“Social” Media, “Anti-Social” Us #june

“Social” Media, “Anti-Social” Us #june

“We checked in The Trident, Udaipur”: Facebook Status was uploaded as the group entered the Hotel.

“Food can never break your heart”: Instagram Food porn was updated as the group started on the dinner table.

“The Palace and its beauty”: The video was uploaded on YouTube channel as the group paraded through the Palace.

“Let’s maintain the Snapchat streak”- The people talked among themselves as they sat near the Lake.

“Oh did you see the meme. This is SOOOOO HASHTAG US. Oh no? Didn’t you? Wait I’ll tag you” – They conversed as their cab took them past the countryside.

And I know, it won’t be long before they might just update

“I am dead. Resting in peace in my grave. It’s a funny lil dark place”

Because, you know, people should know what is going on in our lives.

Even if our friend sitting right beside us, doesn’t.

The web of social media has clasped its strings all around our real life. More than the homo sapien sitting in front of us, we are worried about the homo sapien miles from us, not coming online when we’ve sent them a very relatable meme.

More than taking care of our parents, we are worried about how good and viral our mother’s day selfie will be.

More than sitting and chatting on a reunion, we are clicking photos and updating our status “#reunion #bestfriendsforever”.

A vibration in our phone makes our heart hammer against our chest, thinking who might have texted us, much more than an ambulance going in front of us ever did.

We are more imbibed in sending “:D :D” (imagine appropriate emoji) on our WhatsApp group, rather than laughing with our friends. Emotions have been replaced by emoticons.

Lost are those days, when even if a call costed 20rs, we chatted with our friends for an hour. And now? Even with the advent of free voice calls, we like tagging them into memories rather than picking up our phone and calling them.

Social media promised us to get us connected with millions. But, it did not give us a statutory warning, that it was ‘disconnecting us with those right in front of us’. Thus, making us anti-social.

Do you remember when some years back, you weren’t sleepy at night? What did you do?

Probably read a book, counted stars or thought about something and slept. And now, if a night comes, when you can’t sleep, You’ll search for a friend online to chat. Now two cases might happen:

1. If you find them, you’ll chat with them. The next time, again when you’re not sleepy, you’ll chat with them. Continuous chatting, 2 AM stuff are prerequisites of what we called attachment. And one day, when the same person would not be there at 2 AM you’ll feel lonely and sad, and probably the whole universe will conspire to tell you how empty your life is.

2. You might not find someone to chat. And then you’ll think of each and every soul, who you were friends with and over think how they all have forgotten you and you have no real friends, while it is very much possible that they might have a valid reason that hour for not talking to you.

What I am trying to convey with this small example is, on a pretext of connecting us to millions, social media disconnected us with our own self and at times made us feel how lonely we were.

We got swallowed in the world of Instagram updates, and Facebook stories that we forgot to chat with our cousins for an hour without even touching our phone to see what story our friend has sent us from miles away.

The trip to the Maldives today is not about going and enjoying the beach, it is rather about buying a new floral dress and twirling on the beach for getting thousands of views.

Instead of ‘Living the moment’ we are getting engrossed in ‘Posting the moment ‘.

It won’t be late before all of us start living in the virtual world itself, waking up on Facebook and sleeping with Twitter, passing the day eating food porn on Instagram and laughing on the memes!

So, before it is too late, come out of the phone screen and observe the environment around before you forget that there is a sun, and it rises in the west and sets in the east. (Oh wait!!)

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Arunima Khunteta
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