Thursday, November 1, 2007

(Dis)connectivity

India has over 200 million subscribers to mobile telephony... and this number is fast growing. In a country where just a decade ago, STD/ISD calls had to be booked well in advance, words had to be shouted into the mouthpiece, and minutes counted by rupees, now making a call even to the U.S costs a meagre 3-5 rupees a minute.

Surprising then, that in the age of connectivity, we are in fact, Dis connected. Dis connected from each others feelings and emotions, disconnected from the joy of receiving a long distance call after ages... these things are just an everyday affair now. Oh there are so many things I'm trying to say here. I'm just a tad bit melancholy about how sms's have replaced phone calls, how emails have replaced hand written letters and hugs and kisses are replaced by brackets and symbols. I had pen pals, some old friends from school with whom i kept in touch via letters and cards regularly. What even i now regard as tedious was actually a time of the week i used to await - when i would open my (Often Archie stationary) letter pad and start with a "Hope this letter finds you in the best of health". Surprisingly, we are all on each others orkut/facebook etc but more out of touch than then. True that there are other attributes that factor in to drifting away, but coming back to what i said in the first place.. we are connected (Orkut is a social networking tool that blah blah..) and all that, but at the same time we aren't!

Sms, email, fast food, one min photos, super fast trains, Mum-London direct flights, are all efforts to condense time required for these mundane activities. But what do we do with this extra time? Living in Mumbai, we spend most of our time travelling or working, How many of us take the time to spend on ourselves? and family? I for one, catch up with most of my friends only over the weekend and i suspect that its the case with mostly everyone. Everyone thinks they're overworked and underpaid which might be the case, but the time that we have on our hands is ours to spend. so many people waste to much time doing nothing productive at work most of the day and then work late. and then complain about it! I say, get in, finish your shit and get out!

A look at the sheer number of bloggers since the advent of blogs shows the amount of people who log on just to vent, confess, ramble, rant, complain and just let their hearts out. I am obviously not referring to the arty/creative/real author/Picture blogs. There are so many anonymous users who log on just to talk about their feelings and have someone who'll leave them an understanding comment. They talk about family trouble, marital problems and Failures in love and Business. So much frustration pent up, so much angst to release....Why? Where's the shoulder to cry on, friend to reply on? People turn to anonymous identities on orkut/Facebook/HI5 and what not upcoming social networking tools which serves as a vent to the creepy crazy depressed maniac inside. Of course, im leaving out the regular people who are anonymous purely for the sake of the above kinds of people not lurking around in their profiles. Are there really so many creeps living amongst us?

Time and growing insensitivity is not my only complain. Gifting has lost so much of its meaning... Diwali gifts have begun pouring in at home... Vases, Candles, Bowls, Dinner sets. the same routine every year... get and pass on. Whats more important is not the gift per se, its the visiting card that accompanies it.

I love gifts. I love giving people things and I love getting gifts too. For me whats more important is seeing the person's expressions on opening the gift, its that sense of satisfaction which creates enthusiasm for gifting. Gifts needn't be big on money or value or size, they should just be big on love. For the last 3 years, I've been getting greeting cards from Prafful, a small pen or pocket diary or chocolate from my old buildings watchman who never forgets. They mean as much to me as the Azzaro perfume gifted to me by my best friend.

All in all, I hate that we all take so many things for granted around us, so many chances to make a phone call/hug someone/meet a friend we miss, so many things we think in our head we leave there due to circumstances/time/ or simply being lazy.

I would've thought that considering the number of mediums of communication that have opened up, we'd be more in touch.

3 comments:

Just another Indian said...

materialism .... the rat race to nowhere ,,... why cant we live like animals again ??

Serendipity said...

we'd have problems still. The praying Mantis kills her mate after procreation :) hahaha

Farcenal said...

Meh.

Man is a strange being. Teenagers, stranger still. We all have emotions and reactions to situations: who we come across as in how we deal with the emotions. Some express, some compress. All are in need of the proverbial shoulder-to-cry-on.

Sapience is our greatest curse? We have the glorious ability to question and the arrogance to expect answers at the same level of cognition, EVERY TIME.

Anyways, I think you're right. We talk a lot without saying very much.