Dec 10, 2023
Dec 10, 2023
The internet with its phenomenal speed has shortened the distance between any two points in the world. It brings strangers together, has the distinction of match-making, saves one from face-off embarrassments. You name it and it can be done, with alacrity, anonymity, zeal.
The question is: Has it brought people closer? Does it cement relationships or does it mostly lead to superficial profession, work – and business – oriented contacts?
There is this class-mate of mine who had caught up with me a decade after we left school. Then began a long period of snail-mail correspondence. Sometimes we were quick to reply, at times one or the other went into hibernation for months. But we always continued from where we had left off. Our letters used to be long, entertaining, interesting, intellectually stimulating and something both of us looked forward to with enthusiasm. Suddenly, we were out of touch for almost four years. Our lives went on. We thought of each other but didn't bother to resume correspondence till he recently located and contacted me again through this wondrous web. We were both elated, looking ahead to resume our mind enriching correspondence.
Guess what? Our e-mails have sadly dwindled to one a week at the most; we are either apologizing for paucity of time to devote to meaningful communication or discussing the cursory state of affairs in our lives. How much sadder can it get that one way or another we all fall victim to the demands of mundane living!
Every time I go online there is a friend or a casual acquaintance available to chat... provided I initiate the dialogue. Even then, the words 'I have been very busy', 'I am worked to the bones', 'I have no time to breathe', crop up and I have to say "okay, I'll let you go. Catch up with you some other time." That other time rarely comes because I do not like to intrude upon people who don't have a few minutes to spare for personal relationships. The rare exceptions who still make time to converse between sending mails, updating a webpage or organizing an important presentation, are the feel-good factor in this fast dwindling art of maintaining relationships. My deep gratitude to such uncommon friends. Thank you for being who you are.
We have all turned into blind mice, lured by the flute of pushy Pied Pipers of the commercial and corporate world. Our needs, our ambitions, aspirations, dreams, even our spirituality, are all directed by this obtrusive army of dictators. Bubbly youngsters of some years back, with world-transforming dreams, are today undifferentiated from the rat-pack. From wake up time till they drop exhausted into bed their day is one blurry dash of assignments, appointments, projects; eyes glued to monitors/watches and phones stuck to their ears. They are denied the luxury of time to enjoy the drive to and from work, their meals, their friends or relationships. The only time they are forced to relax is after power-pushing burns them out and they have to stop. How much better if only they would slow down when they should.
We even thrust our children unrelentingly in this mindless charge of the attainment brigade, for nothing worthwhile. Not worthwhile, because in today's world the biggest accomplishments come with the priciest tags. Childhood, youth, values, ethics, relationship with one's own self, fun, recreation, health, the very joy of living – is what today's achievement smitten life-style exacts.
We need to reinforce the value of slowing down; of taking time to breathe and enjoy the free but invaluable gifts life and nature have bestowed on us. Let us not take any moment for granted; we do not know what span has been allotted to us from the cradle to the grave. Let us not hurtle through life without really relishing its measures of joy in simple things; let us not always put career opportunities ahead of our loved ones...we may be left alone to weep over their coffins. Significant choices, not haste and speed should govern the directions of our lives. Imagine the chaos if the earth suddenly decided that it simply had to surge ahead from season to season to season, not at its measured orbital velocity, but, at breakneck speed in silly competition with some other celestial orbs!
Life is for living, not for beating the clock or outsmarting other rats in a race. Let us learn to slow down, stand back and tune in to our inner selves. Let us open up to nature's words of wisdom; let us lend our ears to its transporting music; let us reserve unstinting time for our near and dear ones. Before it is too late. Before we go or are left ruing the words we did not say, wishing we could turn back the clock. For ourselves, our children and those friends and loved ones who ache for a loving moment with us.
More by : Shernaz Wadia
|So surprised and gratified, Om. I thought you would read one of the two articles I had mentioned in writespace. I am so glad you enjoyed reading this. You are right about the online world and the hundreds of friends some people's profiles on facebook show. And yet loneliness and depression seem to be on the rise. It is indeed sad that we have allowed technology to take over our lives. Like any other invention these tools also make good servants, bad masters. Thanks.|
Just loved reading this blog, esp :-
"We have all turned into blind mice, lured by the flute of pushy Pied Pipers of the commercial and corporate world. Our needs, our ambitions, aspirations, dreams, even our spirituality, are all directed by this obtrusive army of dictators. Bubbly youngsters of some years back, with world-transforming dreams, are today undifferentiated from the rat-pack. From wake up time till they drop exhausted into bed their day is one blurry dash of assignments, appointments, projects; eyes glued to monitors/watches and phones stuck to their ears"
But in world of computers and the internet, we come in contact with a number of people (real/false/assumed/pseudo) with whom we share a relationship. Our time, goes in that - and by the time we discern who is the real one and who is the pseudo, a lot of time has already flown under the bridge and we have already lost some relationships. This "sudden expansion" of friends is something no one ever is able to handle - unless one CONFINES himself/herself to old set of known friends! and who knows? this old set may go out to new ones, leaving us! That is why, frienships should never be left to the tools of technology!