Nothing is as precious as time and nothing more than time well spent. Time is something that you can never turn back and noting how finite it is too. And so I ask, how can one make time worthwhile?

It is a sad truth in our society today that instead of spending time with friends, family, or loved ones, once a wi-fi connection is available we leave everything behind. Bonding is very important. Conversely, instead of spending time talking with those who are present we render extensive hours tapping our phones. Instead of physical sociability we take in virtual accounts as primary agents to socialize. Is this something we would consider worthwhile?  William Penn once said “ Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”.

Clearly, I am not against social media, smart phones, the internet and the likes as it is a convenient tool to communicate to distant loved ones. But my far-flung concern is that we have been disproportionately spending extensive hours on it. In the realm of sustainable development, although we have developed and advanced so much through phones but the sustainability of our physical ties are quite regressing. Utmost, the use of phones is not vastly for communication’s sake but for entertainment more on.  In line with this there is a growing effect on people’s social response as I see it. Notice how irritated you are when somebody asks something  while you’re too attached on your phone doing something else? Notice how friends are seated next to each other but they don’t talk as often as they check on their updates? Notice how family members share one roof and divert their uneven attention to gaming? Notice how many children have refrained from playing physical games and are highly stimulated on touch screens? The answer is alarming. It is because we are all too time ridden with gadgets.

I live in a neighborhood where residences both left and right, front and back, own a wi-fi connection. In fact, about the majority of residents do. There’s something about a wi-fi connection that if you do not have one then you are left out of the trend. It has become society’s basic commodity. But, as per my own abode I remained old fashion – I don’t have a wi-fi connection at home. People may see this case unfortunate or pity but I can testify the benefit of it. You see, when my guests arrive basically the question would be “Do you have a wi-fi connection?” followed by “What’s the password?”. As I replied “none” to the first query I know it leads to their dismay as it renders their gadgets less useful. But the greatest thing about it and a wonderful opportunity I seize is that the only entertainment I can give them is TALK – as in sharing, confiding and expressing insights or feelings. Do we not ever miss that? Verbal entertainment.  Do we not ever enjoy hours of catching up stories in a face-to-face (no need for front cameras or data) conversations? I do miss that a lot because we never get that much talk anymore. Somehow, like the recent hit chorus line of Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez’s  collaboration, “We don’t talk anymore” , I can’t help but relate it on my present observation. We really don’t talk anymore because we keep on tapping more often.

I have an amazing deal of friends and a thing that makes it amazing is that we get to talk and laugh a lot even until dawn breaks. But the glory of that routine came to diminish when they started to have not only a data plan but touch phones units too. Entertainment and gaming became easy and accessible. Since then, it was my honest struggle to draw their eyes and ears more often than be drawn by their devices. I felt some sort of social solitary confinement in a room with physically present pals. As for my side, I simply demand nothing like what we had before – time and company. In turn, out of that little heartache I had the thought that despite the massive hours spent on gadgets I hope they will realize the value that their phones will never hug them back. Rather, it would be better if time spent on phones be reversed to the time spent with people as people can always hug back. Ring the alarm, we need to be reminded. We are far too amused with phones and applications. The number of hours spent surfing the internet has been more overwhelming than the number of hours spent actively interacting with human companions. It’s sad how much time we’ve spent but not together.

Time is a valuable emotional tool. Also, it is a fraction of a person’s lifetime and that significant people deserve that fraction too.  It is through talking that social bonds are paved and time grants us that opportunity. Talking is where the real social thing goes on. It is what makes us more than merely a bunch of virtual accounts because we are really more than that – we’re social beings. On the whole, nothing is as precious as time and nothing more than time well spent.

P.S. Drop your phone down and go talk. That will be worth it.

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