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Virtual Emotions

Updated: Aug 17, 2020


Before we start, just take sometime and think, when was the last time you laughed? Minutes ago? Months ago? Years ago?. Now try to remember one fun memory from the days when you didn't have a mobile next to you, when you enjoyed life because that is how life was. You used to laugh, right? And for that one moment you used to forget everything else, your pain, your sorrow, the odds and all other negativities in your life, and when this happens that is a ‘real laugh’ & believe it or not slowly and steadily this inexhaustible, freely and easily available commodity is disappearing from our lives as we progress more in the digital world.

According to some psychologists, the two basic emotions that babies learn are to cry and to laugh and in that they communicate everything they have to (of course there are times when their foot itches and they cry to tell that, but their mothers give them milk, life of an infant isn't easy either). So, this explains a lot about our behaviour as human beings, that is, we need at least these two basic emotions to carry on with our regular life. And earlier, that is before the digital age, when we did not experience these emotions for long, we would meet our friends, go on picnics with our cousins, meet up with each other over tea, and enjoy life to experience the first basic emotion (laughing) and remember those moments whenever we experienced the latter basic emotion (crying). Those days were a bliss when people actually missed each other and met each other and looked forward to family/friends reunions.

It was October 2001 when the genocide of these emotions began. NTT Docomo introduced the first 3G network which introduced the human race to a different world where they could experience all kinds of emotions and feelings without actually experiencing them in real life. Mobiles soon became an essential commodity and this marked the beginning of the virtual emotions.

In 2004 Facebook was launched, eventually to connect people with each other and to give people a little rest from the grind of the real world but it soon became the entire world for some. Since then the bar of cruelty of genocide never came down even by an inch and was just raised further with Instagram, Snapchat & Whatsapp. According to a survey, there are more than 4 billion users of these four apps, worldwide. Sit back and analyse the damage they have done to the real life experiences that led to our precious emotions, feelings and memories. We don't pay attention to the person sitting next to us but keep staring at our phones. What an insult we hurl at the people around us, without saying a word!

This has also played havoc with our attention span and we switch between apps in search of finding 'something good', something worth a hearty laugh.

There is no doubt that surviving through 2020 has been made possible by mobile phones and such apps only. But how and what are we using them for? For, as millennials would call , MEMEs. MEMEs have only aggravated the problem. Because of our lustful craving for finding happiness, we make a meme out of someone else's misery. Someone cries, it becomes a meme, someone fails in something it becomes a meme, somebody's embarrassment becomes a meme, even someone dying becomes a meme. We have become such a ruthless species.

With this I rest my case, I may sound too harsh, direct and may be pessimistic but we cannot shy away from the reality, from the damage we are doing to ourselves and to others around us.

The social media is just a honey trap don't let yourself become its prisoner.

Shaurya Pratap Singh

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