#NoMobileKnowFamily: Know how a Mumbai family balances life offline

Today, ‘Family Time’ is a concept that’s almost dead. However, as our campaign on #NoMobileKnowFamily proposes, more and more family have taken to ditch their smartphones as they step inside their homes to make the family feel extra special. Likewise, Sawants from Mumbai, make it a point to put down their phones when they are together

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Most of our parents would agree that in their times, returning back after a hard day’s work meant sitting with the family and chatting about the whole day at office, school, college or so. However, that seems difficult now.

But, Sawants from Mumbai are giving us bonding goals by keeping up this tradition. Apurva Sawanat (28) is a media professional staying in Kandiviali. They are a happy family of five – Apurva, her father Sudhakar, mother Samata, brother yogesh and his wife Vaidehi, with just one condition as you enter their house- “Mobile phones should be kept as far as possible.”

“I make sure that when I reach home. I put down my phone. This is a ritual we all follow. We sit together and have dinner every day. So, we make sure that we do not use mobile phones and give importance to each other, listen to each other and discuss on various issues.  We all believe in spending a quality time with family. My father stresses on the importance the same. Moreover, continuous usage of mobile can take a toll on your health,” said Apurva.

Sudhakar Sawant, Apurva’s father said, “It is important to keep aside the phone and spend quality time with the family.  We always try and spend as much time as we can. It allows the easy flow of communication. Also, it is essential to strengthen the relationships.”

Apurva further said, “My mother Samata Sawant emphasises on cutting down the use of cell phones. It can help the family members to understand each other and also to lead a positive and a healthy life. I appeal people to follow a ‘gadget-free’ family time and reconnect with each other.”

Many experts too, follow this routine. “I strictly follow the routine of ‘no screen-time’ after 9pm.  My phone, laptop and every other gadget is unavailable. I spend the time with my family,” said Dr Sagar Karia, psychiatrist at Sion Hospital and LTMG College and secretary of Bombay Psychiatric Society.

Communication is, perhaps the most important ingredient of a happy family. Until the last two decades, family get-togethers were not about the urgency to update WhatApp status or eating out with family was not necessarily about uploading the picture on Facebook. All of this is not necessarily a bad thing however it is sure an obsession we are heading to.

Dr Om Prakash Singh
Dr Om Prakash Singh

Dr Om Prakash Singh, Assoc Professor, institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) said, “Parents should decide about the mobile usage. Mobile is needed for work purpose. But, we should think about how much we should use. Mobile is not allowed in my daughter’s school.  If they spot students carrying phone, they confiscate it. So, all the schools should make it a rule. Mobile is the need of the hour, but it is not important than our family.”

Almost nothing can replace face to face communication. Communication relies strongly on non-verbal gestures and eye contact.  Although communication with gadgets is more useful in terms of space and time but it has not been able to reach the emotional satisfaction level.

Speaking about My Medical Mantra’s campaign #NoMobileKnowFamily, celebrities have  put forth their opinions and have appealed people to opt for a gadget-free’ family time.

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Actor Amol Kolhe

According to actor Dr Amol Kolhe, “No one should use phone while they are with their family. Not even parents, as the kids can feel insecure and this can make the child aggressive. So, parents should pay attention towards it. While I am at home, I avoid using my cell phone.”

Priya Banerjee
Priya Banerjee

Actress Priya Banerjee said, “Mobiles and technology has definitely taken over our lives! Due to it, we tend to ignore the important things in life and we don’t even realise it. I’m not going to deny that I myself end up using my phone a lot. But, when I am with my family and close friends, I make a conscious effort to keep my phone away. Also, cell phones have a negative impact on the health.”