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Moving in a circle

By: Ranjita Biswas

Moving in a circle
From childhood we have often been hearing that everything moves in a circle, and that more things change, more things are the same.

Scanning through the current news feeds, off the usual politics, corruption, war beat, this skein of wisdom may pop up to notice that something is a-changing, or, changed back, if you may.

 

Today’s tech-savvy work environ is more or less a seamless world basking under  fluorescent  lights; the workhorses are hunched over computer screens quite unaware of what’s happening outside- raining? snowing? windy? How does it matter? Then why has Amazon’s new Seattle headquarter looks more like a corner in a forest? With 40,000 plants- not artificial ones, you  can feel as if you are walking under a verdant canopy. Apparently, the idea is to give the workers a feel of the green, restful and natural ambience. If the workers don’t have time to slip out to the countryside or a park in between the killing schedule,  not to worry. Your office has strived to create the same ambience. The idea is to make you more productive and less fatigued in a soul-less surrounding.  Many sky scrapers in big cities are growing vertical gardens.  The bottom-line: human beings still yearn for the green touch of nature, something deeply ingrained in the psyche, despite all the gizmos.

 

Talking about gizmos, many people, including celebrities, are cutting themselves off from the new age companions - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  Why?  To have more quality time for themselves by rejecting the obsessive need to be constantly connected and updating. 

 

Experts find that today young people are getting more and more disconnected from fellow human beings preferring instead to live in the virtual world of the social media, which ironically, was conceived as way to build bridges among people. A recent study in the UK finds that 44% of 18-24 year olds are more comfortable speaking to new people via social media than face-to-face; most of them don’t ever speak to their neighbours. Community-living, not isolation, is a ‘normal’ human norm as behaviour scientists would tell you. Isolation has bred its own problems casting shadows on society, as we see increasingly. So thinkers like Vivek Wadhwa, a college professor, and Alex Salkever, futurist and technology writer, say that “….using our phones to call family and friends and talk to them rather than sending them incessant WhatsApp messages would help most of us make a great starts on rejoining the living.”

 

Many parents of young children are consciously turning off the TV in the evening, to tell stories to their children and ‘make them think’. Unsurprisingly, story-telling the grandma-style is catching up.

 

Makes you think how things move in a circle after all.