I love change. Not a day in my life is similar. The transience of Life and permanence of change helps me to embrace life with thrill that I look forward to everyday. I was able to find meaning and joy in even the mundane things in life. In folding clothes, cleaning my cupboard, sipping tea, early morning walks.
I have always been aware of the changes and shifts that occur within me as an individual. Though it might not be visible to the outside world, I was able to experience ripples in the calm and serene waters of my mind. The change came after I owned my smart phone. Smart phones are no more a luxury today. They have become an extension of our hands. What was developed as a pure business tool in 1973 by Dr. Martin Cooper has today brought about a lifestyle shift.
I remember, fifteen years back, during my two year stay in Japan, I was surrounded by people who were addicted to their gadgets all the time. It was a time when mobile phones were still unknown to me. I kept wondering, how anyone could keep staring at these gadgets and not see the world around. There I was in another part of the world, among strangers, and I still did not feel the necessity to update my parents on my daily pursuits, my whereabouts. Life was simple, when fortnightly phone calls satiated the moral needs of dear ones.
Today life has changed… Sigh!!! Communication has improved they say! Has it? You save time they say! Do you? You are smarter with a smart phone they say! Ehh??
Phone to me was only to make urgent calls and sending necessary messages. Ownership of a smart phone and exposure to the various apps saw a shift in my mindset. A touch on the phone was enough to bring home my groceries, to replenish my wardrobe, to update my library, to hire a cab, to find a new address. Life suddenly became a luxury and my smart phone suddenly became an extension of my hand. This was not just my story, but the story of every other person I encountered. Life started and ended with the phone. It brought together many old friends and together with it many old memories. The simultaneous presence in the real and virtual world made life more complicated. My thoughts bombarded with the outpourings and thoughts of many others who were so far away from my real world. The love, care and attention from this virtual world became suffocating. Putting my phone on silent mode did not help… as I was searching for the silent button to my thoughts. The smart phone had stolen my ‘me’ time and I already felt like a stranger to me…!!! My walking time, my reading time, my cooking time, and my family time was all interrupted. I knew what I was missing as I had already tasted the joy of simple living, the joy of starting my day with a walk in nature and ending my day with a quite book.
I have almost lost touch with myself… How then has Communication improved? I am unable to devote my time fully to anything… How does it save time! A walk in the vegetable market, bargaining with the vendors and auto rickshaw drivers and finding my way on my own through the meandering city roads are only memories, I wish to relive… how does this make me smarter??? Points to ponder indeed!!!