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Are we becoming slaves to these smart gadgets?
The first thing in the morning
When we were kids we were taught to brush our teeth and pray to God to give us a wonderful day ahead. We followed that very diligently till the mid nineties. But things changed drastically from then on wards. We still woke up but not early in the morning. The definition of early in the morning has been very conveniently changed from 5 AM to our own convenience. Our morning activities changed. Or we can say that we forced ourselves to change our activities in the morning. Some of us still wait till we brush our teeth. But most of us don’t even find time to do that. But let us consider for the benefit of mankind that we wait till we brush our teeth. But as soon as that activity is completed, what is that we do? Let us not give an answer to hide what we do. It is a universal truth that as soon as we wake up the first thing that we do is search for our most valuable possession. Our mobiles or our cell phones. Life feels paralyzed without that most important gadget. If by chance we forget where we last kept it then the day does not start till we get hold of it. We feel that life has come to a stand still. All the other work, no matter how important that is, looses it’s importance and searching our mobile phone becomes the priority. Even our mood depends upon the kind of messages we see or get in our smart phone.
A productive day
There was a time when our day was supposed to be productive when we had accomplished something very important either in the office or at home. But the whole meaning of productivity has changed. A Sunday becomes more productive if we have been able to spend a decent amount of time in a social media site sending and receiving messages or chatting with friends. We feel that we have not done anything of importance and wasted our whole day if we have not spent a significant amount of time fiddling with our smart phones. Nine out of ten times the messages sent or received are of no particular importance to us. But to belong to the so called social circle we become active participants of the whole activity. We become so busy with our so called friends and friends circle that we forget that there is a world out of the mobile world which is waiting for us to be visited. If we look at the word business in Oxford dictionary it states that the word business means the state of being busy. But that does not mean being productive. So we might be busy the whole day fiddling with our smart phone but how productive are we is the question only we can assess and answer. But while doing the assessment it is very important to make sure that we do not end up being lenient with ourselves.
The virtual Office
Have we ever read our offer letters? Our office letter clearly states that we are paid for the x number of hours we work in the office. Nowhere is it mentioned that your working hours at home or on road are also considered. But yet we are constantly making sure that we are visible to our bosses and clients in some form or the other. Yes we might be physically out of office in the evening but we are still in the same state of mind even while driving home and reaching home. After reaching home the first thing we tend to do is check our mails. Our dinners are accompanied by either office calls or official mails or some kind of a report. How many times have we kept our phones aside and spent a few minutes with our family after reaching home? It is hard to recollect as we hardly do that. I remember my daughter once getting so angry with this habit of mine that she asked me whether my phone was more important than her. I was on the phone with my boss and he could not stop laughing when he heard it. He understood the situation I was in and asked me to call him later after my daughter slept off. This looks like a funny anecdote but this is something almost all the people go through now a days. That is because we have changed our priorities. Although we feel that our family is our first priority. Yes, on the longer run our family is our first priority and all the activities are related to the well being of the family. But on the shorter run we end up going away from them as we rarely have time to spend with our family.
Is there a way out?
Is there a way out of the mess that we have created? The answer to this question is both yes and no. That is because everything depends upon us. But before asking this question to ourselves we need to realize that we have become addicted to our smart phones. If we are in denial mode then we will never accept that we are in a mess that is created by us. There used to be a time, not very long ago when there was no concept of mobile phones or smart phones. There used to be one or max two phones ( the so called land lines) in the whole office. And there were fixed office hours. Still work used to happen in time. Now we have all the facilities but still there are pending works and extended shift hours. So it is very evident that we are not productive. We need to define our work and the amount of hours we plan to put in to complete our work. We need to do a bit of introspection and do time management. Time management does not mean managing time, but managing work to complete in time. If we are not going to change now then the same smart phone and other hi-tech gadgets will become a liability and not remain an asset any more.