“My little one has over 600 Facebook friends. Fifteen of them are even foreigners, isn’t that so darling?” chattered away an aunt I am only – and thankfully – distantly related to. We were having coffee in one of those plush Delhi cafés that have in-house Wi-Fi and live tweeting areas. The coffee excursion had been the aunt’s idea and I am too wise to give up on the opportunity to partake of some hot, creamy and hold your breath, branded coffee.
I was intrigued by how our foreigner-philia is still very much alive. I was also intrigued by the sheer size of her little one’s friend circle, considering the number was about 60 times his age.
“Oh, he hasn’t personally met at least half of them.” My aunt sounded offended. “It’s all thanks to his proclivity for technology. The champ is a natural with cellphones, laptops, tablets, you name it.”
The champ indeed. “What else do you do with these gadgets, champ?” I broke into the feverish tempo of a guns-and-bullet game he was playing on his Android tablet.
“Oh, my friends and I talk on Skype. After school, you know.”
Many moons ago, when I was in school, the land-line phone was the only source of contact with school friends who lived far away. The phone would usually be administered by Mom – not that I have ever been much of a phone talker anyway. If we heard of tablets back then, we would have thought they cured headaches.
Fortunately, I know of parents who have optimized technology for best results. I have a fairly well-turned out Uncle who grew up independently, away from anyone’s eagle eye. He continues the tradition with his school-going kid, albeit within limits.
“My son and I discover new applications on the tablet every now and then. We even celebrated a karaoke night last Saturday.” My Uncle happily commented on my Dell Venue tablet. “Junior knows of better pastimes than checking out others’ lives on social media.” he added, giving me a contemptuous look. I quickly put the flap-cover back on.
Opinions differ on what is the right amount of exposure that kids need with technology. They can’t do without, that much is for sure. Not if they want to keep pace with the bright Alec in the classroom, or the smart candidate in the job market. However, giving up on the muddy playground, the playful dog, the modelling clay and the story books will most certainly form a void nothing can fill.
The Dell Venue, for instance, comes with a sturdy cover, good resolution, A/V playback, and compatibility for tonnes of interactive applications that children can enjoy and learn from. There are games in the PlayStore more insightful and enjoyable than shooting people with guns – and please don’t tell me these improve concentration.
Over my cup of creamy, branded coffee, I fervently wished that as far as parenting goes, the world gets more people like my Uncle and less like my aunt. If mutually exclusive, give me a well-bred over a hi-tech child any day.
Stay tuned for the closing post tomorrow.
*Written as a part of Dell Blogger Review Program
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And to say when we grow up, it was something alien to us!! Hehe true we still have this Phoren hang over..im on an FB break and don’t intend to go back soon..things get too complicated and promised that will never get into whatsapp kinda stufffs.
“Phoren hang over” is right. 😉 Which reminds me of this obnoxious song I heard on the FM this morning – Hangover…it went. *rolls eyes*
A Facebook break sounds like a super cool idea. Way to go Vishal. 😀
I have a deal with my son that he gets to play on the iPad after his dad returns home from work at night for half an hour or so. He looks forward to it with a lot of eagerness but is okay with the arrangement. Also abides by ‘Do your hw now.IPad in the night!’
I would say that is a sound deal. 🙂 Always helps to keep balance in life. 😉
I know of seven year old kids who play the iPad and tablet today as brilliantly as we played ludo and snakes and ladders, I believe! :p
Oh absolutely Adi. 😀 Our games have got more complicated. I used to think Goldspot was complicated enough. 😛
Totally agree! Even I found that complicated 😉 but fun!
Oh yes, super fun! I often long to play it again. 😀
Lets put up a ludo fest! With the oncoming Pujas I’m sure everyone will participate 😉
Sounds like a plan. 😀 😉