What are you hooked on?
Idiosyncratic gadgets having synched into the lives of the youths have made more independent individuals who are hooked 24/7 to them, either it be on a Smart Phone or Tablet or iPod. Free apps which have flooded the markets are an easy access to anyone with a Smart Phone or a Tablet, who is even willing to BUY them for self gratification. Gone are the days when the urban teens were seen loitering in the neighbourhood or in the streets and hanging out with friends and were chided for malicious and outrageous behaviour. The modern technology has succeeded in keeping the teens and the youths hooked onto the gadgets, that it could be said that not only the world is in one’s palm, but sin too. A quick glance at the popular apps of Smart Phones makes one wonder at the rampant production and distribution of such explicit graphic material and also makes one question the intentions of such producers, who otherwise write and speak with gentleness using politically correct words. Whose boardroom meetings and marketing strategies tap into the indulgence of the youths and turn it into a good marketing avenue and make profit at the loss of the teen souls. “Many consider the teens of today to be the Internet generation: Born roughly between 1990 and 1996, today’s teens grew up with a mouse in their hands. They are portrayed as Digital Natives, perpetually connected, guided by both the opportunities and constraints of worldwide connectivity” says ‘nielsen’ in its survey1. It is disheartening to know that a Patna youth was arrested this February for allegedly uploading an obscene video of two teens, describing them as students of two prestigious schools of the city, to YouTube2. When gadgets and internet have become a necessity it is necessary that the teens and the youth pray like David, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.” (Psalm 119:18, 37) ‘Times Life!’ in its article ‘What do teens read?’3 says, “Indian teens.... are hooked to titles from the West, which include chick-lit, teen sorcerer Harry Potter and the now ‘cult’ Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, where a young girl falls in love with a vampire.” It goes on to say, “What makes young adults read? While many grow up on fairytales and epics, they quickly graduate to popular fiction. Like 15-year-old Ankit Jain, who has sampled Sherlock Holmes and Huckleberry Finn and moved on to Chetan Bhagat’s One Night @ The Call Centre and 2 States. Adds 12-year-old Soniksha Venkatesh, “I like reading vampire based novels, like The Twilight Saga and House of Night. The story is fascinating and gets very exciting as it unfolds.”” The article quoting Shobhaa De’s opinion says, “Clothes and what to wear is a constant battle. And of course, there are crushes and heartbreak.” It also quotes the controversial writer Salman Rushdie, “There’s a ‘Death’ character in Luka (his recently released book ‘Luka and the Fire of Life’), Nobodaddy, that I concerned about. Milan (his son) wanted more of him.” It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition Teens and young people are graduating from fairytales to popular fiction, which are filled with subtle suggestions of immorality and perversity. It is like a two-way lane. The authors justify saying that they write what they see happening in the world and the readers justify their actions saying that it is popularly spoken about and written by popular writers. But the writers fail to remember that the characters that they depict in their writings set qualities to the readers – good or bad. And as Isaac Asimov very rightly said, “It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.” Bookworms should pay careful attention to what books, fiction or non-fiction, they read. Because what they read...
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