Monday, January 14, 2013

Technology vs. Relationships

Verse 1.26: There Arjuna could see, within the midst of the armies of both parties, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, and also his fathers-in-law and well-wishers.

It's amazing how large an extended family Arjuna has. It also makes me reflect on something my co-workers and I were talking about this morning - technology. How the "advancement" in technology has resulted in us becoming less personal and quite uncultured. I mean c'mon! It's becoming culturally acceptable for a person to be talking to you and texting someone else at the same time! :S

It reminds me of a comment that was written on my report card back in grade school. It was something to the effect of "Vrindavan does not look at the person who is talking to her." Interesting statement isn't it? Well...somehow it stuck with me. In fact, I now make it a pointed effort to look at whoever is talking to me.

The funny thing now is that most people don't look at you when you're speaking! Instead they are looking at their phone, tablet, computer, whatever. Things have replaced persons. If this is the way the world is going to continue spinning, I want to get off right now.

It's as though we are afraid of being personal. Instead it's much easier to hide behind a facebook profile, text messaging and other forms of communication that don't require any face-face contact.

I used to roll my eyes when my dad would launch into one of his "Back in my day...things were so much simpler and better." But you know what? I catch myself doing the same thing.

My childhood summers were spent outdoors all day. I would be out of the house at 8am and it would be surprising if I didn't return home before dinner. Nowadays, two and three year olds are becoming expert in manipulating iphones and computers. What about the sun? What about laughing and playing with your friends? It seems to have become a thing of the past.

Life isn't measured by the number of things we accumulate but by the lives we touch. It's obvious that Arjuna touched so many lives because he invested the time and energy to have meaningful relationships.

If you could only have one, what would you choose - technology or relationships?

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