Connectivity and de-existentialism

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Have you ever incessantly checked your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, WhatsApp, etc. through the day wondering if you have some poke, like or a notification, some sign from the virtual universe that it cares? And after doing this about a 100 times a minute, wondered what the hell is happening with you? Then maybe you contemplated getting off social media for good, but instead convinced yourself to start with a mild detox by deleting all the apps on your phone and decided to use chrome/ safari to open these sites if a “business” need arises?

So, you are sitting there quietly staring at your phone wondering how you managed to start living your life as a string of social media posts rather than experiences that stay as memories until moments before we die? While leaving remnants of our life all over the internet is a great way to crowdsource a distorted history for a future generation, it degrades the quality of our present lives.

While online social networks have greatly helped in reconnecting with people we’ve lost contact with, it crosses the line once in a while. When I meet a friend after 10 years, I want to enjoy the feeling of still being able to connect despite all the lost time between us. I don’t want to have a conversation just for the sake of verifying someone’s Facebook timeline. I almost hate it when people I am introduced to for the first time tell me they know all about me through Facebook.

It’s like the digital you is more important than the real you. I wouldn’t be surprised if some day our physical existence gets banned and “de-existentialism” becomes a thing like demonetisation. Imagine if we aren’t allowed to talk about or use any bits of our personality that isn’t already uploaded on the internet? Every time I felt overwhelmed by advancement in technology and how it is affecting the human race, I want to curl up in a ball and disappear. It feels like we are swimming away from a whirlpool, but in vain. Okay wait, maybe I’m watching too much Black Mirror?

Why am I complaining when I can make and stay connected every second with friends in every corner of the world (at literally no cost) like my parents couldn’t? Why am I complaining when I can capture and imprison every moment of my life without rationing like my grandparents never could? Why am I complaining when I can get you to read what I write so much more easily than Shakespeare ever could with his plays? We have made so much progress, yet we want to regress into time warps that would take us back to our yesteryears because we have seen times that were radically different.

Is it just us? or does every generation feel this way?

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