at our age, no doubt about that.
But my concern is we are taking the new generation towards “Physically Challenged” being.
Well, we are creating “Educational Apps” on tablets and smart phones in order to push the sales of smart phones up. Parents enthusiastically download the apps and their children sit hours and hours with the tablet and get Educational dosage.
But what about their physical well being, have we taken it into consideration?
When we were kids, we had small timber or plastic cubes, alphabets engraved or painted on it. We used to pile all such stuff around us and play with it. Not just identify the alphabets but also learn to build a structure. This exercise was both mentally and physically demanding and motivating. We used to run around in the house with the small bullock cart or car we had. We would take the ball and throw, run behind it on the ground. In short our body was also exercised with the brain, and THAT was healthy.
All the above mentioned activities can now be carried out by sitting at one place and staring at a screen. Where’s the body movement involved in this? Just the movement of fingers can’t be considered as body movement.
The result is we are seeing more and more obese kids around. The age in which they should be fit and fine, they are panting for breath after even a short walk or climbing 10 stairs. Ask a 3-4 year old kid to stretch out and they will fail to stretch fully. They can’t, and that’s where the problem lies.
“सिर सलामत तो पगडी पचास”.
Samarth Ramdas (Shivaji Maharaj’s guru) and even Lokamanya Tilak pointed out the same thing.
What’s my point?
My point is simple. Making your child technologically sound and up-to-date is need of hour, no doubt about that. But in that don’t forget that we need to make them physically efficient too. So limit or restrict the use of smart phones/tablets by children and force them to make physical exercise.
We don’t need just Intelligent youth but capable too, to run this nation.