Tuesday, March 21, 2017


I was born in the year 1988 in an era where communication was a simple and yet difficult. There was no internet, no e-mail system, no WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and not even cellular phones. The technology of communication was primitive.

So how did people communicate during these times? How did people keep in touch with each other? What was the method of communication? How long would it take for the other person to respond? 
So many questions... with so many variable answers. 

The modern day of communication is highly dependent on the "Internet' and without this, we would still be living in a Stone Age of Communications. Gone are the days where sending Post Cards was considered 'romantic' (This is still practiced by a very niche audience and it's still considered a true form a communication). Gone are the days where you would need to be at home or workplace to call someone or wait for someone to call you. Gone are the days where someone 'paged' you to call them back. Gone are the days where writing an urgent letter to someone situated in the other side of the world would take days to reach them and who knows... by the time it reaches them, time would have already taken its natural course. With such difficulties, communication was still strong and people found sanity in such dark times.

Our patience in communication was tested.

As we grow older, we tend to migrate away from home. It's quiet common for teenagers and young adults to explore. There are plenty of reasons revolving around this. It can be for education, travel, work, vacation, nirvana, in search for love... But somehow your heart is still bonded to - a place with family, your wife and kids, friends and a place which you call - Home. Staying connected with loved ones was challenging and yet considered to be at it's purest during these times.

 "Home is where the heart is."

Coming back to the 21st century, communicating with people has been easy. One of giants of communication and communication technology has been Facebook. Taking over Orkut in the early 2000s, this started off as a college project by couple of wasted and lazy teenagers and over the past decade has become an global internet giant. It served as a modern and fast-tracked platform of communication, business and news. With Facebook also came WhatsApp. A simple instant messaging application. Somehow, it got hold of the emotional and physical comfort of being in touch with your loved ones, it helped the people at their weakest and provided support when you needed the most. Through Facebook we can call someone anywhere in the world, chat to your loved ones, video call someone whom you wish to see dearly, get instant replies, share pictures, upload videos, connect with friends easily, spread awareness quickly, emergencies are swiftly dealt with, observe the world from just a screen, get to know what the world around you is up to, etc. Over a decade of evolution, Facebook and other social media giants have got so many mediums to stay connected.

I am lucky to be born in this era. I really am. Communicating with family, with my Girlfriend, with friends, reading reviews, watching movies, listening to online music, video calling, chatting, etc. it feels so positive.  I use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn almost everyday. There's not a day that goes by when I haven't used these social medias. All thanks to Wi-fi and Internet Connection! It feels great that I am always connected with loved ones... I can chat with them, share photos, forward a joke I just read, ask for advice, get to see how they're doing, know what they are up to. It feels that "Home" is with you where ever you go.

Somehow with all positive aspects of communication comes the a button to produce negative effects. The easiness of communication brings forth so many challenges and somehow we become quiet dependent with this. We have built something like a command button to just throw away people from your life. With just a click of the button you or someone or even someone close to you can be 'deleted' from someone's profile. The can be applied to any social networking site and application. I am not going to touch upon the professional reasons for this act. Instead let's focus on a more personal level. It has been abused quiet often yet unintentionally. We can now block the people whom you love OR used to love, we can get blocked for unknown reasons, people can block you for their own protection, for spamming you, or stalking you, can get or be blocked for the sense of control etc. I read somewhere that there are two primary psychological thoughts for Blocking. One is pragmatic (protecting self from stronger people), and the other is performative (carrying out a symbolic act to feel strong). I would also term this button as simply saying - "I Hate You". Furthermore the other reasons, the common ones to get blocked are - 

  1. Ending a Relationship
  2. Inappropriate Language
  3. Spamming
  4. Harassment
  5. Stalking
  6. Inappropriate Photos
  7. Vanity
  8. Drama
  9. Religion
  10. Politics
Relationships are fragile. It takes years to develop a certain bond with someone but it takes minutes to destroy it. The same goes for respect and trust. With such variables in communication also develops a sense of arrogance to one's nature. It is quiet arrogant on someone's part to assume they need to justify their reason to you for taking the extra step. They should also have no obligation to do this but still by being insistent, that there is an obligation would explain this particular case and why they felt the need to Block you. In other words and very simply said, if there's no explanation to why someone would block you makes me question my integrity. The Block Command is a privilege given to you and it is not meant to be abused every time you end up in a fight or breaking the hard earned respect and trust you develop over time with someone, or a mistake which could have been communicated or spoken about like adults. How can one button cause so much stress? 

Such cracks in the system of communication become bigger over time and it takes a lot time to fix them. The bigger the problem, the harder the solution also. I feel this world of communication has become so pseudo-materialistic that we are going out of control with our emotions being splashed all over these social networking sites. Commands like 'Like', 'Share', Emoticons, Emojis, Block, Unfriend, have taken away human emotions and transformed them into a computer graphical representation of human nature. Our very existence is converted into binary data and we are very close to become artificial intelligence. The above mentioned commands have taken away and dismantled the very fabric of our human nature into a button and icon. We forget communication - how it was?, How much of a struggle would it have been not knowing what the other person was up to, how expensive it would have been to just send a letter across seas, how difficult it would have been to buy a post stamp, and how luxurious it would have been to click a photo through a Camera Obscura or a Kodak. You just wouldn't know how much you can miss a person or people whom you love so dearly and wholeheartedly - each and everyday, how many times that person comes into your mind, and how many memories are floating inside your head. Such emotions can be explained by simple communication and not make all of it so complicated by this. Can all of this be explained and be understood through just one button/icon?  

In today's world, communication is quick, being in touch with someone close to you through technology brings happiness, staying in touch is easy... But are we really truly connected?

Our patience in communication is declining.

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