Every evening I receive a detailed message from the gov.sg keeping me informed about the current state of virus infections in Singapore. Yet, all day long I receive hundreds if not thousands of forwards on the same subject. And no, these aren’t just facts, there are jokes, there is information about more free resources made available to us mortals to make the most of life during this downtime, there are spiritual forwards, some of which are helpful, there are immunity boosting recipes and so on and so forth. The least interesting of all – discussions and gossip over the current situation. As a rule of thumb, I do not forward anything.

It makes me feel, I am acting responsibly. We all have access to authentic information, why add to the chaos? Just because we enjoy wifi, and are confronted with the lack of choices to do any better, we end up spending a big part of our days, burdening technology with the job of either keeping up our well being or abusing it to our detriment.

Let’s rewind the world back to the 90s or the early years of this millennium when the internet was a baby and we were still quite disconnected, digitally. We didn’t have social media.

Was life miserable? Was the world free from diseases? Did we spend our days and nights only reading newspapers and talking about illnesses? The answer is no.

Why then, in a matter of 20 years do we find ourselves completely dependent on technology right from providing livelihood to relaying news to raising our children and pacifying us during grim times? It occurs to me that technology is a great slave but a pretty terrible master. It’s like asking Alexa for advise on whether I should wear pajamas to clean the kitchen or get into my wedding dress.

So what do I do with myself and kids all day since we are mostly locked up inside? As a family, we have learned to make smart choices. So while there are mandatory IT based office meetings and home based learning sessions, we limit the use of gadgets during the rest of the day. We watch some television, we read digitally, but most of all, we research recipes and try new dishes; we find ideas for offline games and crafts; we make sure we scrub different corners of the house and tend to our plants; we enjoy our afternoon tea breaks in the balcony. Period.

Today one simple game with plastic glasses and table tennis balls kept the girls busy all evening. And I have to confess my super competitive genes gave in too.

 

Today’s Lesson: Although technology is a great slave, it is a pretty terrible master. It’s all about making the right choices. Simple living by using gadgets sparingly is just like balancing the salt levels in food. Too much is too bad.