Another notification on WhatsApp, a message on your family-forwards spam chat, and an InShorts news flash waiting for you on your phone while you study, (or rather stare at your books contemplating life and the universe while trying to study) for the compre’s that are fast approaching. I know you can feel that pull, because I have been there and done the exact same thing: “Screw the exam, let’s attend to those first. “
The growth of Internet, instant messaging and push notifications has reached a state where we are surprised if we don’t receive a single message for 10-15 minutes. Well, does this tell us anything about us at all? I went through a few books and papers on this in the library (Obviously while attending to my texts first, they’re very important) and realized that this very “Overconnected” nature of our living is not only hurtful to us and enormously decreases our ability to focus, but also changes our surroundings at such a rapid rate that individuals and even governments cannot react and adapt in time. We ourselves can think of such examples where everything happened so quickly over the internet that we could not even grasp what was happening and why (#JeSuisCharlie, anyone?), but then, all that lite, let’s talk about what it does to us as a campus, the global part of it can wait for as many years as you have before you graduate.
Ever thought about why birthdays are mainly celebrated just on Facebook, or if not that, Facebook centred? Same for most pranks….. Fb pranks? Seriously? What I also realised is that we have too much information at our disposal all the time, so much so that instead of simplifying our lives using all of it, we end up complicating them. A post on FEG from a respected senior about how life should be was a good eye opener for all (Thanks Chirag Sancheti bhaiya _/\_) but we still mainly live our life on Facebook, and still prefer texting our wingies than walking five feet to their rooms. Psychologically speaking, this “overconnected”-ness of ours on campus has not only reduced interpersonal interactions, but also made us more and more attached to our laptop screens. This results in lesser concentration spans, even though our intensity of concentration doesn’t change much. We are also easily distracted by anything, and are often seen browsing random videos on YouTube with assignments due in a few hours. Our digital life has given us new worries, and no matter how much I say I don’t give a shit about someone calling someone else G**ndu on FEG, it gives a new direction for my attention to get diverted to, or puts a new worry in my head about a comment I might have made somewhere. That, on a larger scale, is my insecurity about how safe my webcam and bank account are, and what content I should be producing as an author to put out into the world, such that I can get away with it, and also put my point across, etc. When we always wish to stay in the know, we tend to have withdrawal symptoms similar to drug addicts on some levels, and have an internet craving because we are not on that exceptional information hyperdrive that we’re so used to. I’m not an anti-internet person, I’m online all day, as some of you can testify, but I’m also an offline person, and after getting to know a lot of people on campus, I can say that offline life can be way better than online life, albeit with a smaller circle, and do not be mistaken, online life stays the way it is.
No, this is not another Facebook rant, just an opinion, and what I’d like to think is a well-researched opinion. Please try staying offline. I could conclude this with an “I have a dream” meme, but that would bring me back to this article again and again to check the number of likes, and do the internet attention-seeking acts I’m mostly blamed of, so I decided not to. I’m not addicted. Not at all. But please, Like and Share. Pretty please?
Also, if you held on to this without replying to your messages and swiping your notifications, I salute you. If you did so with replying, I just thank you humbly. And if you didn’t make it here, well, you’re surely too overconnected.