Remembering birthdays of our near and dear ones is passé these days. We have the ‘Birthday Reminder’ App on our Android Phones. When this app pings, we ‘WhatsApp’ our wishes to the concerned person. It’s comical to imagine that birthdays have become more ‘app-ening’ than ‘happening’. Children have become more conscious of Facebook notifications as compared to notifications their mothers want to share verbally. An event which isn’t photographed hasn’t happened at all. In our quest to get the ball rolling in the clutches of fast-paced world, have we lost those quintessential silent pauses?
Eighteen-year-old consider entertainment as a ‘stress buster’. Was it long ago that entertainment was just an extension to our usual selves? It is gloomy to note that families prefer an evening in a shopping mall as opposed to an evening in a park. Kids can survive a day without their siblings, but not a day without their so called ‘smart’ phones. Undoubtedly, change is the only thing which is constant. Nonetheless, do the benefits of ‘changing’ outweigh its cost? Definitely not.
The unending pursuit to be always connected to the world is somewhere distancing us from ourselves. We undertake no activity without first analysing its potential aftermaths. There’s no originality or spontaneity left today. There’s no bigger loss like losing one’s own self. We may know what our friend sitting in the United States ate last night, but may well be ignorant of our immediate neighbour’s failing health.
The joy of rejoicing in a friend’s achievement, the adrenaline rush after ringing a door bell and running away, the excitement of hearing grandparents’ childhood tales, those moments of fighting with a friend over the last slice of pizza, the elation of clicking a photograph without any intention to keep it as a WhatsApp display picture, walking an additional kilometer for the favourite ice-cream flavour, the ecstasy of visiting an old school teacher… somewhere down the line, these moments matter the most. These events span only a limited time, but their impressions are rarely forgotten.
Being busy is one thing, and having no time at all, is another. People have forgotten what distinguishes the former from the latter. True, we cannot isolate ourselves from our pinging phones completely. But it’s not a bad idea to wake up early some day and listen to birds chirping!