Give this scenario a thought, you wake up in the morning not by the sound of the alarm that you have set on your phone but by the crowing of a rooster, then you have your breakfast without updating the stories of your meal on Snapchat or Instagram. You read news not on your phone apps or e-paper but from a newspaper, you greet your neighbors not by sending a Good Morning text on WhatsApp but by casually visiting your neighbors. You buy grocery for the day not on Big Basket but by visiting the nearby vegetable market. You do not use Paytm to pay your fare to grocery shops or Taxis or Friends.You do not update what you’re currently doing on Facebook or Twitter. You do not play games on phone or laptop or iPad but you go outdoors and play with friends. You do not watch TV at dinner time but engage yourself in talking with your family. You sleep without checking your emails, WhatsApp messages, Facebook or Instagram notifications and replying to them. Isn’t this a typical day of early 2000’s era, a life away from the digital world?
We spend more than half of our time on digital media without even realizing this. We have included the digital world as a part and parcel of our daily routine. It is a habitual tendency that has been developed to use a digital medium for almost every work. We have made ourselves slave to these mediums, which is affecting us psychologically, physiologically and physically. We have basically forgotten the ways in which daily tasks can be achieved without using digital medias.
For today’s Civil Services aspirants, acquiring information has become easier. Whatever one needs to know is just a click away. There are a plethora of notes available on multiple websites. However, the chances of a student getting digressed seem quite high. The social media is designed in such a way that one may start looking for information on a particular topic and end up elsewhere after having wasted a lot of time. This proves to be counterproductive. On the other hand, it is so much better than carrying heavy books and going through those, which is also time-consuming. The traditional readers will always prefer to read from books. But, given the circumstances today, where several aspirants work simultaneously with their studies, such online platforms are a boon to those who haven’t the time.
Until a point of time, gathering Current Affairs was a task— reading the newspaper, which of course is a good habit, but, ultimately, time-consuming. Today, a person gets notifications only the basis of his/her interests, thus cutting out all the unwanted information. This makes it a lot easier to organize one’s studies. If we try to sum up today’s scenario, a student sitting in a town in Madhya Pradesh sits in a front of a computer which is made mostly in China, has an American operating system on it, opens a website which is registered in Canada/Singapore, having a local internet with abysmal speed, and tries to study about India’s History, Geography, Economics etc. Whereas earlier, students used to spend their time in libraries making notes from a stack of books from various authors, also from across the world. So we see that what has changed really is the medium. Computers and tablets have replaced books. A classic example would be that of Kindle.
The point being, digital existence, and dependence will be as good or bad as one chooses to make it.
Detoxification biologically means cleansing blood by removal of toxins through liver, kidney, intestines etc. Dietician advises following detoxification process on regular basis to have a healthy body. There are special diets that can be followed to detoxify your body. In a similar manner, we also need to follow a Detox plan to get rid of toxins like addiction to social media, a craze for updating stories, madness for high graphical computer games etc. These can lead to obsessive-compulsive disorders and depressions.
Let us do the math and keep a check on ourselves as to how much dependent we are on digital media.
Author: Akshay Palande
Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.