Here I am, back after a hiatus of over two years… Jeez, that’s ages! Didn’t really realize how quickly that passed. I confess to being rusty and it will certainly show, so go easy alright 😉
We have always been a society that carves attention. However, off late we’ve been reduced to a society that lives to be noticed in a virtual world: one where our interactions with one another has been reduced to who responded to our update on Facebook or instagram, to who retweeted us or shared our event. Wherein our little world isn’t ours anymore, for it is out there for all and sundry to see. When did things change?
When did it start becoming so important to broadcast our lives? Isn’t this exactly what the rich and famous have, since eternity been trying to run away from: seeking some privacy in an otherwise broadcasted life. This incessant quest for recognition – where has it brought us? The internet claims to have made the world a smaller place, but has it resulted in us becoming smaller people? Have we become pettier? Or is this newfound pseudo transparency for the better? Let’s say as long as one takes to it with a pinch of salt, it might not be too bad, or is it?
Is the world coming closer really that bad a thing? To be in the day and age where one has the option of communicating with people in different corners of the world – across all time zones – with such ease; is that necessarily that bad? The possibility to see a dear one, albeit virtually, via skype, whatsapp video call, Facebook or any of the other providers that exist, isn’t that any good? Not having to pay for the expensive commute every time you feel the need to see someone, that sounds really good doesn’t it. But is it too good to be true? Rather is this any good to begin with? Can this virtual contact really substitute the personal touch that we were so used to having? Should it have that kinda power?
So, why did I end up writing this today? Just so happens that I had to format my computer, obviously resulting in loss of all data not duplicated to the “cloud” or elsewhere. Well, not much that I have to cry about (Yes, there are more important issues), however that still was loads of photographs, memories associated with them and music collected over years that I lost with a single click of the mouse; one where my hand was forced. Well the music is alright, I know, that can still be retrieved from sources, but what happens to the photographs? For a moment, it felt like I was transported back a few years – like the only album of developed photos with negatives intact in them (remember the film-roll cameras??) had been burnt.
Only to realize that not all was lost. Yes, retrieval was going to be tough, but broadcasting my life (let’s say sharing parts of it) also meant that I had some of these photos sent out to other people, if not put up on the above mentioned social platforms. That got me to think why I hadn’t uploaded all of it onto the cloud to begin with? Let us say I just wasn’t comfortable with the idea: to having everything I snapped on every trip I ever took saved up online for people (doesn’t have to be just hackers) to peruse at their will. That being said, I am also someone who posts random check-ins from airports informing people, (most who aren’t even remotely interested) about my travels. So how much of a hypocrite does writing this piece make me? Are our lives on display really any better than the cozier ones we had when anonymity was a thing? Where do we find the balance?
I let you be the judge. Send in your thoughts. How much personal space do we need?