Inbox full, life empty

Inbox full, life empty

Our life today is ruled by technological advancement. We are very happy with our soul-less mechanical gadgets — human interaction is lost in a mayhem of rigid apprehensions, mental restrictions and a careless attitude towards those around us.  

I was waiting in the lobby of an office for a friend with whom I had planned an evening out. Looking around casually, I found a few more people waiting for somebody just like I was. But all of them were staring into their phones, texting away with a serious expression on their face. No one looked at the other person beside them or even acknowledged their presence. They were all completely oblivious to each other.

Just then, a child of around four or five years started crying out of sheer boredom as the mother was fully immersed in her phone. After 10 minutes of trying to mollify the inconsolable child, the mother opened her hand bag. I was finally happy that she was going to shove her phone in the bag and give attention to her child. Instead, she took out a dummy phone and gave it to the child! There was a beaming smile on the child’s face and relief all over the mother’s. The sublime connection of a mother and child has been robbed of by a gadget that had gained complete control of our lives.

Even as the world gets more connected, human beings are getting highly disconnected. We are becoming proverbial islands, preferring to spend time with our phones rather than speak a few words to the person in front of us.

This 21st century problem of asocial behaviour became so enormous, that the University of Sydney took up a study and a discussion with academics, psychologists, lexicologist, phoneticians, poets to create a word that best described the act of ignoring a person next to us, in favour of the smartphone in hand. They called it ‘phubbing’ — a coinage that is a combination of the words phone and snubbing.

Today, the anti-phubbing campaign is catching up at family dinners, reunions, public events and workplaces to help people not feel ignored by the virtual world. More than 100 countries are using this expression now, to compel people to put down their phones and talk to those around them. This shows how important human interaction is. While our inboxes are getting full, our lives are becoming empty and shallow

As a saying goes, “We are all one-winged birds, only if united can we soar high…” Let us all stop ‘phubbing’ and connect with one another.

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