The sun still rises in the east, but our day doesn’t start with a run to catch a cab or a school bus or a drive through the congested roads of the city.As it dawns, we switch on our gadgets therefore opening ‘our windows to the world’.We plunge into working, learning, teaching, reading, watching, gaming, chatting, browsing and a lot more.

Technology is reshaping our world and future.Access to technology is no longer a luxury, but it’s an urgent requirement. Post pandemic, the ‘phygital’ learning and work-from-home are sure to gain traction.This leaves within us a huge responsibility to behave in the virtual world.

1.Responsibilty to one-self.

  • Question on priority – First things first.

Prioritise your tasks and finish what is required. If its not urgent, it can wait. When you’re in a digital world, you’re in a virtual world. Overtime in the virtual world can bring down your social skills and may slowly bring a sense of isolation.

  • Show grit and gumption. – Learn to say “no” to yourself.

“Me” time is good, but not too much. Don’t make them distort our identities.

A kind of OCD develops with digital devices: An obsessive need to check for text messages, a longing to binge-watch a series, or a near-addiction to games.

  • Expectation of instant gratification.

When you post something on a social media platform, you expect immediate likes and shares. This can seriously affect the quality of life and long-term goal/ purposes of life.

Divert yourself – Set reminders for your hobbies and passions which can force yourself out from the virtual world. Let sticky notes fill up your space.

  • Being vulnerable is easy – “outsmart” is the new cool.

Just because you have an Anti-Virus Software or a Parental Control doesn’t mean you are safe in the Cyber world. Be well informed about the evils of the Cyber world. “Data” is important in whatever form-text, audio or video. When you handle your data or others’ data, be alert and be cautious.

  • Health is “more than” wealth!

Digital distraction can cause a life. Just count on the number of times you have dropped your phone when you saw something exciting. Long hours of digital usage can cause damage to almost all parts of your body.

Take breaks in between. Breathe!

2.Responbility to others.

  • The first here don’t get to stand in a podium!

Be alert when you share or forward a message. Ensure that the message is authentic before forwarding. It may be propagating a point of view, or could be sending out rumours.

Do the Triple filter test of Socrates: Ask these three questions before forwarding or sharing a message: 1. Is it true? 2. Is it good or kind? 3. Is it useful?

  • World is not just black and white. There are greys too!

Your right may not be other person’s right. Respect other’s opinions. To pick up a fight is the easiest and the thoughtless deed you can do. Be sensible when you are on Social media.

Digital world is a reality and it’s here to stay, but it is also a distraction. Learn to live in it, but always remember, the real world is missing you.

                                                                                                Jeena Elizabeth Jose

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