He entered the house, his smartphone in his hand and he was glancing at something on it very intently. Suddenly he felt a jolt and was about to fall, when he clasped the door handle for support. He looked down and saw his daughter’s cycle that came on his way. He missed it because he was busy watching his mobile. “Nothing is at it’s place in this house.” His pattern dialogue, and we was away with his mobile again.
There was a new video uploaded on you tube, it was hilarious, he was busy watching it when his little daughter came and shook him. He didn’t even knew she had been calling him since last minute. “Papa, papa how am I looking.?” her mother smiled from behind on her question while her father didn’t even took his eyes from the mobile screen and said, “hmmmm you’re looking good”. She knew papa haven’t seen her, but this happened everyday. She smiled a little confusingly, as if to satisfy herself that papa has seen her and was saying it after that. She looked here and there and then she caught the sight of her grandfather, she jumped towards him with joy and asked the same question, “wow my baby is looking beautiful”. He took her in his arms, gave her a tight hug and they were busy chattering away. His wife just kept on looking at him. He wasn’t even bothered what was happening py around him, he was deeply engrossed in his videos in the phone.
The continuous calls from office has got him hectic, he needed to chill off. A new episode on Netflix was what he wanted to watch now. He reached home and as routine walked in without even glancing around, his mom was calling him. He answered her, she was planning for a long chat it seemed, he kept answering her with a hmmm or haa while his eyes were glued to the mobile screen. His whatsaap group was buzzing and he needed to reply them all.
“Pheww”! Now he was finally alone and could spend some free time on his phone. Mum had taken longer than expected. He was again back to his episode of his favorite feature when his wife came in a fury towards him. She was busy blabbering something and was quite angry. “One more destruction”! He thought. And dealt with the matter half listening to what his wife was saying and again scrolling through the smartphone. She kept on throwing off her anger in front of him for some time and when he didn’t bother to reply or say anything, she left.
There was a huge feast at home, everyone was quite decked up and the chatter going around was pleasant enough. His wife and mother had already warned him to sit with the guests and dine and STAY AWAY FROM YOUR MOBILE was their special warning, as if he was always on it. He hardly got time to check his stories on Instagram. He was sitting idly on the sofa, he called up his daughter, she blinked and slowly came to him. After a while of sitting on his lap, she saw her uncle, she clapped and jumowd towards him. He felt strange, she never greeted him the way she greeted his brother. Even his wife was looking charming and was busy interacting with others, ohh! How much she could talk! After half an hour he felt he couldn’t get around with these feasts and meet ups and their useless talks. Hence, he retaliated to his room and once again was deep drowned in his smartphone.
Days, weeks, months passed he now had more than thousand friends on Facebook, his instagram followers were increasing too and that day he was really overjoyed when he got more than a hundred mentions and greeting from his friends on Facebook. He even went for a dinner with his wife and daughter, but the mentions were buzzing even till late night, God! He have become famous on social media.
While his wife was busy playing with the dinner. She didn’t felt like eating. He was on his phone even now. While ordering, she asked for his preferences and he didn’t even look up from his mobile screen, the embarassment she felt in front of the waiter was really too much. Their daughter had been calling her dad since she was at the place but his regular hmm and haa couldn’t convert in to sentences.
That day he was late for home, he unlocked the door and entered to a quite home. His eyes were as usual glued to the latest musically video uploaded by a friend. He went in, called up and waited for around half an hour before he realised there was no one at home. His mother had already shifted to his youngest brother’s place recently and wife and daughter weren’t to be seen anywhere, may be they would have gone out. When even after an hour, when she didn’t return, he called her up. The call was cancelled and he saw her message on the WhatsApp screen. “I am going forever from you! Stay happy with your mobile phone and your social media life. Never going to return.” He felt as if he’s whole world has collapsed.
“Your worries are useless, there’s nothing like that. I give you and her time equally. Why don’t you understand?” He was trying to make her understand and take her back home from her mom’s place. “Equally? That’s what you think? Do you know you are addicted to this device? Even we use mobile phones and apps but we know when we need to keep it down and pay attention to real world. But you know what? You are so engrossed in your reel world you don’t even know that you are a human and you have people alive around you. You love streaming through the shows with a ear phone on so much that you can’t stand the real talks and discussion of people around you. You are so engrossed in watching those made up videos on YouTube that you think whatever’s going around you is a useless act. Do you remember the moments of your baby’s growing up days? Do you even remember the first time she uttered a word, and it was papa instead of mama? No, because that day you were busy watching the live streaming of your favorite soccer match on your mobile. Just paying the fees of your kids and providing expenses doesn’t make you a good husband or dad, giving love and affection does.”
He actually felt it was true, “ But what if I need some time to rejuvenate after my office work. The whole time I am working, I don’t even touch my mobile.” “And what do you think at all those time apart from work? That when you’ll get free and watch your favourite show or when you’ll be back chatting with your family?” She asked him. He averted his gaze, even this was true. “Ok, I am sorry, please come back. I promise to let go off it. I’ll surely spend more time with you and her.’
“No, I can’t! You know what’s the dangerous side of this addiction? You can’t overvome it. Its more dangerous than drug addiction, atleast there you know it’s harming your life and you stay away from it, try giving it up. But with smartphone, your whole life revolves around it, each new app, each new technology makes it impossible for you to stay away from it and you tend to forget your surroundings and get engrossed in it. You can’t leave it, this addiction keeps on increasing, it’ll never go, rather would engulf you fully until you’re no more capable of using it!”
She didn’t come! He tried to convince her innumerable times, but she knew he couldn’t be the same again. For few days even he misses the old home he live in, but slowly he spent more of his time on his smartphone and he wasn’t alone any time now. But the question is, is the virtual life in a smartphone such enticing that you give up the breathing relationships for it? Are you so busy sorting out the levels of a game that all your decent chats at home have come to an end? Are your Facebook friends and Instagram followers more important to you than your own children? Here’s a question I want all of us to ask ourselves and get the silent message this little story is giving you!
About the writer: I am Saba Irfan Ladha, A Mumbai based food, travel and lifestyle blogger and a connoisseur on Zomato. I have recently written a travelogue e-book by the name of, “The A2Z Of Globetrotting”. I am a mother of three and hence love to share my experiences on momespresso too. You can follow my work and journey by reading my blog. Or following me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Zomato, Pinterest and Trip advisor.
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