From aversion to smart use


I got my first mobile phone a little over a decade ago not by choice, but a mobile  was thrust upon me, a simple ordinary phone. I was not keen on having a mobile, hence  there was reluctance and hesitation  on my part to use it.  However, once I became comfortable with  it , I wanted to cling to my old set. On the insistence of my children, I upgraded to a smart phone, but the first few days with my iphone were harrowing. I was baffled by its apps and intimidated by its umpteen features. Of course, over time I got used to my smart phone but for quite some time my usage remained limited to calls and messaging.

I struggled with messaging as I was miserably slow in texting. Once while having an online chat with my niece, as I struggled to trace and tap the right key to communicate with her, irritated at my painfully slow speed, my niece texted, “Bua, so gaye kya?” No, I had not dozed off. Despite my best effort, I was unable to match up with her speed.

Over time my typing speed may have improved, but still remains pathetic. Of course, presumptive dictionary has made texting much easier, but an inadvertent tap and I land into an awkward situation. I need to beware of auto-correct, which, at times, plays dirty tricks with me. The worst has been the crazy auto-correct replacing ‘dear’ with ‘dead’ giving me huge embarrassment.

The emergence of emojis, the small digital icons on the virtual platforms is a boon. There are smileys of all sorts-smiling, grinning, laughing, winking, frowning, and so many others that I cannot even figure out. I use emojis to spice up text conversation, of course- the limited ones that I comprehend.

Well, I have come a long way from being averse to having a cell-phone to becoming a mobile addict. There was a time when I used to nag my sons for being on mobile all the time, but now I am obsessed with it, frequently checking messages and updates on social media. In fact, it is only recently after my retirement that I have become active on Facebook, even though I had an account which had been lying  dormant for years together.  Now that I have enough of free time, I am occupied ticking ‘likes’, posting and commenting on the posts. Thanks to Facebook, I have been able to get in touch with my old friends, reconnect with many of my students and make a few new friends.

But then, I realize social networking is no substitute for real interaction. Virtual friends do not give the same therapeutic benefit as real friends in the physical world. I look for authentic real people, not the exaggerated acts of camaraderie on digital platforms. Also, too much of involvement in the virtual world– pings and posts- is increasing my screen time at the cost of meaningful activities.

My smart phone has given me easy access to social media at any time I please, but I understand it is not smart to overindulge in social media. I have become smarter now, turned off notifications, rationed time for social media. I am at peace; more relaxed as I have begun to use my smart phone in moderation.

Rama Kashyap

Retd. Associate Prof.

MCMDAV College


(Publishes as MIDDLE in The Tribune on November 7, 2020 )

14 Replies to “From aversion to smart use”

  1. It’s very interesting,entertaining madam. Actually,I feel very close to your articles as we’re of same generation,even though you are my teacher.Many a time,I am first reader of your blog.Many times waiting for new blog.
    Thank you madam, for recognizing me after so many years.

    1. So sweet of you Garima . ..I, too, look forward to your comments , always the first one to respond. God bless you .

  2. Pleasure reading frank and undiluted expression . Getting integrated into technology and then getting addicted to it —— that has been fate of our generation ! Complete hold over language and lucid topic to choose are your strengths Rama . Keep writing !! Well done !

    1. Thank you so much Vini. I don’t know if I have done justice to the topic but your comments are definitely wonderful in expression and content .

  3. Well done Rama. Always enjoy your articles as I can relate to your thoughts so easily. Yes , this has been our journey. From reluctant users to addicts . Total addicts in covid times.

    1. Yes Alka, we belong to the same age group…similar background hence almost the same experience .
      You have put it down so rightly that we began as reluctant users, turned into addicts and in Covid times total addicts.

  4. You have actually voiced my feelings & experience with my i phone.Phone has turned into an addiction robbing us of our precious time which could have been used for more meaningful activities.
    Well written as always Rama👌🏻

    1. Thank you so much Pamela.
      It is indeed a consolation for me that even my techno-savvy friend had a tough time adapting to iphone. Though mine is a classic case as I struggle with every new phone, hence never interested in change.

  5. Remarkable article.
    Aptly represents experience of many belonging to my generation who are not very technology savvy, by lack of knowledge or by inclination!!
    Very rightly said, no amount of on line networking can replce the magic and beauty of face to face meetings.
    Yet, perhaps something is better than nothing!

    1. Thanks ma’am for taking time for reading and leaving your comment. Ma’am , we are all sailing in the same boat -not techno-savvy but somehow manage to sail through.

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