In the modern world..

Birds in the bay

Saturday 1 PM:

I enter the big, nicely lit phone store.

I am here because I accidentally laundry-washed my phone. A day without a phone really is a bliss. I know it. I have felt it numerous times. I wish my parents were living with me. I wish they did not have to feel anxiety and worries that were six thousand miles long when my phone died.

I wish the world was not bigger than my little happy home.

But in reality this world is big and faster than anything around me.

In the store, the person in bright colored smart clothes appears, looks at my Asian face, cotton jacket and Lucky jeans [ I meant the brand you know.. nowadays brand makes us good human beings!]  and finally smiles: You have to take a new phone because this phone cannot be repaired. It’s water damaged.

I: That’s okay. I need an replacement handset urgently.

He: Do you want a new model because this model is old? You have to pay extra a few bucks. [ Extra means another 99 to 199 dollars. Not a few. Not for me.]

I: Old? I got it ..umm in late 2012? It’s not that old.

He: This is 2014. That model is more than 2 years old. In this modern world things change fast.

 

A few eyes stare at me right there.

This is modern world, I know, I am also one of the crafters of that technologically speeding world. But sometimes I vividly try to know what “modern” means..

I take exactly the same model, color and version of my old phone. No matter how fast we run, nostalgia and emotions are still my most favorite things. I hold on to things that help me to preserve good memories and that very phone camera tops that list.

 ***

Sunday 10 PM

 

That’s not a selfie” I almost yell.

But it looks like a nice selfie. Didn’t you click this yourself? ” She writes, about the picture I posted on Facebook after a year of hibernation. A picture of my husband and myself inside a store.

I close the book I was reading and ask my husband:  Have you seen in past one month, at least 5 out of 10 people post selfie on Facebook every day? That word itself is so awkward. What is a selfie? Can’t they call it self-photography or self-portrait at least? What different photographs people were posting on their profiles anyway?

Husband: People are so self-obsessed nowadays that very soon they will date themselves. Read this amazing article.

I read that article and many more about the social selfie syndrome that night and end up wondering where all of us are heading.

 ***

Friday 8 PM

You don’t stay in touch. Where have you vanished?” She complains.

I know I stay in a cocoon when I work on more important things. I focus more on things that matter at that point – which include a career, a few books, blogs, a happy home, close family and friends. In this world if I sprint to avoid something then that is gossip [ Not “Gossip Girls” though..I loved that TV series!]

I stay away from many people. People who don’t do things, just judge others. People who damage other lives to strengthen their low self-esteem. People who I ended up marking as hypocrites after knowing them.

It’s not easy for me too, to make myself comfortable in a creatively busy world; all alone and uninspired at times. 

You don’t have WhatsApp? But you have a smart phone.” She gives my phone a strange look.

No. I didn’t download it. It takes away too much time.” I answer softly.

“Hey! You should have WhatsApp. Nowadays everyone uses it. It makes communication easier. I can share my pictures with you within a second, you know.” She emphasizes everyone the most.

I think of telling her many things, like the life I live, the aspirations I hold, the lack of time in my life that I fight with, about distractions that those pop-ups of WhatsApp and FB apps create…and maybe I don’t want her pictures to be delivered to me within seconds..and maybe I don’t act crazy after seeing other’s craziness. But I know, in this world there’s still value for one old wisdom: silence – my silence is the best solution so many times.

“Okay! I will see you on WhatsApp then, if I download.” I try to end the conversation.

“It’s very modern. You have to see it.” She says.

 **

That evening, in that Indian party where parents were making their children dance to an ex- Porn star’s vulgar Hindi song “Baby doll”, my husband and I chuckled – Maybe we are growing up very fast in this modern world! Maybe growing apart was the best solution we found for our happy lifestyle in this strange era. Maybe one life, many books and a technically sound mind are not enough to know the meaning of the phrase “modern world” anymore…..

 

 

 

 

 

22 thoughts on “In the modern world..

  1. Your right everything moves so fast but also in an insular way and yes time is precious. It’s important to know what invades/takes away and what contributes. You sound like you have it worked out and set a great example to a happy medium xx

  2. All of the noise and busyness makes it impossible for me to think, to connect with my intuition, to be creative or participate in inner critical thought. Maybe it is easier to herd people when they are in a constant state of distraction.

    I choose quietness and peace. My home is my safe haven. Sometimes I isolate to regain focus and readjust emotional and physical balance.

    The modern world is full of foolishness. It’s easy to get lost in it all, but this is the question I ask myself every day: “How much of yourself are you willing to throw away in nonesense today?

    You’re post is insightful. You are very wise.

    1. I love joining a good discussion and in real life, that “good” is almost always non-existent. 🙂

      I am like you; I am happy and thankful that I understood where I should put my focus, otherwise this world is full of distractions. Sometimes I don’t write/read blog when there’s important work or a birthday in the family even though blogging is very close to my heart. 🙂 Maintaining balance is needed. And for me, one of the best decisions I made was -“Stay away from noise and focus on things you love.” Thank you for your words, Itty; I am so glad to read them here. Hugs

  3. I loved this post! I am tired too of the modern ways of the world in many ways. I am so glad you bought the same old phone that you had. 🙂

    Also.. FB and Whatsapp.. The former had become tiring and time consuming, so I got out of it long back, now I feel peaceful. 🙂 Now I am sick of the latter too. People simply add you into groups and they keep chatting the whole time and my phone’s battery dies down. I haven’t left it yet, coz of my stupid thought of “what will the others tell”. But I am going to, very soon… Good that you are not on it. *Thumbs up*

    1. :), Thank you, Arch. 🙂 I know almost every single change in the technical world and not all of them are this bizarre! It’s not because of technology, but people! 🙂 I hardly check my personal Facebook; almost all the time I hibernate there! 🙂 But WhatsApp? I will never ever have that app. I don’t like to be that accessible specially when accessibility is that cheap and terrible. You know people misuse inexpensive things!..For people who really care or seek care, I am always just a phone call/mail away!

  4. Archita, You make many excellent arguments for resisting “what everyone else is doing”. I think it is sad that more people cannot see what you have shared in this post and enjoy a simpler life. Well done!!! Patrick

    1. In my early twenties I wanted to change all bad things in the world; but later realized poverty of mind is more dangerous than real poverty. 🙂 I have seen real poor people, Patrick, and they are more modern and wonderful than many non-poor people I know!…Simpler life is the best. 🙂 Thank you for reading and your comment.:)

  5. Archita, you are too young to give us this beautiful piece of thoughts. It was, as a reader pointed out, painfully true and honest. Hugs.

  6. That’s the irony of our modern world. Big TVs, stingy minds. Bigger houses, smaller hearts. I couldn’t agree with you more. Well done!

    1. I so agree with you, NS. One thing keeps my positive thinking alive – that there are good, genuine, generous people too in this world; may be less but more powerful to keep this world a beautiful place. 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

  7. So very painfully true… The only reason there are pictures of me on Facebook is because my husband takes them. When everyone is “connected” with everyone else in a society of validation, where does one person’s ego end and another’s begin?
    For the record, I’ve never used WhatsApp. I also don’t have a smartphone (which I’m happy about).

    Also, I love the header picture! I’m not sure if it’s new of if I’m just now noticing it, but it took my breath away. 🙂

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, E. I loved reading your comment. Now, about my experiences,I can say- I always try not to be perceived as a snob when people give me suggestions. I hear them and later do what I feel right. Facebook changed the way we make and keep friendship. I love that we can share our moments with loved ones, moments of happiness, words of wisdom or sadness. It’s easy and so fast. But what I see is people’s selfies almost every hour [ ever since Ellen’s Oscar selfie ]..they take pictures from left, right, center and ask- “how I am looking! “I don’t like to validate anyone’s beauty that way! Everyone is beautiful and beauty does not have any standard measurement. I used to post many pictures too earlier. Then I stopped when someone said- I like your pictures but you don’t; and someone else said -you don’t comment on my pictures! ..someone said ” I am sad I don’t have beautiful features like yours” .. Weird right!?
      FB is a world made by and for us only – how can that be different than real world! But at least in real world, things are temporary and expectations are somehow real.

      Whatsapp is another story!..And I bought this phone two years ago only after clicking amazing night pictures in NYC with my friend’s phone (same model). This is a great phone for photo-loving people..:)

      I’m glad you loved header pictures. I recently updated all of them when I changed the theme. And hey, you’re the wisest young lady I know in my little world. Hugs.

      1. Right, I didn’t mean to come across as judgemental or critical, although I guess it sounds that way. I spend a lot of my time on various forums and social websites, and there’s a great deal of “Look at me! Tell me I’m pretty/handsome!” and it’s made me sort of jaded, I’m sad to say. I’m all for taking a picture when I’m happy/excited/looking great/doing something interesting, but every hour, for no occasion at all? Nope, not interested.

        Some people really like smartphones and that’s awesome you found one for photography! I prefer not to have one because I sorta got sucked into it when I did, haha. I needed to engage more with my surroundings.

        Your blog is looking gorgeous, and you made a fantastic choice on the theme. And thanks! Your insight is very highly valued in my realm. 🙂 Hugs all around.

        1. Hey E,, You can never sound judgmental or critical. 🙂 You are one wonderful person. I love taking lots of pictures too [ I’m always ready to stand behind or in front of the camera 🙂 ] but, yeah, that balance [ of sharing on social networking] is needed. 🙂 And I don’t like to validate anyone’s beauty on social networking. 😦

          I don’t like smartphones except the camera feature because sometimes I don’t feel like carrying my heavy camera to certain places. I love photography, E. I realized that I need to focus more on that love. 🙂 Thank you for your words.:)

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