We lost count of the days we laughed out loud with our buddies. We are busy typing LOL for the next WhatsApp message we just received while sitting in a coffee shop with our friends. One question that we should ask ourselves. Which was most foolish thing one of our close friends did recently that made us laugh. Do we remember it? We might not, as we were busy typing on WhatsApp when that took place. This is the time we can think to keep our phones aside when we are with our group of friends.
We are unable to realize the extent to which technology have engulfed us. All the statements here is not against WhatsApp or FB. Have we lost our sense of joyfulness as human being? Have we forgotten the real laughter and assigned that job to clubs which make us pay to induce laughter in us?
Laughter was laughter before it turned out to be an exercise for the elite in apartment complexes and parks. Before it turned out to be confined to a 3 letter short form “LOL”.
Language and Technology
Let us do some rewinding back to the Telephone era. We used to call up our relative far away and tell the stories happening in our house and neighborhood. There was lot of humor and joy in those conversations. More than that telephone was used to tell the person on the other side lets meet up here and have fun.
I still remember the days in my 11th and 12th standard. My close friend calls up on the land phone and said lets meet up near the stairs after our classes at 3 pm tomorrow. We will go for a tea and snacks. The rush and excitement to reach the stairs will be missed so much these days. As you were forced to reach there at 3 or miss meeting the person. Now all that happens is “Dude m caut up wid somthin catchya sometim latr” and touch on send button.
WhatsApp do bring a smile on face when a friend who was not in touch for a long time sends a message. The point here is, are we ending up creating group after group for every set old friends and planning trip and trip and going nowhere. Even if we go for the trip, we end staring at our phone all along our journey towards destination and all the way back too. Giving the satisfaction to ourselves that we have kept the people in the other groups also happy. Again irony do not end here. We take selfies and forget to enjoy the real world outside our phone. Send it to the other group of people who are at home and tell them I am at this place enjoying with friends.
The boon of staying connected is turning to be a bane of feeling left out when not connected to the net world. Someone rightly named it the internet. It is a kind of a net that traps us. Our mobile data being switched off makes us feel like the fish out of water. Service providers know this very well. From the time I took my first smart for 5k till today the price of mobile data has only increased.
Guess I need to stop sounding like a grandpa. Let me finish the point here. WhatsApp and us….
The emotional locking is a term I am kind of proud coining during the thinking done while writing this. The person on the other side knows whether you have read the message they sent. Once you read and don’t reply you are arrogant. If you judiciously reply to everyone, then you are jobless and irresponsible. This is an emotional lock. Another situation is when you were busy with something and come back online on WhatsApp you will see 100 plus chats on a group. Again many of us are forced to scroll through all of it as you want to know what is happening there and we do want to belong in the group. There are times when I myself have done the mistake of ridiculing the silent member of a group. I have to confess that all what is said here includes me, I am realizing this has to be undone. There is no compulsion or loss of freedom cause of WhatsApp. It is us who should when to use and when not to.
Groups for everything, groups for family, groups for friends, groups for close friends, groups of closer friends, groups for closest friends, groups for decisions, groups for travel and trips, groups for classmates, batch mates, roommates, and never forget to double the number as most groups have a male and female version of it. Though the list is not exploding, but in a month I am part of a new group. How much of our time is wasted in turning off the group message notifications. We all know that groups are most of the time a pain. Good side of it is that when people who are well aware of this form a group in WhatsApp they respect each other their time and privacy. The school friends of mine do this. Occasional chats we are engaged in are for deciding when to meet in our regular ‘Addas’ (Kannada word for place where friends meet).
No new technology is made for the harm of man. It turns out later to be like that, because we misuse it or forget that our lives do not revolve around our phone. WhatsApp makes me reach my friends new found home without hassle as he can send me his current location.
There has to be one thing mentioned here before we conclude, the number of times I corrected the spellings of words like for, from, message, good, and friends in this article, makes me think was all this easiness and technology worth my little knowledge of English I had got from school. Without language what can I communicate using any App?