The human touch
Screen time has its uses, especially during a lockdown, but nothing beats the power of genuine human connection in building strong family bonds. By Gopala Amir Yaffa
What is the first thing you do every morning when you open your eyes? Is it looking at your smartphone, iPhone or i-Something? If it is, you might want to read more...
A few years ago, when Oli, our son, was eight years old, he had a dream. In his dream, he was swimming in the ocean and was chased by a shark who turned into a crocodile who then morphed into a monster. As he was swimming as fast as he could, running away from the monster, he finally reached the shore where my wife, Angel, and I were both sitting and working on our computers.
Oli was screaming at the top of his lungs for us to help him and save his life, but we were so absorbed in our laptops that we couldn't hear him at all and didn't even notice he was there. Oli woke up sweating and heaving just a second before the monster gobbled him up.
What do you think? What is the message? Too much technology in our life? A few times we have decided to turn off our computers and iPhones every day at 4pm when our children return home from school. We mostly stuck to it. A hard decision in a world when everyone expects you to be available 24 hours a day and answer your emails, texts and Facebook messages on the spot.
We see so many couples and families less engaged with each other and more with their beautiful faces turned down into a little screen.
So let’s try to be more consciously present with our loved ones before they are eaten by a sea monster! Can it save our relationship and our family?
There is a beautiful world around us, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets to see — not through a screen though, but side-by-side with someone we love.
With the spare time we had without our phones and computers we have more time to play and more time to be engaged with our children; our bond grows and it shows in our children’s self-confidence and behaviour.
Unplugging can also work wonders in any relationship: more time for talking, cuddling and lovemaking. I like watching movies with the futuristic theme of the world being taken over by machines but I am not a real believer of this vision. Technology definitely has its
benefits, but not all the time. There is a time and a place for everything. Staring at screens should not replace gazing into each other’s eyes; touch screens will never be a substitute for human touch.
Yes, screens are addictive — and it’s true they have been useful during the lockdown months of 2020 — so it takes a bit of going against the current to break free of them. Are you up for the challenge?
Gopala Amir Yaffa is the founder, codirector and owner of Rainbow Kids Yoga (rainbowyogatraining.com)
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.