Caged within Smartphones , Modern Day Youth Live a Diminished and Dessicated Existence

Naveed Para

While walking down the gallons of childhood memories, we pre-2000 generations have a lot to cherish. Starting from open baths in nearby streams and rivers to playing gilli danda, everything was pure and natural. We still remember and cherish the social pluralism and shared neighbourhood wherein borderlines were irrelevant. It was breakfast at home, lunch at Payri jee’s house and dinner at Khal soab’s house. From every household the feeling of home was consistent and persistent. After the paddy harvest, the collection of left out individual paddy straws for some monetary benefits was joyous and radiant. Sunday’s were purposeful and loaded with multiple activities and entertainment. It begins with the collection of mulberry from nearby mulberry nurseries to playing of cricket with single leg guard guarding the legs. At the end of the day, while returning back home excitement was further accelerated when in neighbourhood Raji paechen and Payri jee shouts for Kashmiri tahari and Doud vugre. Licking of Doud vugre with fingertips and the taste it brought forth is still flavouring our buccal cavity.
But the post-2000 generation is unlucky enough to live what we have lived. Their childhood and youth(hood) is conditioned, reasons being many, from availability of conditioner parents to the availability of smartphones. Looking around the cribbed, confined and cabined societal order we found our children in deep mental instability. From schools to universities and from streets to coaching centers we find our young caged within smartphones.
The tapping of keypads from bathrooms to bedrooms has looted their mindful wakening and sleep. Late to bed and late to rise is a regrettable advancement smartphones have brought. Cartoon based lyrics have looted their real lyrics of childhood. Buzzing of smarty ear drums attached to smartphones late night has ruined their critical thinking. Bollywood coated home screens and wallpapers have created inferiority complex among them. Selfie syndrome has added new bizarre aperture to their appearance. All this has looted and robbed their childhood and youth(hood).
In schools, colleges and universities we no longer find our youth in playfields and libraries and so on but stuck in different corners with large display smartphones in hand, totally dejected and isolated. They prefer 4G walk within smartphones than a real walk in the lap of nature. They have no strength to face a problem but love to facebook it. They are not excited about having ice cream at Sanna and Erina but about posting the same on Instagram and Facebook.
They are not worried about searching the purpose of life but too much busy in searching for a wonderful caption which adds likes and comments to their uploaded posts. They have become peeping Toms which has degraded their moral and social integrity. Likes and comments on social media platforms have become their breathing inhalers. In spite of having chicken dinner with their family, they prefer PUBG chicken dinner.
All the above-discussed attributes have made them modern robots with the least social, cultural, ethical and moral integrity. The effects of which are disastrous and worrying carving out a socially isolated generation which costs their physical and mental health. Depression, anxiety disorder, inferiority complex, laziness and sedentary lifestyle have become common terms to define present youth. Such smartphone addiction has made them stalkers to hackers posing a new threat to cyber experts to contain and control the cyber world.
The famous proverb “Charity begins at home” has many takers around the globe. But “Destruction begins at home” equally needs to be owned. The onus lies on the present day’s conditioner parents who are responsible for such conditioning and have robbed their child’s childhood. They don’t allow their child to live and cherish in natural childhood under the shades of natures blessing and cage them within four walls, where they are flooded with artificial gadgets and smartphones.
Parents are answerable for such conditioning which has multidimensional ramifications. Such kind of isolated smartphone conditioning if not discussed and debated now, will surely make parents liable for theft of childhood and youthhood in future, where we will be having a generation of robots.

—The author, an LL.D research scholar, at the School of Law, University of Kashmir, can be reached at: