Stuck in a web spun around me…
What’s with the i-word?
The world is dominated by i. “i” being not just iPhones, but the entire technological generation affected and absorbed by the internet and related means of communication and chatting; a world that has engulfed the youth and older ones alike by its gimmicks and tricks, its comfort and style. The i-Web is spinning itself around you, sucking out the emotional elements from communication, the feelings from relationships and real levels of attachment from people as such, leaving them as mere soul-less beings hooked on to the i-World struck by the technological jolt.
Every now and then, your phone vibrates or rings. Even if it doesn’t, you tend to check it at frequent intervals just to see if you have any notifications. Let’s see the most common types of disturbances caused by these messengers of anything-but-peace:
- Buzzzzzzz: As seen in any phone kept aside to vibrate in meetings or when you don’t want to be disturbed. If you really don’t want to be disturbed, put it on ‘silent’ mode please!
- Ping!!!: The most annoying BBM pings in Blackberry handsets (if you’re still using them). Do not miss the exclamation marks that denote the highest degree of impatience to the extent of being life-threatening ‘check my message and reply or I’ll … ’
- Text Message Received: The most non-intrusive means of communicating. It refers to dropping a message and patiently waiting for the recipient to reply, without the aggressive follow-ups and trail of messages that usually follow. Did you forget the ‘non-intrusive’ part?
- IM (Instant Messaging) notifications: These depend on the IM you have installed and notification sounds you have set. They could vary from moderately annoying to ‘I want to throw my phone away’ degrees, depending on the number of messages received and the frequency at which they have been sent.
The above are just some pop-up messages out of the pool of endless notifications. Aren’t you a victim of these pings too? Aren’t you being constantly bombarded with text messages, chats, calls, alerts, video chats, buzzes and other status updates? Likewise, I am sure you are updating, chatting, buzzing and pinging your pals all the time too!
The need to breathe:
While on one hand everyone wants to have friends and socialize, on the other hand everyone needs their personal space too! You need your ‘me’ time, don’t you? You can’t be surrounded by friends, family and people all the time. You need your own space – to breathe, think, create, grow and live! Similarly, you can’t have your notifications and alerts bothering you at all times, can you?
The golden question is – Can you live without all this? It’s the web that you have spun around yourself and guess who’s trapped in it – You!!! There is a very fine line between being well-communicated and being over-communicated! You are like a spider stuck in your own trap – a trap formed with an integrated network of communication nodes, with countless strings intertwining around you. These strings suffocate and choke you. You want to get out, but you can’t. The more you try to rush out of it, the more you get entangled. Is there a ray of hope? Sweat moistens your forehead, fear blurs your ability to act and darkness clouds your vision.
Synonyms or antonyms:
The difference between the real world and the virtual world – between who I am and who I portray myself to be! So which one is the real me?
- What you call communication, I call ‘over-communication’.
- What you call ‘connectivity’, I call ‘over-dose’.
Having friends is good indeed – more the merrier! Keeping in touch with them is even better; and staying connected with them 24*7 – well that’s the best thing that could possibly be…right?! I am just a call away – literally! I am there whenever you need me – literally!
“Why does my phone keep buzzing all the time? Why does everyone keep calling me up?” Obviously, because YOU have given them your number and YOU want to keep in touch. Enough! Be it my personal messages or pictures or status – everyone; and I mean everyone knows about it! I have given them that access to my account, to my status, to my life!
The tables have turned – technology has taken control over us, but not on its own. We have given that control plug to technology – to get a hold on us, to guide us, to misguide us, to direct us, to misdirect us. Relationships are at stake. We are living in harsh virtuality. Is it time to re-direct yet? We are at the mercy of the “i-world” – while “i” am lost in the virtual world…