Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Head Held Down


Hi Everyone,

I thank my friend Venkatesh for proofreading the article.

Whether I go in lift, I travel in train, I go to malls, I walk on streets, I go in library, I am in office, I am at home, I am in a restaurant..... everywhere I see people with their head bowed down... not because they feel guilty or ashamed over something but because something interesting has captured their attention - smartphones, laptops and other digital gadgets. Everybody has their head held down entranced and their attention captured by their digital gadgets.

Human body is a miracle and most complex machine ever to be evolved and its our responsibility to take proper care of it. It gets affected by the way we walk, the way we sit, the way we sleep, amount we sleep etc. But with the emergence of digital era our world has shrunk to the devices we hold in our hand. Our time pass is our smartphones, our communication is our smartphones, our friend circle is our social network and the list goes on... We have become human robots in this digital era.

While I was doing some research about the problems caused by these digital devices I came across a very interesting term called as "Text Neck". This term refers to our posture, (hunched back and shoulders, bowed down neck) when we are texting, reading on our phones, playing games on computers, looking at our laptops etc. Normally a head weighs 10 pounds on an average and that's the pressure that the spine feels when our ears are level with our shoulder. For every inch we lean our head forward we exponentially increase the pressure on our spine. So typically when we are engrossed in our smartphones our spines are bearing a pressure of almost 30-40 pounds which is a big medical issue.

Leaving medical issue aside there are many social problems.
  1. Face to face interaction between people have considerably lessened (calls does the job)
  2. In many countries there are people who do not have even one real friend (only digital friends on networking sites)
  3. Stress, insomnia, back and neck pain disrupting the social lives of people
These gadgets have a very good side to them and they bring a lot of advantages but have we really understood the dark side of them, do we really understand the harm they are doing because of our over indulgence in these gadgets.

Till few weeks back I was a victim also but now I have started taking steps like reading books (not online), going out more (sometimes without any purpose), keeping my laptop off until I really have something to do.

Few weeks back I came across an article in Times of India where in a lady has gifted her son an iPhone but it came with a contract which had 18 points in it on how to use that gadget. It was a very thoughtful contract and it made sure that her son understood that these gadgets might be your good friend but they are not your life and there is a life outside these gadgets. It received a worldwide appreciation.

As an individual we need to take initiatives on our own and as a parent we need to make sure that these gadgets do not completely ensnare the younger generation.

Lets make a pledge to not keep our heads always held down.

Genie Signing off.

P.S. : This article is not meant to hurt anyone's sentiments and is based upon general observation and research.

P.P.S : Any counter arguments and suggestions are welcome.. Constructive criticism is always welcome.