“Hi how are you.. long time no see” – was written on my wall.. no not on my office wall. It’s the wall on my FB! Well that’s where all our social lives are restricted to these days. I particularly use the word ‘restricted’ here because I feel so. Confined within those three things—using the keyboard to type a message, using the mouse to go click click… and of course the monitor that I am glued to, all day long. I ponder—are we really obsessed with social networking? Or are we in love with the use of technology (read Internet)?
A few months back, I went to my hometown for a good friend’s wedding. The last minute packing of bags and catching a flight to Guwahati was something I have done a dozen times. The excitement that creeps in can only be understood who stay away from their families.
But with time this excitement has dwindled. I wonder why? May be this is the price we pay for living in a metro. There is not much time to get excited, especially with work pressure and managing everything on your own—are things that we keep cribbing about and sad but true these are the excuses we give when politely being told that we don’t keep in touch with our near and dear ones.
I remember my early days in the city when I was a nervous teenager with that spark in my eyes to make a mark in the world. ‘Time has flown at rocket speed’ something we keep saying. I have lost contact with a lot of friends ‘otherwise’, apart from the fact that we keep in touch through social networking sites and Gtalk!
I ask why?
We had shared such closeness at some point in time. And now we do not have the time to make an occasional call. We know that we have the time, but that effort no longer exists. Why is it that my mom has to tell me to call up some people when I arrive at home town? Maybe I don’t feel that closeness to these people any longer.
But I wonder how my small town relatives still have that warmth in the way they welcome me each time I visit that place. They never forget to call me up minutes after I reach home. The kind of love they show I know, it’s nowhere close to being fake. Social networking happens without any Internet connection for them!
It’s not that they are the idlest people on earth. They have jobs, have families to look after. But the kind of warmth that these small towns and cities evoke is amazing.
I have started feeling ashamed that somewhere down these years I have lost that feeling of attachment. I feel detached like a soul on a journey and experiencing the world as it is without any emotional attachment. And for us social networking aka socializing is on the Internet! Society has become virtual for us. We have forgotten how we used to live. We don’t know our neighbors. We won’t even know if they are murdered some day. But yes, on the Internet we are active social beings. And we are happy stating what’s on our mind and love to share with the world out there. Reason: it’s hip to do so! And yes it is cool and also it is what every other person is doing.
But down somewhere we have forgotten the basic tenets of being a human being who is a social being. We have forgotten how to be social without social media. Being warm to people otherwise, appreciating someone, apart from clicking on the ‘like’ tab on someone’s photos/status messages, knowing about our neighbors and friends outside the realm of the virtual world—are things of the past.
All this holds true for all the people of my age group. I am also part of it… part of this virtual world. But I think somewhere in our quest to go virtual and in our drive to ‘connect’ all the time, we have forgotten the good old ways of socializing. We have forgotten simple pleasures of life.
May be that’s the price we pay for being ultra busy in our Mecca (read metros)!