The three girls grew up together right from primary school. They studied in the same school and lived in the same premises. When schooling was completed, they went to different colleges. But they met every evening for some time in an open area near their homes. They would sit together and chat while their fingers moved dexterously on the keypad of their smartphone. The occasional giggle or peel of laughter that was let out did not considerably affect their engagement with the phone. Now that they live in different places, the relationships must have turned entirely virtual, I guess.
In the same city, I have noticed people, especially those not old enough to dye their hair, engrossed totally with their mobile phones while travelling in the metro trains or buses, while talking to people in various places, or even while looking after a patient in a hospital.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone posing for a selfie with the dead body of his/her grandfather or an aunt and then posting it at Facebook or Instagram.
Relationships have gone wi-fi. The people far away seem to be a lot more important, or at least interesting, than those nearby. Distance lends enchantment to relationships, perhaps. The ‘likes’ in the virtual world are much more articulated than in the real world. And people are far more generous with ‘likes’ in that world rather than in this. That world! That’s a Paradise, Heaven on earth! People there ‘like’ whatever you do, whatever you write, whatever pictures of yourself you pass on. How nice to be liked so much!
Is that an escape into a world of soothing illusions?
Is genuine love an emotion which binds people together more in bad times than in good ones? Wouldn’t I rather be with my beloved one in the storm rather than be safe by myself? Are there real seas without those storms?
If the person who makes you the happiest does not also occasionally make you the saddest, the love that binds the two of you may not last very long. Still more, things not said matter much more than those said in a genuine relationship. What is not said cannot be expressed in that virtual Paradise. The gaze in the eyes and pulse of the heart are too real for the virtual sites. Emoticons are too mechanical to carry emotions.
PS. Written for Indispire Edition 128: Technology is destroying relationships. Genuine relationships are subsumed under Facebook and whatsapp... #Relationship