Other day I was going through a discussion on Apple i-Pad in the technology column of a top English daily. The discussion basically focused on a comparison between the Apple device and laptop, and sought to highlight certain drawbacks or inconveniences that one may have to face while using Apple i-Pad, but not while using laptop.
The column carried the comments made by some consumers having “first hand knowledge” of using Apple i-Pad. They all accepted certain inconveniences that the Apple device suffers from. However, a couple of them said that they would still go for that device, given the various features and attractions that it boasts, and which these consumers find so irresistible.
I was truly enjoying the column. Though I do not appreciate one getting too much obsessed with tech gadgets, I nevertheless appreciated the passion of those i-Pad users, who are using the gadget not out of any genuine need, but simply out of love for the gadget.
But then, while I was almost at the end of the column, I got this tremendous shock (sorry if I am overreacting). One of those consumers (who is a Web entrepreneur) said that he had already bought 4 Apple i-Pads during his last visit to the USA. One for himself, one for his 60 plus father. Fine. And the remaining two? Well, they are for his two sons. And their age? Now hold your breath. One of his sons is 5, while the other one is just 2 (and can barely read or write).
I was so shocked that I read the sentence twice, only to be sure that I read it right. And finally I was forced to digest this fact that it was indeed true.
There is no doubt that the gentleman has every right to decide what gift he will give to his kids, and we have no right to interfere in his personal matter.
But tell me, is it at all appropriate? Giving a gift of Rs. 30,000 each to kids of 5 and 2 years? Has the gentleman thought about the adverse impact that the gift will have on the boys?
First, they are getting habituated to using costly materials since their childhood, which is certainly not a healthy habit.
Worse, they are getting addicted to gadgets from this very early stage of life. They are getting this message that gadgets are part and parcel of modern human life, which will eventually make them so terribly obsessed with gadgets that they will be completely dependent on them. And it is a common knowledge that a lifestyle entailing an overt dependence on tech gadgets is not a very healthy lifestyle (or will it be so when those boys will be of my age?)
Don’t you think it would have been better if the gentleman gifted his sons something like a book of puzzles or one containing maps and pictures of the different countries of the world, or a book on plants and animals, or a book of fairy tales, or a set of indoor games (like Scrabble or Chinese Checkers), or anything of that sort that should normally be presented to kids of that age? The highly costly Apple i-Pad was the only gift that he could thought about for those toddlers? Oh God!
What type of tech savviness is this? Probably I am not modern enough, but I feel that we must learn to differentiate between tech savviness and tech mania. Being passionate about something is a healthy habit, be it music, sports, books or tech gadgets. At the same time addiction to anything is highly unwelcome, be it movies, smoking, drugs or tech gadgets. Am I right?