Principal, Vagad Pace Global School, Virar East, Mumbai
Life has evolved so much for most of us. With the advancement of technology, changing cultural norms, new priorities, and new forms of communication fueled by the Internet, it's natural to wonder what the importance of the family, friendship and bonding is. Is there no place for these values and relations in modern life? Certainly not! The human to human bond is just as relevant as it ever was, and no matter how much life changes in the future, it will probably continue to be needed in one form or another.
If we only define togetherness the way it was defined, we might as well say that togetherness in a word, means oneness. When there is togetherness there is likely to be more power in opinion, more power in action, and more power in character. This is a very simple and obvious fact that, if one person tries his/her hands on some job, he/she will manage much less than what a group effort will achieve. This simply what unity is all about.
Let us peep into different spheres of our existence and we can judge the truth of this statement. Let us discuss the core unit of our society “the family”. If all members of a family go on divergent roads, the very semblance of a family is lost. A family indicates togetherness, they live together, they work together they enjoy together and this is the basic strength of the unit, each member pumping in vigor and confidence in all others, all this on the simple basis of being one. When we lose this togetherness, as of today we break the family, i.e. the very edifice of our foundation.
From this smallest unit, we go to the holistic picture of our society. Where is our society today? It is broken into various fragments, and each segment i.e. a nuclear family just looking after itself, as if we sternly believe in the agenda, “everyone for himself, and God for all.” This has become the motto of the society at large. This has led to the loosening of the ties of the society and this is one of the cause of the growth of so many social evils. When there is no strong bond in different segments of a society, it is bound to break into fractions, and thus lose its strength, both moral and social.
Now, let’s understand the cons of losing human bond and togetherness and it impact on our youth. In a recent study by Robert Winston and Rebecca Chicot from Imperial College, London, UK, it was found that 40% have less emotional bonding among real life relations because people concentrate more on virtual ties. To develop human bond and to belong to a group or society is one of the vital innate nature of a human being and recently due to the boost in virtual usage, the effort to bond with others has reduced right from the early childhood which in turn has led to various physiological and psychological concerns.
If we look in retrospect, childhood and early adolescence were full of outdoor games, group games and make belief games which practically helped us to develop cognitive, social, emotional, interpersonal and effective communication skills wherein in the last 5 years (approximately.) the scenario has drastically changed, we have witnessed that parents promote use of virtual games and videos right from infancy. When the baby cries I’ve seen parents handing over the phone with some video playing in it to calm the child and right from there the kid starts developing unhealthy coping mechanism and poor interpersonal skills or bonding skills right from the developing years.
Now that we are well versed with the problem and its impact on the new generation, we need to look for sustainable interventions. There are various options put out in the market but I personally feel that they are not sustainable. There is a splurge of social media detox centers, workshops to educate on cyber security and appropriate social media usage. But all these solutions are not completely effective in eradicating the problem. According to me, we collectively have to address the concern at the grass root level. The first step is of the family, parents need to spend quantity as well as quality time with their kids and inculcate effective communication skills and instill progressive family values and traditions in them so the kid develops belongingness right at the young age. The second pivotal step has to be taken up by the school, the school plays a crucial role in shaping the child as the child learns most of the life skills in school through multitude activities. According to a research conducted in 2014 it was found that students of residential school have strong peer bonds, interpersonal, cooperation, empathy and social skills. Students from residential school are used to sharing their space with other peers of same and different age groups and thus develop adjustment and cooperation skills right from a young age. Residential schools are inclined in creating a home away from home for the kids thus their plan is meticulously designed to occupy the children with productive group activities, limiting and monitoring screen usage including mobile phones & computer. And most importantly fostering the vital value of bonding and being together with one another.
Let us consider and understand that, unity is the answer which heals all bruises big and small. It is this that helps us enjoy the handful of happy moments of life. In the good moments, in the sad moments of sickness and death, it is the unity of the well-wishers that makes the pleasure great and despair less. This is the special power of unity. An individual or community can achieve nothing and neither can they enjoy the fruits of achievement. The secret potential of unity is strength, which is built up by mutual trust and faith and love for one another, and the oneness of a single well formulated goal.
Principal, Vagad Global Pace School, Mumbai