15 February, 2021
Non-Screen Entertainment Options
Many people have fallen prey to screen addiction, especially during the pandemic, when even schools started online classes. We are addicted to various screens: phone, TV, laptop, e-reader, tablet, etc. Incidentally, screen time has been associated with many health issues, for quite some time now. Unfortunately, though, the pandemic, perhaps, complicated matters, especially for the seniors. With most active seniors forbidden from stepping out, many turned to more screen time in their quest for passing the time. Entertainment options like TV, OTT, WhatsApp and YouTube videos, etc. became common escapades for them.
This has definitely led to many health issues among the senior population, including mental health issues. Scientists have linked increased screen time to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, bad dietary patterns, reduced sleep time or disturbed sleep patterns, etc. Depending on the amount of time, the screen and the posture, many also have chronic neck and back pain. It is a proven fact that the light emitted from the screens interferes with our brain’s sleep cycle and causes poor sleep. However, most people get used to watching TV till they go to sleep and then, end up with a night of insufficient sleep. Is there an escape from the screen time and some alternate entertainment options that can be explored?
There was a time when radio used to be the only entertainment option. However, with the advent of TV and the Internet, the notion of entertainment changed. This leads to the death of radio in India in many ways, at least in the urban areas. Few people know that radio has reached a staggering 99% of the Indian population. It is estimated that there are 100 million radio users in India and penetrated almost all the remote corners.
The All India Radio and it's Akash Vani are still very popular among a vast population. Radio entertainment was revived in India through private radio channels which have now become a rage. Radio Jockeys are hugely popular, much like the other stars, and it is a much-coveted job. It started with Radio City, Bangalore in 2001, many private radio channels are broadcasting multiple programs throughout the day. These programs are not just providing entertainment, but also provide important information to people far and wide. Also, for the urban commuters who often spend three to four hours on the road, this is the biggest entertainment source. The PM’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ was a great idea through which he reaches out to the mass population in India through an All India Radio program.
As it is called, the importance of FM radio is evident from the fact that most mobile phones also come with the FM option. A standalone radio can be purchased for as less as 50 rupees, and thus, it becomes the cheapest form of entertainment. Radio City, Radio Mirchi, Big FM, Red FM, Radio One, Fever 104, are just a few examples of India's various TV channels today.
Apart from the live chat shows which the radio jockeys run mixed up with music, these radio channels have fascinating podcasts. These cover chat shows with eminent people and the topics range from health, science, history, politics, societal issues, comedy, hobbies, food, and more. They even talk about employment opportunities or give out a warning about traffic jams in a city. All important events are covered through the shows, and the best part is that it is available in regional languages. Radio content is available in almost all the languages prevalent in India.
In fact, a few popular movies like Lage Raho Munna Bhai, and Tumhari Sulu are examples of how important the radio industry is and its impact on the Indian population. To avoid too much screen time, it is good to explore the various options available on the radio, listen to some music of your choice, or some podcasts on your topic of interest. Listening to what you like can put you in a good mood and keep you healthy. Also, since you can walk around while listening, you are not confined to a spot and can be physically active as well.
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