Author’s note:- This is a short story, unlike my previous works, which were articles. This is a short story with a precious message in it. Science and technology are considered as one of world’s best inventions, but nowadays it is crossing the limits. We are supposed to be the masters of technology and science and not the slaves of technology and science.
My name is Ryan MacArthur. I am journalist in a famous company and I lead a normal journalist life. As usual, I am a busy guy. As I am a journalist, I will have to go to certain places in any time of the day. Sometimes I will have to work 24*7. After all, that is my job’s nature. On the other hand, I am married and father of two. I don’t get much time for them, and my wife complaints a lot about it.
It was already 2 AM when I returned yesterday. I was surprised to see that my wife was sitting at the dining table, half asleep.
“Why are you awake at this point of the night? I thought you must have slept. You usually sleep at 11 ‘O’ clock, don’t you?”, I asked her
“Don’t think of me, but think of your children”, she said, getting directly into the topic.
“You are here, that’s enough”, I always tried to argue, but was of no use.
“Do you want your children to grow without the presence of their dad? They are not even getting to see you”
“But that’s a part of my job, I will have to go to work early and return late”
This continued as an argument for two years. But things were getting more serious. My wife started more and more pressure on me.
“OK, what do you want me to do?” I asked her.
“You have to talk to your boss. He will definitely consider your request”, she said.
I had no choice other than talking to my boss. He considered me as a loyal worker and I knew he will not want me to step down.
“You are one of the most experienced journalists we have, we can’t let a person like you go”, my boss said. I expected a reaction like this from him.
“But boss, my children are at their ‘molding-up’ stages and my wife wants me to be with them”
“Why don’t you try convincing you wife about your job and your importance to company”
“I tried boss, but…”
My boss interrupted me before I could complete. He must have understood what I was about to say.
“OK, let’s make a compromise. You will not have to work like you do now. You will only have to work half the time you used to work. And your pay will be lowered by 50%. And one more thing, you will have to take classes for our new kids in the business. And don’t worry, you will have extra pay for that”, at last my boss agreed.
My new pay will only be just enough to live a month successfully. But, I was relieved that my Mrs. will be happy about my decision.
I was appointed the duty of dropping the kids at school and also picking them up from school. I was surprised to see, both of my children, who were studying in 7th and 10th grade respectively, using cell phones.
“Oh, you guys use phones at such a young age? In my generation, I had to buy my cell phone with my own money. Which phone do you use, Cindy?”, I asked my younger kid.
“Samsung note 4”, she replied.
“What about you, Jamie?”, I asked my elder son.
“iPhone 6”, he replied.
I never saw any of them looking up from their phones until we reached home.
I had some office work to do, saw I went to my room and opened my laptop to do my work.
When I came out of my room, I was expecting to see my children play outside with the neighbor’s children, but I was totally wrong. My son was playing PlayStation and my daughter was in front of the laptop, watching a movie. I was surprised to see my wife even was on the phone, gossiping with some other woman. I was frustrated with this sight, but I kept it to myself. I went to library room and started reading the newspaper. But I couldn’t concentrate. I sacrificed my job to spend time with my family, not to see my whole family sitting addicted to technology.
“I have always hated science and technology”, I said to myself.
Even the front page of the newspaper was filled with all these iPhone and Samsung ads.
I went outside my house and sat in a chair. I was happy to see my wife coming towards me. She sat in a chair besides me.
“It is a nice day, isn’t it?”, I asked, in order to start a conversation.
“Yes. It is indeed…”
The bloody phone rang again before she completed the sentence.
“Wait a sec”, she said to me and she walked inside the house.
I did not see any of my family members until dinner. Jamie came to me not to talk about anything, but to call me for the dinner. And that time too, he had his phone in his hand.
When I walked to the dinner table, I saw a tab sitting on the table. Suddenly something came into my mind. A flashback! That day when my wife told me “Don’t think of me, but think of your children”. The tab was placed in the same pace where Licy, my wife, was sitting that night, or rather that morning.
I was lucky that my boss did not let me quit my job. If I had quit my job that day, I would have been forced to see this ‘technology era’, whole day long.
NB:- This short story is not any fight against technology and science, but it is a fight against addiction to technology and science. The sights seen in this story are the scenes that we don’t want to see in real life.