When I flashback to my childhood and growing years, visuals of My brother and Me with our friends spending hours in the sun playing football, cricket and kabaddi still feels so fresh.
Most of our weekends and playtime during the week would go visiting libraries, fun touristy places around the city, fun antakshri sessions with family and friends and so much more.
I remember we had weekly quota for watching TV/movies, playing video games and both my brother and I managed to convince our parents to carry forward the balance or borrow from next week.
One meal daily with the entire family was part of our routine; time not just to connect but also to laugh our guts out.
We would yearn to bounce out of house to play and cycle with our friends. Writing letter to our grandparents and pen pals was always something to look forward to.
As we grew, so did the world we stayed in. Technology with its fastening speed and benefits became a vital part of our daily routines; in fact replaced a lot of real time activities as well. Letters got replaced by Emails and Whatsapp; Trunk calls with Video and app calls; playground games with the virtual games…… and so on.
We clearly started living in two worlds at the same time – REAL and VIRTUAL. Both these worlds have their essence and benefits and is essential for us to grow, learn and interact. So it was never about which world is better, it’s about finding our mix of both the worlds – Our Real-Virtual Balance.
This world comprises of our real time experiences with People, Nature, Interactions, Study and emotions and so much more. We engage most of senses while doing real world activities with little or no use of technology. Examples – Playing a field game, Conversations with friends and family in person, Hobby classes, attending school/summer camps, activities in the nature, spending time with family over meals or outing….. The list is endless. Real world activities help us develop our self – socially, emotionally, physically, mentally…… in fact holistically through actual real time experience.
Most people take this as a representation of the real world… using technology. We experience this world more with our Eyes and Ears. This allows us to create most of the activities from the real-world using technology, what differs is the experience. Virtual world uses imagination. Activities of the virtual world can be accessed easily, at your convenience, offers variety of media at a great speed. Examples – Interactive games, Social media, YouTube, Facebook, TV, Movies, Music audio and video. Excessive time spent in the Virtual world can lead to restricted learning/thinking, stress, lack of creativity and disconnect from social/real world
Benefits of Real World – Engaging in experiential or Real-world activities are:
Benefits of Virtual World – Use of technology can enhance learning in following ways if used in moderation:
Get Your REAL-VIRTUAL Balance right!
Do you see yourself spending too much time playing internet / app-based games?
Are you skipping your hobby classes or time with friends on field to binge watch Netflix?
Do you find it difficult to stop looking at your mobile even while having lunch with your parents?
Real and Virtual worlds are both important and cater to different needs in our life. Their existence helps in our learning, Growth and Development, both personally and professionally. What’s important is to strike a balance between the two worlds. This balance will be different for each one of us depending upon are age, purpose, location or even gender; we should consciously fill our day with activities in a way that we can get the best of both the worlds.
Finding our desirable mix or balance of REAL-VIRTUAL worlds will help us:
Strategies to Balance the RW and VW
Now, it’s time for some action…
Discuss and share your REAL-VIRTUAL balance with us. How many hours would you spend in:
Real world (playing with friends, hobby classes, reading, time with family, studies etc.) : ________
Virtual World (Watching TV/ OTT platforms, Social media, Surfing internet, Mobile games etc.) : ____
Put the following in the comments: RW : XX hours / day and VW: YY hours / day