The Greatest Migration for our species

written in March of 2020
when Mumbai went into lockdown.

Upasana
Upasana
Feb 4 · 3 min read
artwork by Roy.Studio

It has been a year since I had written this. And then … I sat on it — I didn’t put it out… I felt I didn’t know enough to be able to write about this. And then recently while working on my short film I realised that I am a refugee in my own country.

THAT is a story for another time.

Here is what I felt and thought about the mass migration of our species to the digital realm further enforced by the pandemic.

Mass migration refers to large groups of people migrating from one geographical area to another.

We can safely assume that the digital world is now a real place for human interactions, livelihood, maybe even relationships.

When the pandemic hit and the world went into lockdown — Every single adult needed to scramble to the safety of the internet and had to devise ways to stay afloat. Everyone had to find ways to pivot and make possible the means of their livelihood.

There have been many points of view of the impact of technology and the digitisation of our planet — just search in Medium itself — the number of articles on the topic is massive.

In the mad rush to get there we trampled all the dissonance.

It has further homogenised those who are logged in — furthering the dominant monoculture of the world.

We don’t yet REALLY know the impact of this huge exodus from the analog to this digital world. It will emerge only after a cycle — how long is that cycle we don’t yet know — even Now — close to a year from then.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/india-wracked-by-greatest-exodus-since-partition-due-to-coronavirus

The migration to the digital worlds have been happening for a while now. This article is not about the pitfalls of these virtual worlds instead it is a conversation to recognise this interface as one of the many mediums of human communication and contact. But to see the world only through pixels is again a monotone that excludes the vibrancy of real life and how we truly experience it.

Let’s not kid ourselves — we know that many of our children and our peers already live in a reality that is affected by a screen led medium of interaction.

Here are some relevant articles I found on Medium which were written way before the pandemic hit.

The below written in 2019

This one from 2017

This one about universities in 2018

A beautiful film by Yukai Du released in 2015

This migration is going to cost us dearly.

There will be a few who will hold out.

A few who will lead multiple parallel lives.

A few who might even fight it with activism.

Most will be refugees — in a new world, where we are both the coloniser as well as the victims while living in a country that is ruled by us.

Yet I have hope in the human spirit that there is something that binds us in a tight embrace that cannot be replaced with beautiful words, videos and sounds.

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