Peace Out, Bro.

Do you remember the time when as kids we would shut our ears, stick our tongue out and make weird sounds to signal that we have stopped listening to the other side, when in an argument? Well, blocking people on social media is exactly just that.

I remember the era when internet would take ages to connect with that peculiar voosh-voosh sound, and if and when it did, by the time it would even manage to open my email – which obviously had nothing urgent or important or mail – my time was up. Then with Orkut, it just sort of replaced our slam books and scrap books. With the overwhelming information that Google had to offer, it soon was sought out as more of an educational tool than a recreational one.

Internet had expanded our chance of having discussions, making informed opinions/decisions, but it also has given us the liberty of shutting the screen, switching off/or between tabs, and blocking anything or everything that challenges our views.

Internet was also a potential prospect of meeting with like-minded people. No, I am not talking about Tinder, d’uh! But, we become aware of other people who also are blocking the same things/views/people as us, and suddenly that gives a great power to our thought, ingrains it into us more than ever, and we block other views with renewed zest and enthusiasm. This is sort of leading to a “cult” culture over every opinion that we have.

putting-your-opinion-out-on-the-internet-is-frowned-upon-meme

So today it is very difficult to just say anything you feel like about any issue. Because the moment you open your mouth, you are either a bhakt, or an AAPtard, or just downright stupid. Either you are a feminist or a chauvinist. You become a libtard, right-winger, anti-national, intolerant or Pakistani even before you completely keep your point.  If you are against Trump, you are pro-Hillary. If you are against Hillary, you are pro-Trump. You are racist, body-shammer, islamophobic, or ….and if you aren’t one of these my-way-or-the-highway kind of peeps, then you are just ay!

This is now not only the story of the internet, but also in the outside-social-media life. The recent elections in America or Brexit has proved that we all are living a (judgmental) bubble of our own. But we forget that a bubble doesn’t even need something as sharp as a needle to burst, you know! And well, it has.

This change has been quite drastic, and rather too rapid for my liking. Of course, “change” has various connotations today, and I am not talking about the new prevalent – Do you have a change for 1000? – Kind of change. But, change must be such that it does not eliminate people or their ideas. Because this majoritarian attitude will only reduce our way of life to an idiot mechanism. As Shiv Visvanathan puts it – The change we need is a change in the idea of change itself.

Well, I am going to begin with not thinking that Indians who celebrated Thanksgiving have less IQ than the stuffed turkey on the table. Peace.

Scroll

XX-Cartoons-Ironically-Showing-Our-Smartphone-Addiction__605You swipe left. You swipe right. You check your Facebook feed. You scroll through your twitter timeline. In the meantime, you receive a few good morning messages. As if text chat wasn’t enough, you snapchat. You read some breaking news about a leading actress-turned-black magician. You keep your apps open. You close your life.

You eat while scrolling. You scroll while eating. You wake up, and scroll. You scroll before sleeping. You look around, and everyone is scrolling. You see a beggar, you witness an accident. You want to help, but instead you click and upload. You fish for likes, you want approval. You are oh so cool. And then you go back to scrolling – scrolling your life away.

Do you know the feeling when the roller coaster stops and you are still, but the world is still moving? I am perpetually in that state! The world is moving too fast- change is too hurried. Even before one adopts and adapts to change, it has changed already. And may be twice. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say, our maps and world view are out of date because the world is changing really rather fast.

More and more it feels like our lives have turned into a gruelling race towards a finish line we never reach.  Curiously, there has been very scant discussion about this dramatic speed-up of society. People may complain about how busy they are, how over-loaded modern life has become, but speed is viewed as generally positive – something that will help us enrich our life.

tb538ea_Boy-that-escalated-quicklyWhen I say the world is changing, I am speaking about every single aspect. From the literal sense of the planet Earth changing, to the people, the mentalities, the beliefs, the cultures, the technology, and the most important one: purpose. People have lost the sense of purpose, putting them in situations of utter confusion. We do not have time to sit and think about life amidst all this conundrum!

Having all the information on your fingertip kills the surprise element of our life. By the time kids are 25, they have been witness to everything that can be experienced by body and mind! Nature of the mind is such that it is always looking for newer experiences, something unique to keep it going!

In this age of high-speed internet, way too much information is thrown at you. There is a simulator for every kind of experience that there is. One knows how a different part of the world looks like, how the cosmos looks like just by sitting in their room! There are no revelations, no secrets, no privacy, and no novelty in this day and age. As one theory states – Don’t be surprised if suicides increase henceforth. Because the mind may want to explore beyond death, with the death of curiosities in this lifetime.

To sum up, I will use the last few lines of one of my most cherished poems by David Weatherford,

“When you run so fast, to get somewhere – you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music, before the song is over.”