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Thinking Animal to Unthinking Human

November 15, 2010

One of the earlier episodes of “Two and Half Men” had the kid Jake and his girlfriend chatting online, even though they are in the same room. That was a reality recently for me, when I saw two kids cross each other on road, screaming “See you online in a minute da!” and zapping off without even looking at each other.

Today’s conversations are peppered with humour from movies, gossips on people’s lives through tweets and facebook – be it celebrity or your neighbour. What has disappeared out of these arguments is debates on philosophy (which has become a evil word) or politics or books or society – in short, any original contribution!

There was a time when parents worried that kids would become couch potatoes and banned TV.Then came computer and parents were amazed by this source of knowledge that their kids mastered in minutes, as they fumbled around its “Technology”. Therefore, not realizing couch potatoes were becoming Keyboard potatoes, parents encouraged this learning machine(!!)

Then slowly this machine morphed  and grew. Like all good technological advancements, it has exploded in its capacity and ability. And Generations X Y and Z were created, which were born with mouse in one hand and mobile in another.

So what happened was text became txt and reading became rdng. So what? You may ask. How does it affect anyone? I will tell you what I see. I have seen people who have graduated yet cannot form a coherent sentence for an on the spot conversation/small talk. All their convent schooling gone to waste after years of consistent texting and chatting.

Kids sing the cinema song they hear without missing a beat, and their parents beam without bothering about the lyrics’ obscenity. These kids  cannot do a fractions problem without “mugging” the example sum.They study their English texts as they read their science books. Parents are not alarmed as long as the kids PASS the exams.

I can only wistfully recall the times I used to get the non-detailed textbook “Mayor of Casterbridge” one day and finish reading it before school opens and read the Tamil textbooks and admire the beautiful poems that they put in there.

All this brings me to my original reason to begin the post- BOOK READING!

As real books morph to ebooks and summary and synopsis and notes and samples, that can be “GOOGLED”, have students stopped thinking? Who goes to libraries any more? Even if they do go to book fairs and libraries, who buys/rents books other than “Mills & Boon” kinds/popular reads that have to be read (so that they can show off on facebook message)?

Facebook’s Wall of scribble has become a wall that blocks thinking capacity, reading, playing or any other activity that requires you to move out of your place. 

Speaking of books, I am reading Glass Palace now. Last I read was Motor Cycle Diaries a month ago! What was the last book you read and WHEN?

Books are lovely, heavy and deep..

But I have a schedule to keep!

Facebook and Twitter before I sleep

Facebook and Twitter before I sleep!

– 😀

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From → Education

6 Comments
  1. Vasanthi permalink

    Good one! Thought to share this..One of my Colleague, has kept his mobile somewhere and was searching.He said to me like “Once I lost my mobile and my mind was thinking to search this thing on Google”. 😀

  2. anonymous permalink

    @vasanthi
    reminds me of the time i tried to find my misplaced camera by giving it a missed call!

  3. anonymous permalink

    @shuba
    one can always leverage on the synergies between computers and reading 😀
    afterall what utility does a racy book have if it doth not liven up a monotonous day at office by being available on alt-tab

  4. Shuba permalink

    @vasanthi… Google is the god of all answers! May be you will be able to do that soon 😀
    @anonymous
    So you read at office? I have not mastered that art yet!

  5. anonymous permalink

    @shuba
    one step further
    i continue to remain in employment only for having a good laptop, air conditioning by the day [not to mention free coffee] and some spending money

  6. Sri permalink

    Shba, gd blg pst. 😉
    C ya arnd in blgsphre sn.

    Here is my twist:
    Books are only good for sleep,
    And I have chat conversations to keep.
    Minutes to go before I weep
    And dream of my wasted life too deep!

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