I sit and watch the unseasonal rain. Gazing is a productive activity. It nudges introspection. The doorbell rings. Why are doorbells so unsonorous? I hear the door open and then shut. Amazon, delivery. Between four family members, two visits a day are assured, most days. Nobody blinks an eye now, to the different sized packages arriving, from the tiniest to the most humongous ones. Shower curtains, kettles, tea mugs, yoga mats, accessories, even gift tags, arrive like this. I feel disturbed at my digital dependence and the shifting topography of day to day life.
Making payments, in seconds, on the phone, has simplified things tremendously. Buying anything and everything from the comfort of my own sofa at home, without the angst of traffic, with some clicks, is a breeze, but there are many downsides. A behemoth is shaping and overpowering us. Is there no way back, is the scary question. And the answer to that is even scarier.
Years back I had read a book by Alvin Toffler called ‘Future Shock’ and it outlined the psychological distress of individuals and entire societies as a result of technology and too much change happening, too fast. That future is here. It is just like the doomsday movies. Only now it’s not on a flat screen that we sit and watch with fascinated horror – we watch it live.
There are two kind of monsters these days. Those who believe and those who don’t believe. Both sides are at constant violent war with each other. The weapons are modern, and provided freely by social media. Twitter is the prime weapon. Missiles dipped in ego, hate and vitriol are let loose left right and center. (Pun intentional). Political affiliations make people lose their sanity and sink into pointless hate for “the other.” Result is rage, noise, contention, vanity, but minimal debate.
Thank you internet. Thank you social media. More than the psychologists, philosophers, or writers and artists you have shown up a mirror to the underbelly of human nature.
And as we are realizing, it’s not pretty.
God save us from ourselves.