“Smile Betty Smile. Hold your cheeks and stretch your lips. That’s how you smile.”
This was how the robots were reminding Betty to smile again and again in the virtual setting of the play “Betty and her Feast” directed by a very dear friend of mine, Ish Amitoj Kaur. (The Theatre Factory)
Ish and Betty got me thinking. Is this really the future that we are bringing to our kids? The future where our kids will long for a true friend. A friend that they can share their feelings with, they can play with, they can fight with, they can work with, more importantly a friend who’s just not virtual on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – A Real Friend!
Being an educator by profession I come across high schoolers who are very proficient and comfortable in talking and connecting with their 500 friends online. But when it comes to introducing themselves to class of 30 students, they can’t seem to find the words. Self reflecting, making emotional connections is so hard for these young people who are hooked on to their smart-devices 24X7.
When was the last time we called someone to wish them a birthday, or an anniversary. It’s all through posting messages and clicking ‘send’. That interpersonal relationship is missing nowadays.
The message that Ish was trying to get across the room, through her one-act play was – for our children truly to become successful personally, socially and academically, we all need to start connecting emotionally. We need to stop looking at our smartphones and smarten up by looking within ourselves and among one another!
Some great shots from the play –