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Family fights over gadgets in lockdown causing strain

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Jaipur, May 5, 2020-

Family fights over electronic gadgets, like laptops, computers and mobile phones, have become common during this ‘work from home’ (WFH) regime. While parents need to attend video conferencing and complete their projects, children, their online classes, says Dr Anamika Papriwal, a psychologist.

The electronic gadgets seem to be the latest entrant to the family list of essentials and their shortage has started ringing panic buttons.

In India, the number of computers and laptops doesn’t match the number of members in a family. During the coronavirus crisis, each member wants his own screen for work. It has worsened the situation, causing testing times, she says.

Seema Dawesher, a corporate employee, told IANS, “We face a daily challenge to streamline things in our house. My son’s online classes start at 9 a.m. Mine and my husband’s offices also start at the same time. Imagine the plight — three of us setting our priorities right from morning with just one laptop at home.”

The crazy cacophony was intensifying with each passing day of the lockdown, she said. Buying a new gadget was difficult when economy shrinking and paycuts becoming the order of the day, she added.

“My son, a class VI student, wants a laptop as he can’t attend online classes on phone as its screen is small and content not clearly visible. With all my data stored in the same, I can’t share it with him during my VCs,” she said.

Mukta Mittal, an entrepreneur, has a similar story. There is a regular tiff among four family members — she, her husband and two kids. They end up fighting to grab the only laptop in their home.

“We can’t have four computers at home. It sounds bizarre. But it’s also causing strain as everyone’s schedule begins in the morning. Now schools have also started evening activity classes. When should we attend our office work,” she remarks.

Dr Papriwal has been receiving regular calls from such families. “They share their harrowing tales. With each member wanting to grab the single laptop for their works, it triggers the tussle.

“The other reason is husbands find it difficult to see wives attending office work full-time at home, ignoring him and the children. It’s adding to the strain. Housewives too are getting affected seeing everyone busy in home, except herself”.

Coronavirus has changed the whole scenario. It’s sure that world won’t be same post- Covid-19. Laptops and phones will definitely be the new essentials. Hence, would need self-discipline to use these gadgets.

“Time management is something that we have got to learn and also children learn that,” she said.

But that’s not all. Over screen exposure would also turn children into gadget addicts and cause sleep deprivation among them due to multi-media addiction. “Achieving the difficult life balances is the need of hour,” Dr Papriwal says adding, “each family member should work out to kill the panic blues and anxiety.”  (Agency)

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