It was a beautiful Sunday morning with dewdrops on the windowpane and the grass outside. The sun rays fell on Vicky’s face and he woke up to this pleasant, soothing atmosphere. He opened his eyes, took his phone in his hands and posted photos with a caption “waking up to this” everywhere on social media. He told his friends through a message app, about it. He then came at the breakfast table, clicked a photo of his breakfast and started eating while replying to his friends. “Vicky! Make sure you go to the bank today!” said his mom for the fifth time expecting some response. “Yes Ma! Why are you yelling at me for no reason?” he said finally. He sat on the couch the whole day watching funny videos and laughing his heart out. The bank work never happened. He went out for dinner with his friends that evening, all of them started clicking selfies and posting on social media. They selected the name of the restaurant and tagged each other in check-in posts. They clicked a photo of their dinner and posted it. “Hey do you guys know? According to the quiz that I took on that website, my spirit animal should be phoenix!” said Shweta with a smile. “That moment when your friend talks utter nonsense and you have to check if they have a brain! Hashtag are you dumb?” said Rajiv and everyone laughed. The conversation went on with more laughs by showing each other memes and funny videos. The dinner was cold by the time they actually started eating it. It was an effort to look away from their smartphones.
Were Vicky and the others relatable to you? They were to me at least. Yes, I’m addicted to my phone and sometimes I understand I’m using it for absolutely no reason. I wanted to write about a social issue. What better social issue than the recent one of smartphone usage? I’m and I think all of us are a victim of this “validation syndrome”. It is a serious one and is harmful too. How it affects our psyche is something we are aware of but are reluctant to accept.
After completing this write up it’s going to get posted everywhere on social media. No doubt social media is the best platform to express and share something worthwhile. Yes, it is also for our entertainment. But it is in our hands to not let it overpower us. Do you remember the last time you had a “real” conversation with your best friend? The one excluding social media entirely from the conversation. A “talk” over coffee at some place without any posts? Sounds hard to recall doesn’t it? We forget to BE PRESENT. We get lost in the abyss of virtual world pretty much all the time. We can’t be completely off technology of course but we can lessen its usage in our life. Those applications and emoticons have replaced real life high fives and laughing till tears come out of your eyes while you have the best time with your loved ones. There is so much you have been missing out on while you were busy recording or clicking or posting, maybe your baby’s first words or your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s blush or the beautiful weather around you. It is the real “FOMO”. These are the memories that you can treasure in your heart for a lifetime. Social media is going to put your posts in archives once they are older. But the memories and experiences in the real world will bring a real smile with real tears in your eyes as you sip coffee from a mug sitting in an armchair when you are seventy.
Think about it. Everyone needs to curb their phone usage and start being active in the real world.
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