Thirty notifications, three friend requests, five messages, 10 more followers, stories seen by 350, 4 re-tweets and what not. It would be strange to find anyone staying away from all these. Imagine the time when the cell phone was rare and so was the Internet. We are so much into this wireless device that we can’t imagine a world that is not digitised.
My mum has a hard time using many features of a cell phone while my niece needs one even during lunch because she refuses to take a bite without watching the cartoons on YouTube. Seeing all this, at times I wonder how people managed to enjoy themselves when gadgets were not that handy. How has creating memories changed with change in technology? Memories actually have become stories nowadays, thanks to the social sites, which help us to get the digital version of them. Just click any event that comes your way, and everybody can become a journalist, a news reporter, a sensation.
Meetings used to be full of conversations and good food. Hiking was about getting close to nature and feeling the fresh air. News would be a matter of facts and figures. Friendship was about warm hugs and sharing secrets. Love was about all those cute little gestures and efforts to make things worthy. Feelings and experiences were abstract then rather than materialistic. It was about appreciating the trivial things in life that made our heart grow fonder.
Things haven’t changed maybe, but the ways have. Meetings are about good food and countless clicking of pictures to post them on the social media to let others feel that you are having a good time. But where has the conversation gone? Hiking is about getting close to nature for a good shot, but not about taking fresh air. Friendship is more about taking the best selfie to cherish it later than enjoying it at the present. Today love is about changing the relationship status with adorable captions and bashing your partner for being hurt the next day.
But there is the bright side also. No need to wait for the letters that would arrive in months. With just a click, you get to see them and talk to them. The world has indeed become smaller.
The term ‘social-sites’ itself is so vast that one can write volumes of books regarding the technology that has brought change in our lives. Technology connects us and isolates us at the same time. At the end of the day, I keep wondering if it really is a boon or a bane.
A version of this article appears in print on November 05, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.