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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Socially unsocial!

Do you have a Facebook account? Or Twitter? Instagram? Whatsapp? Hike? Telegram? We chat? Any other app or site I forgot? If yes, then you're socially connected, right? Wrong!

Recently, I had to visit a hospital regularly. Let me get this out of the way: it's not a happy place. But oh well! Anyway, as I had to spend quite a bit of time there, I used a lot of that time to look around. Lot of people would come daily to meet their ailing relatives or friends. It was great to see people staying on and bringing smile to each other's faces. Sometimes, a tear or two would be shed as well (after all it was a cancer hospital). It was heartening to see people coming and showing humanity. But amidst all the good things, I saw something very concerning as well. Yes, the next gen and its love affair with their phones.

While elders and dads and moms would talk to the patients, the younger sons and daughters would be searching for charging points, or texting someone, or simply looking at their phone screens. I know, I know, I don't have the right to call out anyone on this, because a) I don't know what exactly they were doing and b) I've been guilty of this myself at times. But more than this, the cause of concern for me was the utter lack of interaction with people sitting right in front of you. Even the patients who had beds beside each other would talk to each other and socialize while the gen next decided to  bury themselves in their phones.

This might seem as just a one off incident, but it's actually a more dangerous trend than it seems. Look around you! Everyone's busy on their phones. Everyone's either texting, or updating statuses or just looking at their smart phones. The 'supposed' friends sit beside each other at a coffee table and chat with someone else. And what's coming out of it! Our next gen is becoming socially awkward!

Social networking was invented to bring people closer, right? At least that's what they advertised. Instead, people are becoming very unsocial. I saw my dad talking with patients and relatives around while their sons and daughters would wander off talking to someone else. Why is that so? Why can't people talk to each other more? Why do we bury ourselves into the social media! I am not saying that they're bad. I myself use them a lot, sometimes too much. But where's the real human interaction?

All of this is so disconcerting. We have become slaves to the machines we invented. As important social networking is, it can't replace real life human interaction. But somewhere that human touch is lost. We no longer exist at a place physically. Our pictures are phonier than they seem. Real emotions are lost in poses. 

Please put down your phones, laptops and talk to someone for real. When you sit beside a stranger, strike up a conversation. Get to know each other. Spend a little less time on the phone and more with human beings. Don't let the friendship and relationship become platonic. Don't make your friends a photo album, let them create a moment to remember. Because nothing can replace human touch!