We were just down two temples and 1 relatives’ house when we decided we should rest somewhere. So we went to this other relatives’ house, I guess to make it even between the temples and the houses.
Anyway, we were there and so were the “How are you?”, “Whats up”, and similar other questions and their answers, attacked from either side. I was there smiling my way through it all, when my dad started playing with the baby in the house. I assume she was about 2 years old, and was quite fascinated by all the chatter, though my dad’s and uncle’s arms wide open attempts to lure her into their arms was not quite a success. My mom was not trying; she looked content, just sitting there after the long walks in the temples, giving her legs some rest.
My uncle took out his phone and opened the “Talking Tom Cat” app; you know the app which talks back anything you say at it, with a weird but funny voice. He then started talking things to it and everyone including the baby would laugh when the cat talked back. Everyone except me; I did not find it that funny. Yes it was funny, but I had seen it enough, and that ‘enough’ had happened too long back ago for me to be affected by it again. I should have chuckled a bit at least just to be a sport, but I did not; I smiled though; although I am afraid it might have come out like a pitiful smile.
Anyway, so now my dad is amused with the app; more than the baby. He takes the phone, and starts saying things to it. He in fact made those weird talking noises that people do to babies, to the cat in the app. And he was laughing. I found it weird. But then I noticed; everyone was into it. My dad, my mom, my uncle, the baby’s mother, the baby’s grandmother; everyone except the baby. I was weird-ed out further more.
I mean they took out this thing to amuse the baby, and now all of them are amused by it, and the baby was just there, staring at them, occasionally laughing, not because of the app, but because of their behavior, and that is it; that is what they did for the next 5 minutes; a really long, 5 minutes.
I thought to myself, ‘Wow, is that what technology does to you? Is that what any outside entertainment does to you?’
I mean there was a time when we made voices to babies, we made those cute puppy faces to our lovers, and we could just sit down for minutes and hours with ourselves thinking and being amused by our thoughts. Now we have these apps to do it for us, and then we are just with our apps. I mean sometimes I feel do we really care if the baby is amused? If a lover means a sorry? If we need to watch that video on YouTube? I mean, once we have the technology to do it, we so blindly tend to delegate our responsibilities to it. And so long as the app is working, we sometimes assume that the responsibilities are carried out too.
Is that wrong? I don’t think we need a Google search to answer that. It is wrong. Those subtle things that we do, by ourselves, those stupid faces we make sometimes to say sorry, and those long spent time with ourselves; those things should not go away just because we have an app to do it. Let the app be an add on, not the real thing. It is okay to be reminded about someone’s birthday by Facebook, but quickly typing in “Happy Birthday ❤ <3” and then forgetting about it, doesn’t do the job well. She might like your wish on Facebook, but really, she might not have cared much; and neither had you.
If this goes on, I would hate to see what happens. I would hate to see the talking tom cat entertaining the baby, while we lay there, like a disabled app.
Be real folks.