And it is this fickle virtual world that rules our social life today. And what comprises this so-called social life? Endless Candy Crush requests on Facebook, that friend who is obsessed about poking you every now and then, creeps who send messages like, ‘vil u b ma spcl frnd?’, checking your follower count on Twitter every other hour and of course, how can I forget the new trendy hurricane that has conquered the netizenry, the ‘selfie’?!
The irony is that in the quest for expanding our online friend lists, the friend circle in the real world seems to be shrinking. While all of us have WhatsApp groups with more than a dozen members on it, you are lucky if you can count on more than one person with whom you can have a heart-to-heart conversation at any time of the day (or night, for that matter). Somewhere down the line, we seem to have lost that sense of personal touch. The emotions that were replete in handwritten letters can never be found in a text message. While the latest messaging services are fun and useful, -I, for one, cannot do without WhatsApp - could it be ever as satisfactory as meeting your dear friend for lunch and going on a walk at Marine Drive? Texting a ‘*hug*’ hardly translates into the love and warmth one feels on actually receiving a ‘jadoo ki jhappi’.
But to be so immersed in this world that one forgets how to bond with someone in person, to chat so much with a friend that you have nothing to say to him/her when you meet, giving way to an awkward silence, is when things start to get out of hand. More absurd still is the harsh fact that people today are so glued online that they have developed a disconnect with the people who live under the same roof as them. Offline doesn’t mean off-my-life, does it?