This is something I wrote for Urbane magazine… when I was a freelancer. Strongly believe in it…

Why twitch your muscles to laugh? There’s ‘LOL’ to do the work for you. Why strain your muscles to smile? There are always a lot of 🙂 (smileys) to throw around! Why form play groups or meet friends after school? There’s always a networking site for ‘scrapping around’. Why do you need physical exercise when there is mental stimulation in the form of online games?

Your online identity quite determines the kind of person you are in today’s world.

Long before Internet and Google came into existence the average school-going child was busy. Climbing trees, frolicking in the rain, catching butterflies, stealing mangoes and generally having a lot of fun. Agreed, Internet has made the world much closer but it has also spawned an entire generation of children content with expanding their skills in the online world.

While the upside is the constant explosion of information coming your way, the downside is that children today have forgotten to seek, discover, ask, discern, ascertain and revel in the fruits of their own labour. Need an essay on the Seven Wonders of the World? All you need to use is two fingers, twice. Cut and paste has obliterated most neighbourhood libraries and the books on the shelf. Want a model of an igloo? Download a template from the Internet! As the cliché goes, help is only a click away!

While one cannot completely discount the advantages of the Internet, it is necessary for parents to teach children to revel in life’s wonders. Take your kid on a nature walk; allow him to feel the gush of water from a dancing fountain, encourage him in a sport and open the exciting world of books to him.

The lessons of life are best learnt in the offline world!

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