Life in our Lives
Back in the 80s, in the era of Michael Jackson and discotheques, my father asked a colleague of his out on a date by writing down the time, date and name of the cafe at which he’ll be waiting, the following weekend. The weekend arrived and so did the woman and the date went on smoothly. Now, the notable thing here isn’t that the 80s were fun but the fact that one of the most exhilarating and anxiety-inducing questions was asked and answered with a 3-day buffer period without any WhatsApp blue ticks or even a facility of confirmation via a personal phone call. In today’s world of Tinder – left and right swipes, the anxiety, exhilaration and thrill experienced in those three days are unimaginable.
We are relinquished from the exuberance of life gained by simple day to day activities. Today, the mark of any social expedition or gathering is not the company, the activity, the food or the conversations, it is the selfies and Instagram worthy photoshoots and the number of likes gained on a virtual platform. Somewhere down the line, we started saying the phrase “pictures or it didn’t happen” and imbibed it too. For example, before experiencing a new cafe or a pub we dilute our experience and sense of adventure by researching the said place as if we’re writing a thesis on the same and diminish any sense of wonder and excitement to be experienced in the anticipation. We no longer listen to music and immerse ourselves in poetry, we watch the music videos all the while scrolling through YouTube suggestions for the next song which we’ll select even before the current one is halfway through and read comments of other people on the same. That is, assuming this is one of those rare times when we haven’t switched apps completely and the music is not just being used to fill the silence that prevails while we scroll through our phones. The examples are endless, the life in question, however, is only one.
So, is it the end of times, is the life in our lives truly diminished or am I just a naysayer? I believe it’s a bit of both. The facilities and tools available to us as a generation are unparalleled, there is no limit on the possibilities of our achievements and we are moving forward as a society. The only possible chink in the armour is the small matter of physical experience of life, this can be solved by mindful digital consumption and active efforts to maximize our experiences of the present.