Age of Silence

by mandaceehb

I’ve been reading this book called “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss, and within it holds many interesting theories about life now and life long before our existence. In the book, apparently, there was one period of time known as the “Age of Silence”, in the earliest species of mankind. This was before any languages were created, and people communicated solely through gesticulating. They didn’t make any sounds, but their replacement for sounds we would make today to express ourselves came in the form of hand movements.

And somehow I had this thought after hearing a sermon: We seem to be going back to where we started.

In this age of technology and science, we seem to be delving back into silence. The second Age of Silence amid the constant buzz of city life, how ironic.

Children in the past used to be noisy little troublemakers. Running around screaming during meals, refusing to be fed until maybe an airplane commonly known as a spoon would air drop food into their mouths. I used to be like that too, so I am told. But is that not normal? Is it not in the nature of children-children, to be loud and irritating and sometimes unbearable? Because they are young, and that is how they are!

Yet these days, children are such angels. I often see kids sitting in their chairs quietly, opening their mouths obediently to be fed whenever they are told to. Oh, I seem to have forgotten one tiny detail. With their eyes glued to the screens of smartphones or Ipads, playing games more professionally than people thrice their age (I am not embarrassed to admit) or watching their favourite shows online.

With the advancements in technology, the noisy kids we once knew have now become a thing of the past. I reckon technological devices work better than pacifiers now. But why? Children are meant to be noisy! Why are we making them silent, giving them devices to keep them silent, and making things so very unnatural?

I understand too, that these children have been born directly into this era where technology is so advanced, so convenient, so efficient. I will not deny that technology is immensely useful, i cannot emphasise that enough, as I type away at a keyboard now. But could there be some way to control them? If the kids are addicted to these devices from young, can you just imagine what they would grow up to become. Walking on the streets in the future, maybe we won’t even see anybody anymore, because everyone is not looking up, but down at a screen. That is a horrifying thought for me.

Children can be hard to control, but they wouldn’t have become this addicted if we hadn’t allowed them to become so addicted in the first place. Letting them play games for a while everyday is absolutely fine. Everybody wants to have fun. But giving them the phone or tablet to shut them up during meals is not right. There are always some things that have to be done the hard way, and I believe this is one of them. Can you believe that I’ve even seen some kids who refuse to start eating until their parents give them the device?

And now, I recall my childhood. I try to imagine myself playing with my parents’ phones during dinner. Or maybe not, because last time all there probably ever was was Nokia Snake. That just doesn’t sound right.

Kids these days are so privileged to have been born directly into this technological era! There are so many more games and applications that make our lives just that much easier. I believe that this is a good thing, but only if we go about doing things the right way.