I had been sitting in the bank with my father for almost an hour. I was very upset. Not so much on myself, but more on my father.
Being angry, I said, “Dad, how many times have I told you to learn online banking?”
Father: “What will happen if I learn it?”
You can do this small task at home. Not just banking. You can also shop online. You can get delivery at home. Very easy! But you will not do this simple thing.
Dad: If I did, I wouldn’t have to go out of the house, right?
Yes, father. It was not necessary to come here and sit for hours in vain.
Then I was speechless at what my father said.
Father said, What do you do after saving so much time? You are always busy on the phone. When was the last time you talked to your aunt? Have you ever checked on your neighbor? However, I walked ten miles to meet my friend. I didn’t think about saving time. What is the use of saving so much time if people don’t go next to each other?
People were listening to my father’s words from the side. I was sitting quietly.
Father said, I have met four friends since entering the bank. You know, I’m home alone. So it is my pleasure to come out of the house. The company of these people is my pleasure. I’m not short of time now; I’m short of human companionship. The device, the home delivery, will bring lots of things, but it can’t bring human companionship.
I remember that two years ago I fell ill. The shopkeeper from whom I do my daily shopping visited me. He sat next to me and put his hand on my head. Your device will send a mechanical email, but it won’t wipe away the tears sitting next to me. Is there a device made to remove tears from the eyes?
Your mother fell while walking in the morning. Who delivered her home? Online knows accounts of people; it does not know people! It knows the addresses of people, but it doesn’t know the houses of people lying on the street!
These people were at my bedside and brought your mother home because we know each other through daily needs. When everything is online, where can people get the “human touch”? And because they don’t get it nowadays, people die, and the people in the next flat don’t know about it until there is a bad smell.
Big apartments have made us apart. We used to gather together to watch a program together on the television in the whole neighborhood. Now we have various devices in every room. We can’t collect joy anymore.
This is the bank cashier you see. You see him as a cashier. You see the salesman as a salesman. But I see a man with feelings of happiness and sadness. I see his eyes, I see him talking, I see his heart cry, and I see his desire to return home. When people meet, it creates a bond. Online can only provide service, not this bond.
I asked, “Father, is technology bad then?”
Dad said, Technology is not bad. It’s undoubtedly true that many things have been simplified. Millions of children are reading and learning through video calls; this is the gift of technology. However, technology addiction is bad. Screen addiction is no less dangerous than drug addiction. It should be seen that the device does not cause the death of our human souls. Let us not become slaves to technology.
People should use the device and build relationships with others. But the scary truth is that now we use people and build relationships with devices.
People wake up looking at the screen before seeing their child’s face; the Scientific Research Institute has declared it a terrible mental illness.
A few days ago, Asha Bhosle posted a picture and wrote the caption, “People are sitting around me. But there is no one to talk to. Because everyone has a device.”
Father sighed and said, I don’t know if I am saying something wrong, but I think, as much as you know the logos of products, you don’t know the faces of your relatives. So, build relationships with people as much as you can, not with devices. Technology is not life. Spend time with people, not with devices.
Someone called my father ‘Uncle’. Dad walks up to the counter. This is the first time I understand. Dad is not going to the cashier. A man is going towards a man.
I wanted to teach my father online; my father taught me Lifeline.