“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”

Theodore Isaac Rubin.

In our university today, some students organised an event in which they invited volunteers to come deposit their phones for 2 hours and just sit and talk. They could play interactive games or talk about anything; the rule was that they couldn’t take their phones out before 2 hours.

It happened that only 28 people showed up, and they were also out of discussions and topics to talk about. The question was why they even thought of this event and what motivated them to think of such an idea. When we all started the discussion, I asked them why, in the first place, they thought of this event and why there was a need for such an event.

They made the following points:

  1. Even if four friends are sitting together, they are all busy on their phones and seldom discuss or talk to each other.
  2. They are more glued to their screens and online friends than to the actual ones sitting with them.
  3. People have forgotten to introduce themselves to strangers, and they are not able to crack some interactions.
  4. They feel more at ease chatting with people online rather than in person.
  5. They explained why this occurred: they were afraid of being judged.
  6. Social media has created the impression that when a stranger wants to strike up a conversation with you, they are doing some work with you.
    They need no friends, as they have their true friend on social media. 

When these discussions began, there were many “ifs” and “buts” about how things would progress.But, to our surprise, people began to interact, and giggles turned into laughs, and people began to interact and have discussions, which turned into longer conversations, and two hours flew by.

Before anyone could have realised the time was up, they were handed their phones. When feedback was taken, it came out to be:

  1. It was fun.
  2. We never knew we could converse.
  3. We thought it would be tough, but it seems to be fun.
  4. We can have one more session.
  5. We can live without our phones for half a day.

What could be concluded from this is that human beings are wired to be socially active, and we need someone to be by our side. That is why even if we are glued to the screen, we need someone’s presence to be around us. Life won’t be the same as a lot is done on phones, and the kids are addicted to these screens, yet we need to focus on what is important and what is mandatory.