Monday, December 14, 2015

The Loneliness of the Connected?

I’m not a phone person. Don’t get me wrong. I’m mostly surgically attached to my phone giving fodder to the husband for his countless number of jokes entirely at my expense. I use it to tweet and check updates and delete WhatsApp forwards. I am incapable of having long conversations on the phone. I have to remind myself again and again to fix a time slot to make that call.  Before I can say ‘eesh’ I realize it has slipped my mind yet again and it’s dial another day.

For someone so vocal, I often run out of things to say in just two minutes. And for someone’s who’s a gainfully unemployed ‘web columnist’, I am always short of time.

Strangely I am not alone in my fear of the dial function of the phone. I often see people share similar sentiments on social media. It’s a space where we have conversations with ourselves and hope that someone will eavesdrop. A community where people wear their lack of social skills like a badge of honour but have no qualms in pouring their hearts out to complete strangers.  Couples declare undying love for each other in public and quarrel in private. Parents get to tell the world how talented, bright their offspring is. Everyone is trying to convince each other how blessed they are.

When I was growing up, my Mother’s idea of pep-talk was telling me how talented, bright, obedient Mrs X Mrs Y and Mrs Z’s children were and I was doing nothing about it. In fact, the more your parents loved you, the more you got reprimanded by them. I still get scolded by my Mom for not calling her enough, for not bothering to keep in touch with Uncles and Aunties I once so loved.

I can’t because I feel emotionally distant from my Uncles Aunts and cousins, who were once such an important part of my growing-up years. All my happy memories are huddled in the summer breaks I spent with my cousins, with no television, no Internet to distract us.  I would cry (sometimes in front of the mirror to feel doubly miserable) every time we had to go back home. 

To continue reading, please click here   

http://www.ourstories.org.in/the-loneliness-of-the-connected/




29 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think almost everybody from gen X will identify with the feelings you have shared! Technology and social media has created an artificial world of personal interactions laced with likes, shares, emojis and what not. It is not like overnight human interactions have become morbid....it is probably an extension of our own feelings...we have realised the need to cut down on pretenses and extend our real selves only to those that really matter to us! It is in these pretend relations that social media helps us out, to maintain some sense of acceptable social behaviour even with the 'undesirables'! I could probably end up commenting pages on this post that is close to my heart....but I'll curtail it to say...a thought-provoking and insightful post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On social media we mostly hear what we'd like to hear, are friends with those who say nice things and have the felicity of blocking the undesirable.

      Delete
  3. Like most, I identify with everything you say here. I am not a phone person either, even though the phone is an 24/7 companion. And social media is a blessing for me. I can log in and log out, no questions asked. Connected yet so disconnected, it's almost ironical.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The virtual space has distanced hearts. Over dependence on technology has spurred the process of alienation. However, if we realize the banes of marrying isolation then we should start introspecting about how to once again rejuvenate our gregarious self. I suppose it needs certain amount of self discipline to be offline for a certain number of hours a day. Notwithstanding, I have come to know of someone who is so averse to technology that connecting with him in exigency is also a hard task. He doesn't believe in mobiles, kindle or laptop. How does he spend his days? Gardening, taking care of pets, reading and I suppose a little bit of socializing as well. Surprised? I think our greatest fear is that if we do not connect on the virualscape we shall be missing out on so much fun and may be looked down upon by the peer group. So, the best is to follow the bandwagon. Also, there is that sense of urgency which propels us to believe that if we are not online then we lose touch with the world. Flip side of globalization? The answer lies in the way today's essentials are projected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's as if we no longer know what to do with our free time. It's this need to be constantly engaged is a trend that's worrisome. But I'm sure there will come a time when smartphones will be the new uncool and the herd mentality will ensure that our overdependence on technology will die a slow death.

      Wishful thinking? I hope not.

      Delete
  5. Do you think we can go back to those days of happiness without the Internet and smartphones?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mobile service providers are trying their best with their lousy network.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Having been in both era's of no internet at home to high speed internet, the next generation would not like the idea of no mobiles/ tablets and internet. The maximum one could survive without the touch of techonology is 5 minutes, umm... including me.

    LOL @ Mobile services trying their best with their lousy network. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have. And it wasn't as bad as I had imagined.

      Delete
  8. Oh the happiness of owning the latest smartphone is such a sad state of affairs na! Explicitly written Purba.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Touched a chord on being emotionally unconnected with relatives - They dont get me and neither do I, so whats the point of 'khejure alap' ??

    www.myunfinishedlife.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. The more 'connected' we are , the more disconnected we seem to be.
    I'm one of those people who wears that tag of ' being a lousy in person' communicator quite proudly - and as much as I agree that technology has its downsides and has made us all permanently 'phone-eyed', as with most other things, I'm just trying to take some positives and go with it; like I met Vinita for the first time for the bloggers meet in Goa;but because we'd interacted so much over the phone and Fb/Twitter - the conversation just flew so easy; technology can be a good ice breaker - but it can be a good mood ruiner too.

    GreaT post, as usual, Purba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the more we share, the less people care :-)

      Thanks for reading, Sid.

      Delete
  11. Ah, I know what you mean, Purba. I long for simplicity and closeness in relationships yet I treasure my privacy and space ferociously. I love technology and what it offers us all but hate it when are people are consumed by their phones. I think it is a losing battle. We can't have one without the other. Lovely post this. I do like these pensive, thought-provoking posts of yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I owe my passion for writing, 'my little fame' and a fabulous set of friends to the Internet. But I hate it when I'm able to disconnect.

      Delete
  12. :) oh boy now where do i start the amount of SCOLDING messages i get .. "Where are you", "why not responding", "you forgotten us " etc etc etc ..

    Since the last few years I have MOVED away from the mobile phones, I thought i was getting too engrossed in it .. so now I only use it when i have to call someone .. maybe a sign i am getting old... but I long for that human voice, rather then READ what is written.


    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you have gotten your priorities right. We often end up doing what others expect us to do and end up feeling resentful.

      Delete
  13. We have become solitary and loners in our ways, and are picky about people we share our time and space with. But,I feel that it is also the inherent nature of a person that guides his actions and not just the environment/setting/times he/she has been brought up in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can only write based on my experiences. I feel we are friendly with many but friends with a very few. On top of that technology has made sure we don't need to step out for emotional succour or entertainment.

      A lot of us live in castles of our own making.

      Delete
  14. A fab post on how tech has altered our lives and staying in our comfortable cocoon. These days, I am trying to cut off from social media and gadget. It's so soothing and peaceful. Guess, being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love visiting ur blog...
    Ur words always inspires me :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. One of those posts Purba, where I see a glimpse of the person behind :) You have brought out the dichotomy of our so called "connectedness" so well. I was never this possessive about "my space" and what you say is so true..the reality of our "connected" lives these days.Are we moving forward or backward as humans I wonder.

    ReplyDelete

Psst... let me know what you are thinking.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...