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Focus: Switching off

Are we unable to enjoy experiences in the scramble to tweet or update statuses?

  • Image Credit: Illustration: Nino Jose Heredia/©Gulf News
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied

Your smartphone rings, you’ve got a message. How hard is it for you to resist picking it up immediately? As logging on to social media websites, checking your email, answering calls and chatting on instant messaging becomes a bigger part of our lives, are we becoming unable to disconnect? With laptops, mobile phones and tablet computers becoming basic tools of communication, have people begun to use technology indiscriminately and abusively? Is an overuse of technology affecting our ability to connect at a personal level? Are we unable to enjoy experiences in the scramble to tweet or update statuses? Post your thoughts on our Facebook page ‘Gulf News Al Nisr Publishing UAE’ or tell us at

14:42 Gulf News: Indiscriminate use of technology is making people lose control of their lives

14:47 Lily Guna: Social media is a pervasive force in our everyday lives. Losing control depends on the person. If you manage your time, you will be fine.

“It is the reality of the world today that now we cannot disconnect from the digital world. I make sure that when I am working, I am disconnected with my digital world as it is just not professional to interrupt a consultation. There should be a limitation to how much you can be connected to your digital life. But I can and I understand easily how some people’s family can be effected by such habits, as it is very easy to spend hours on social media or the internet without realising.””
-Dr Othman Ortashi, Consultant in gynaecological cancers living in Al Ain
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14:48 Akshaya Parthasarathy: Nowadays people are so absorbed with technology, “I just woke up” or “I just read a book” become trending topics on Twitter!

14:48 Mathew Litty: There are times at work when the elevator doors open and I see four or five people, all looking into their phones and typing with their thumbs. The cost is great, but the problem is that much of it is invisible. Children today have no idea how to interact and actually read someone’s face – you can’t do that on Facebook.

14:48 Disha Bobby: Today people want to stay connected all the time and are unable to disconnect as they always have someone online. When I travel by bus, all our friends are either listening to music or chatting on their smart phones.

14:50 Gulf News: Our inability to switch off the gadgets in our lives is destroying our personal relationships

14:53 Lodhi Azmat Allah: People have become addicted to gadgets. Even when you are travelling, talking, or with your family the person is always busy with his or her fingers on the keypad of all the gadgets. There is no rest for people as technology is working in full swing. Some people are so addicted that even when they are sitting in the bathroom they use mobile phones, chatting on it!

14:53 Jinoy Viswan: Yes, without a doubt it is destroying relationships. In many houses, you can see the father and mother on their smart phones and children surfing on the internet on the laptop. Communication, today, has restricted itself to non-verbal shaking of heads or muttering sounds.

14:54 Rahil Khan: True, personal life gets disturbed to some extent if we don’t apply some basic principles. I would say that to switch off gadgets for the sake of it is not the solution.

14:54 Mathew Litty: Our communication styles have changed, our writing styles have changed as we are more comfortable in using slang language and short forms. The worst part is the way we converse with people has changed making it very arrogant and offensive at times.

14:59 Nazia Irfan: Yes, I have heard a couple of my friends say that when they get back home, it is as good as being alone because no one at home has time to spend with each other and even they need to call up or text friends for company.

15:00 Disha Dadlani: Being a teenager, I admit that I am a Facebook addict. I also have friends who are addicted to music, television or the computer. Many a times we call each other, but over the phone there is an awkward silence as we both are surfing the internet. It takes us some time to realise that there is someone on the other line!

15:05 Gulf News: Today’s children will turn into technology addicts in the future?

15:07 Leah Thomas: Technology is the future and our children must be in touch with it, but there need to be some boundaries. May be parents need to be taught first. It is from them that children learn.

15:10 Vasanthi Samuel: I was born when so much advancements in technology had not been made. Yet for me, it has become a part of my life. We cannot avoid technology altogether, but we must teach our children the limits and how they can control their lives.

15:12 Richa Rabecca: Children tend to do what they see. It is not by choice that they are alone most of the time, or spend most of their time at home. There is no one present to take them out for physical activities. Parents have to arrange for such activities.

15:16 Akshaya Parthasarathy: Keep the phone down, the important message can wait. There’s a world out there, fresh air is available rather than the circulated one from the air conditioner! Technology is good for you, but one must use it in an appropriate manner.

15:19 Aisha Naseem: I won’t say I’m addicted, but there are times when ‘signing out’ isn’t the option. If we can switch off a phone during a meeting or an important discussion, I think we can do the same in life in general. There are parents who switch off their mobile phones when they are home, because it is family time. We teenagers can - and do - do the same. There are people who get off the social networking radar when examinations are round the corner.

15:20 Gautham Manoj: Take my life experience. I suffered from severe short-sightedness, because of my former addiction. About two years ago, I set a goal and made up my mind, and guess what? My eyesight has improved in the past two years.