1. On the occasion of Teachers’ Day, 2017, I take the opportunity of writing a few lines about the impact of Media and Technology on Children’s Development.
2. To start with, I shall narrate one story which my grandmother once told me. The story is still vivid in my mind and a guiding factor in my life. The story was like that – Once a pair of Parrots while flying in the open sky got lost and they landed separately in a dense forest. One came down to a Saint’s Ashram (hermitage) and the other to a dacoit’s den. Both the parrots were well taken care of. They started talking like a human being. They listened to the conversations of their masters. Whenever, any guest would enter the Ashram, the saint got pleased and extended hospitality. The Saint offered him seat, gave water to drink to quench his thirst. Seeing all these, the parrot therein also started talking to the Guest saying “Please come, be seated comfortably, take rest, drink water. But in the dacoit’s den, the situation was entirely different. The dacoit used to capture the passers-by, robbed him of everything and finally killed him. The parrot therein learned the same and started talking after seeing the passers-by “Capture him, loot him of everything, beat him and kill him”.
3. The inherent meaning of the above story is that even the birds are influenced with the events they see in their surroundings. Men are no exceptional – especially the children.
4. The children are the mirror. They reflect the same object placed in front of them. Their behavior develop seeing the environment surrounding them. I have seen little kids who have just started talking, recite Gayatri Mantra. This has been taught to them. They sit by the side of their parents and offer Prayers before the Idol of God with folded hands. They do not know ‘God’, the rituals in performing the Puja and the Prayer. They simply follow their parents and develop habits.
5. Media, by name, which generally means broadcasting – radio, television and printing materials like newspapers, journals, books etc and finally, the social media; the Internet – all have a cascading effect on the minds of children whenever they come across such means of media communication.
6. World is continuously changing. Nobody can escape from this change. It is like a moving Train. When we are travelling in a Train, we are bound by its direction and speed. It encompasses everybody. But the point is minimizing of the effect. If we sit in a second class compartment by the side of an open window, the impact is - gush of dusty winds, loud noise of rotating wheels. In the AC Coach, the situation will, however, be different. Looking through the tinted window glass, it is more comfortable and pleasant and soothes the eyes apart from less noise.
7. Exposure of children to the Media World would be like seeing the World through a filtered method. It is like a Swan swimming in a muddy pond and often taking