Ever since this pandemic started, we have all seen an inclination towards online education and work-from-home mode. Students started learning through online platforms and teachers tried to adapt to this new normal mode of study. The working professionals too adjusted to the work-from-home mode. However, what didn’t seem to fit in this scenario was our parents staying cool with our increased screen-time.
When the pandemic began, I was staying in Bangalore with my roommate. Both of us started having work from home and we were fine with this. After all, we could be in our PJs and work without trying to reach the office on time. We could start our office work without brushing our teeth and while cooking our meal. To me, work-from-home came as a blessing. I started new things while doing the office work and the best thing was, I received my salary too.
After spending the entire lockdown and unlock 1.0 in Bangalore, I decided to go back home. My parents were quite happy as I was coming home. I had a similar feeling but deep down, I knew, I still wanted to stay in Bangalore. It’s because Bangalore made me feel who I really was. So, after I came home and got back to working for my office and learning new things on online platforms. Initially, my parents were okay with this.
However, the actual problem started just a few days after. They would often say, “You are always working on your laptop. We either see you typing something, attending meetings, or attending lectures.” Now you may think if I was spending my time doing things other than these. Yes, I did many other things which didn’t involve the internet such as Yoga, cooking, sewing, or reading books.
Even after spending one and a half years at home, I find my parents nagging about my work from home. The irony is, I never worked for more than 5-6 hours in my office. In fact, I spent only 2-3 hours online studying and handling my blogs. One day, I asked my parents, “Why do you always rant like this? You know things have shifted from offline to online mode and I can’t escape.” This is when they said, “In our times, we never worked on computers and laptops for so long. You are always with your laptop.”
Maybe they said so as they were concerned about my health, eyesight, and tight schedule. Even now when I quit my job and enrolled myself in a course, my parents nag in the same manner. This time they can’t withstand my hours-long online lectures, tests, and doubt sessions. To be honest, after quitting my job, my screen time has increased even more.
Earlier, I used to open my laptop at 10:30 am and used to shut it down mostly at 6:00 PM. Amidst this time period, I used to do other works too such as talking with family members, ironing clothes, etc. But now, I open my system at 9:00 AM and sit in front of it till late in the evening. At times, the Google meetings end at 10:30 or 11:00 PM and I have no choice but to be attentive. Though there are breaks in between and I often take power naps too. Still, that doesn’t count for my parents.
I know parents are concerned for our welfare and always want the best for us. They may think that using phones and laptops for so long can affect us in an adverse manner. But one cannot deny that our generation has learned to live with it and our lives revolve around these things. The generation gap and technological advancements seem to be the reason behind this problem.
At times, my parents don’t understand how important it’s for me to dedicate most of my time to the screen. We often have a tiff but then I make myself understand, things will be alright. Not only this, but my teachers too expect us to dedicate our time and stay connected. They want us to be active listeners even if we have already attended 5-6 hours of lectures.
Now you may think, I am complaining about parents and teachers. No, I am not. All I want is to emphasize how our lives have changed during and post-pandemic. Even though we want to cut ourselves from digital and virtual life, we can’t. Above all, we get to hear nagging as well and this is may make many of us frustrated and upset.
I hope, 20+ years from now, our generation doesn’t repeat the same lines. Hopefully, things may get better.
Prerna loves to write and shower love on animals. She enjoys reading and exploring places. Though sweet in her pictures, at times, she is difficult to understand. Being a strong believer in hard work and karma, she loves solitude and peace. Apart from this, she loves petrichor and harmony and wishes to achieve her one and only ataraxia for a lifetime.