“Fetch me a glass of water Ali”, father orders his son who is in his room. “Dad, I’m on conference call with my buddies please ask Maha”, son replies loudly. Father calls his daughter *Beep* “The number you have dialed is busy on another call, please try later”, the operator responds. Exasperated father now shouts at his wife, “Saraaa give me a glass of water soon, I’m dieing with thirst”. And the father wants to bump his head into wall when he gets the exciting response from his wife, “The cooler is next to your room, please fetch yourself, I have found a childhood friend of mine at facebook. I’m chatting with her.” It is not something extraordinarily surprising. You may come across such kind of scenario in every second upper middle class and upper class house nowadays. Since internet, mobile phone and such other electronic gadgets have chipped in, life has taken a new route. No doubt these advancements have amazingly enhanced and facilitated communication in this modern era. Our dear ones, who once were far away from us, now are close to us more than we could ever imagine. But at the same time this closeness is costing us huge. It is costing our family life so gravely that this statement seems holding true perfectly that life was much better and comfy when Apple and Blackberry were fruits merely!
These modern innovations, undoubtedly, have squeezed the world around us but simultaneously these have almost disconnected members of a family. It is ridiculous that most of us, specially youngsters, are concerned about their mobile phone friends more than the members of their own family. We are thankful to these inventions which keep us connected with our buddies 24/7. We are available to help our friend any time but extremely busy to manage time for our family. This is one aspect of the bad side of this picture. The other one is bit more complicated that is affecting us sensitively. Since, these 24/7-keeping-in-touch-gadgets have developed; they have alarmingly raised youngsters expectations from the relationship called, “Friendship/Best Friendship”. Now a youngster exceedingly expects that his friend/s would definitely be available to him/her every time he wants him/her. And somehow, if s/he is not there, it is deemed as misbehavior on his part. And if s/he continues with this practice, very sooner labels of disloyalty, unfaithfulness are associated with her/him. In schools and colleges conversations relating to friendship/best friendship have got hyped. Quite often we find youngsters grumbling against friends’ misbehavior i.e. “ABC didn’t respond to my text yesterday (or responded too late). I always try to help him/her out, regard him/her my best friend, but s/he has been too mean now”. Or “I always help him out through thick and thin but he never stands for me, doesn’t proof his friendship” etc. This is in fact an imbalance in relationship that is the outcome of modern technology. Youth today is unable to realize the boundaries of relationships which resultantly creates a mess. “It is very important to learn that everyone has his/her own life and priorities and responsibilities. Every relation needs space and understanding. Giving space and maturity to relations can bring very positive effects and happiness in life”, says Labeeb-ur-Rehman, 26. By virtue of these expectations and undue presumptions, maintenance of smooth relationship with friends now seems far more complicated. “Yap that’s true! We even don’t realize that our friend might be busy somewhere. Also, when she replies with a mere ‘Ok’ or ‘Yes/No’, we assume that she is annoyed with us. If she doesn’t pick up our calls for whatever the reason may be, we assume she is ‘avoiding’ us. It is but natural though to feel like which sadly results in mess of relationship”, says Sehar Sheikh, a house wife. Another dilemma that is yet another outcome of these modern gadgets is spread ill information via text messages/emails about rivals. We also keep forwarding these messages thinking our religious and moral duty.
We ought to bring a change in our attitude by using technology for its core purpose and by being its ruler instead of its slave! Also, we need to get ourselves out of this hollow sphere of friendship/best-friendships-expectations, once again, hyped by these modern gadgets. Though everyone has some expectations from his her friends but it doesn’t mean causing undue botheration and uneasiness to them. Happy techy-life!
(The article was originally published in Smash Magazine – Jan 2014)