Sunday, 26 November 2017

How Life has Changed

ust a few moments before, I was trying to open a website and it was taking forever to load. I was wondering if it’s because of poor connectivity and automatically typed “Google” to see if that opens. Voila! It did and I was confirmed that there is no network issues. This ewould have become a habit for most of us and in fact, I remember reading sometime before that people type “Google” to check the network availability. But, this simple instinctive action also made me think. I wondered about how our lives have changed over last 10 years due to extensive use of internet and emergence of smartphones.

Hey! This is not an exhaustive list and I’ll be delighted if you add more…

·         Alarm clocks – where have they vanished? I still remember the small timepiece my mother had which didn’t need batteries, but need to be keyed regularly. She used to religiously set the alarm every night before bedtime and place it next to her pillow. It is a vivid childhood memory, if you ask me. As a teenager, I also had an alarm clock (with batteries of course). It was pink in color (obviously) and in the model of a doll whose cap would jump up and down when the alarm goes on. But today, like most of us, I’ve a smartphone and rely on it.

·         Speaking about alarm clocks, I think of watches. They were the primary and only source to check time. For many, it used to be a part of identity. I had a Timex watch which I received as a gift from my aunt and it was almost like a part of my body throughout my school life. Now, I may have watches and I occasionally wear them too.  But, I consider it to be more an accessory than a necessity. Even when I have them on, I check the mobile (or laptop indeed) to know the time. It’s almost the same case with the wall clock. It’s more an ornament now than a useful object. After all, the mobile phone shows more accurate time, doesn’t it?

·         It was not long time before when the mornings of every festivals used to be spent in calling near and dear ones and wishing them. Of course, before the telephones happened, the entire day used to be spent in visiting people. It’s almost the same case with birthdays and anniversaries. Some personal time was spent in making the special day more special. But now, isn’t everyone just a WhatsApp ping away?

·         And birthdays! How much effort was taken once to remember the dates! Now, Facebook does that for us. If, by any chance, someone has deactivated the birthday notification and if he/she belongs to our close circle, a reminder will pop up in the smart phone. Obviously, we would have set that up!

·         Isn’t the smell of printed newspapers on our doorsteps now more a memory than a part of our daily life? Of course, we get to know the news on a real time basis. But, the joy of piping hot coffee on the table and a crumpled newspaper in hand is immeasurable.

·         Books – There are ebooks indeed. Cheaper; hence more affordable. But, the smell of books - The feel of them in our hands or the completeness they give even as they lie on the bookshelf with dust particles enveloping them!

·         I guess that our parents would have learnt cooking from their parents or from cookery books or by shamelessly asking someone to share the recipe of good food they just served. But, we rely more on internet for the same. Needless to say, we get to know the recipes for more exotic menus; but the taste of mom’s food? Can we really match that; ever reach somewhere near that if not match that?

·         Now, there is a lot of issues on piracy and we know that already. Movie going used to be an event by itself. Going to the theater in advance and get the tickets for a show that would be scheduled later that day... Then, with the family and friends, go for it with hot snacks packed for munching during intermission. It was a memory - A family/friends time!

·         Writing – the sound of pen on paper is a melody on its own. If you make mistakes you have to strike them down or use erasers; no backspace mind you! Long letters were once a part of our lives, which could be preserved and cherished for a lifetime. Now, they are replaced with “k” and “hmm”. Of course, “Wassup” and “Tc”. These messages might come instantly, but waiting for a letter comes with sweet fruits and the taste of those fruits are a figment of memory now.

·         Letters reminds me of greeting cards. Aww! I so-so miss them. Finding the right greeting card, filling it with our thoughts and amateur doodles was a task. Yet, that task was fulfilling than the current practice of searching images online and forwarding the same!

I am not saying that internet or smart phone has ruined our lives. It’s a boon to connect with loved ones who are physically or geographically separated. It makes it easier to be connected with them on a real time basis. It is also a source of knowledge; learning is unlimited. It lets us explore and know more. Am I not sharing my thoughts because I have good internet connection and a laptop with MS Word? Else, I would have, probably, taken a book/paper and wrote them down. No one other than me would have read that! Sigh.

I sometimes feel that people are virtually connected all the time, but the emotional intimacy and belongingness that was once shared is evaporating into thin air. We are so engrossed to internet and smart phone with the object of learning more, knowing more, be more updated or stay virtually connected with others that we tend to forget the person sitting next to us. We are always looking at the screen that we miss the hues of nature, meows and caws. We tend to forget that life is about making real memories; not just the ones collated by the Facebook. I think even social media understand the need for making memories. May be that’s why we get occasional messages from them saying “Memories”. But, cherishing them at heart is more important than stacking them in the WWW. When we are old and fragile, I am sure that we would like to reminisce them through a phantasmagoria generated by ourselves and not by the social media.

Never forget that little things matters – ONLY little things matters!

Let’s be smart like the smart phone and be wise like the WWW. Let’s learn when to shut them out and when to embrace them and not the people around us! Just an idea for this New Year’s resolution… Do I make sense?


  1. When we travel by train or bus, we used to talk non stop with our fellow passengers. Even now, when we travel by train or bus, we talk non stop - in our cell phones.

  2. Yes, you make good sense! Even neighbours don't interact with each other nowadays. Everybody seems to be self-sufficient. Make a phone get uber. Look for doctors in the net. Nobody needs anybody.

    But...we are addicted to internet now... It is not going to change!