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I remember during the early 80s, a late evening news broadcast in one TV station always started with its familiar greet, “It is now 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?” and that tells a lot.

There were still no internet and cellular phones then, so that in most parts of the country, especially in the provinces, ten o’clock was near-time for one to hit the sack. Unlike in the cities, where the night life of entertainment was just revving up, the only pastime for those in the outskirts mostly revolved around the TV. There at exactly Ten of the clock, one was offered a short review of what had transpired during the day and it would be reported by either a serious bespectacled man in black suit or a pretty middle-aged telecaster. That was pretty much the template of every late evening, a drab version of a night cap.
Outside, practically all the stores would have already closed and the streets already empty of people so that ‘Do you know where the children are’ felt more like a question meant for only a very few. True enough, most of the younger generation would have already turned in by then, long-finished with their homework and house chores. In all, during the 80s, a simpler life.

Now, with the advent of ultra-modern technology, spearheaded by the internet, the smart cellular phones, GPS, and all the whatchamacallit attached to it, the ease by which we’ve made every single chore down have all but supplanted what was what we then-called the simple life. After all, one could say we’ve simplified everything and cut down lengthy processes on almost all we have been doing in the past.

I recall during the late 80s, the growing office files I have typed on a day to day had already began to consume boxes upon boxes of floppy disks. For me, I thought it began to resemble a miniature library. Amusingly today, all that fit in a tiny chip smaller than my fingernail.

Going back to that old tag of many years go “do you know where your children are”, it can now be simply cut by sending a short text message to them. Thus, “Where are you?” is unceremoniously slashed and transformed into a deadpan of merely three letters, WRU?

Funny as all these may seem, I wish it were that simple. Deep inside, we have likewise changed along with everything around us. Clearly, how we look at ourselves and more importantly, treat others have become altered by the very modernity we’ve fashioned. It’s not hard noticing, a collective apathy consumes much of headlines so that, WRU remains as still the most pertinent question to ask.

It’s ironic that despite all the knowledge now at our fingertips, teaching best behavior, for one, appears lost and no one seems to be calling for it. It is here that sadly, our ten o’clock version of the news today portrays us as living in a spiral of decay amid the brash tech that has become our endo-skeleton. To ask again, where are You? We still have no answer.


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