The Lonely Children
Robots, it is now being feared, will replace humans at workplace. Why only at workplace, they will replace humans everywhere, even in families. A very appropriate depiction of this was given in the popular movie Robot in which Rajnikanth’s lookalike robot falls in love with the leading lady, Aishwarya Rai.
Already we are now finding chat bots replace receptionists and there are sex bots, too, on the anvil ready to replace spouses. And mind you, the idea is not farfetched. Artificial intelligence is not only creating artificial people but artificial emotions too. The signs are already there in society as we find people obsessed with themselves. It is ‘I, me and myself’, and my electronic gadget. From gregarious socialite to the lonely individualistic — human beings have ceased to be human. The killer instinct that competition and technology developed seems to boomerang. At this rate, a time will come when humans will forget to behave like humans. Some kind of desocialisation process has already been set in motion.
The one dangerous outcome of this process has been the lonely children. As they crave for company and emotional stroking, their frustrations mount when they get none. In social transactions, stroking plays a crucial role. A stroke in transaction analysis language is a unit of recognition, when one person recognises another person either verbally or non-verbally. It is a critical determinant of child development. But in modern times, this stroking is missing. The Blue Whale deaths of children are fair enough indication that the human being has become an emotional wreck. The children are lonely, depressed, and melancholic. The emotional sensitivity is so high that they break down and end their lives. The gaming world has replaced the real world, leading to a strange psychological syndrome. A mix of depression and fantasy, which earlier did not go together. But the combination today is a new hybrid that is proving lethal. The games are not bloody. The guys are becoming bloody. Perversions are on the rise and tendencies like sadism and masochism, the propensity to inflict pain on others, or on oneself are on the rise.
The result is that the virtual world is causing real deaths. What causes this is not far to seek. It is a simple case of emotional disequilibrium. Despite all the advances of science and technology, the basic emotional mix of human being comprises the essential ingredients of love, hate, and rage. The positive being love and the negative ones being hate and rage. Other emotions are gradually learnt. The problem today is that the positive content, that is love, is slowly diminishing as people are too confined to themselves. Love and emotional stroking is a basic requirement of healthy personality development and when that is insufficient, negative tendencies rise. The dreaded outcomes of the online suicide games are a result of this. Children easily fall prey to this because of their emotional instability and premature thinking. They are more gullible and become victims of such self-harm and suicide games. The question is where do we go from here? There is only one answer. The human beings to remain human need to be loved. A love-starved human is a wild, enraged beast. It is love that makes a beast a human. The sooner we realise this the better. Particularly parents who have also of late started behaving like chat bots.
The writer is a professor of management and public speaker. He can be reached at email@example.com
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