There is something very wrong with the world these days. Though it would be presumptuous to blame the globe itself, let’s just say there’s something weird happening to the people on this planet. It’s an inescapable truth. A truth almost all of us have seen but most of us have chosen to pass over like a wet dog staring for leftovers a little too long. It’s a fact glaring at us at every intersection, on every table, in every walk and sit of life. We are addicted. It’s not the needle or a pill that we crave for. We are obsessed with tiny little glowing crystals staring at us from dawn to dusk. 4.1” to 42” HD strips of multicoloured LSD. We are dependent on these screens of flashy information and irrelevant conversation. They rule our lives and we have willingly prostrated our minds in awe of them. Everywhere you look, someone is looking into a monitor or a mobile phone or some digital object. They have taken precedence over the people that surround us. Now most would pose the argument that there’s nothing wrong with this, that these pixels are the future that has arrived in our palms like some glowing ray of sunlight in a Church window scene. And these are the same people sitting opposite you at a restaurant table investing their attention in a 4.1inch display, instead of looking outside their lithium-ion-powered attention destroyer and noticing the person next to them. You cannot argue religion with a heretic. Even if he sees what is wrong with the path he follows, he will still adamantly take every step down that road believing that is the right way. The only way. But is it really?
There’s a difference between using technology, understanding it and depending on it. For most people the first and third are the only steps they take. It seems the acceptance of virtual data as a tangible and real thing might be the root of the problem. True, the digital space has changed the world but it is also true that you cannot live in the digital world alone. We are born as beings of flesh and blood. We die as beings of love and experience. No amount of hashtags or retweets will help you make the transition. It is the quantity of our ‘friends’ that seems to matter these days, not the deeper connection you make with a handful of people. The human want of being connected isn’t fulfilled in a click like most of us believe; it requires a lot more than that, it requires interaction. Deny it as much as you like, a face-to-face conversation will always be remembered better than any whatsapp chat thread. And the warm feeling of discovering a stranger in the first meeting will always be stronger than stalking their facebook all night. There is nothing ‘real’ about the virtual world. What we are online is who we want people to see us as, not who we really are. Because the internet allows us the incredible power of editing our identity at every turn. It lets us change the perception of us. It gives us control over the first impression. More than anything this is it's greatest temptation simply because it is something the real world will never give us complete power over.
By no means does this say that we should boycott technology and go back to the 80’s. This isn’t a cry for the analogue rebellion. All I mean to say is that you have to find a balance between these two worlds. Without this balance, we will be ill-equipped to handle the individuals around us or explore what is inside us. If we remain as addicted as we are. If we give in to the power of editing our thoughts before expressing them, we have already lost the thing that makes us interesting in the first place; our wit. The spur of the moment spawns either genius or stupidity, both of which are better than a measured and clipped opinion. Your reactions make you who you are and even after you grow old and learn to control them in public, they still define you. In a realm where every reaction can be changed to fit the current flow of action, uniqueness and trust were bound to be misplaced first.