Changing times, trying moments. If not anything else, time and change seem to be the only variables that stay constant. (Beg pardon for the cliché.) Each step of human growth is challenged by a change, an evolving process that comes with an option to choose – always. A sporadic bout of common observation indicates that there is an age until which one embraces change with wide open arms. Holding the rule of thumb good to this pronouncement, meeting change too may come with a threshold. Simply put, there will be a point when no longer will we be able to cope up with a change with as much swiftness as we may have done erstwhile.
Fast-forwarding this context to the present day, when did it all become so complicated? Or, should I say simple? Anyone’s existence seems to be surrounded by someone else. Moments and movements are no less than ‘tracked’. This is of course under the presumption that the trigger of this ‘mass’ following is initiated by none other than the source. The bygones of Stone Age introduced us to a newborn culture of privacy and nuclear families. As time passed and these concepts got butt-soaked comfortable, along came a finding that I tend to usually associate with the underestimation of human boredom: the rise of Social Media.
Social Media is not only an aiding tool in this vanquishing era of Kaliyuga, but has also emerged as a platform Herculean enough to empower mankind with untold stances. Trends are fabricated and shattered in mere hours. Sickness and health are embraced all alike. The faces on the sphere of the earth seem to laugh and cry in an indifferent baritone. As a Marketer, not only am I expected to move into the shoes of Digital Marketing today, but also account for the release of every single little something with a presence on Social Media, whether a full-fledged campaign or a one-liner highlight. Everything needs to go Social. Period. The reason: to ensure a wider reach; it’s all about the buzz. You want people to know what you are up to – that is, all the good stuff that you can muster!
Millennials, a cohort that researchers claim to contribute to one-third of the global population today*, have synced their lives onto Social Media. Their day begins with a smartphone waking them up; if truth be told, they have grown dependent on this device-varying-from-three-to-seven-inches-with-an-easily-shatterable-screen so much, that if one were to take it away, we may have just as well asked them to stop breathing. Data must be on-the-move and information is demanded on fingertips. They do not seem to have acquainted with another way of living. Liked the article you just browsed through? Share it. Loved the song that you just streamed? Let people know. Struck a thoughtful note? Post it. These enablers in the name of technology have only made the already lazy lives lazier. Earlier, there was the so-called ‘pain’ of copying and pasting the link from the source to the wall, however, one is pre-enabled today with a slothful convenient option that prompts going Social just as one reaches the end of the encounter. Found the article interesting? Share it. Or, sharing is sexy! Sounds familiar?
I chose to be on Social Media from as early as 2009 but it wasn’t until a couple of years back that I engaged candidly on (read: exploited) it. On self-familiarising with an extremely popular forum recently, I figured that shorthand is the new cool. In the process, I also realised that there were barely any forums that allowed posting while restricting it to the audience that only I wished would participate. Given the sudden splurge of the ‘reach’ factor combined with a sense of social status these forums are gaining, I found not ‘friending’ (read: rejecting) people from workplace equally tough, especially with the lot that I get along with well. It certainly seems to be an undefined property, for there exists not even a thin line between one’s personal and professional space. Every Man’s Land may rather sound apt on the other hand, if I may, considering not only can every man see what it is that you are up to, but also choose to participate in a space that may have been ideally yours for your selective audience! Granted, that this ain’t a big deal today – now that’s a discussion left for another day.
This affair of Social Media leaves me with a slightly unsettling feeling, more so on the ironical end of the stick. Not many individuals in this Millennial Age wish staying close with their families (except for maybe, one’s parents in most Indian households). Allow me to ask: When was it that you last spoke with your aunt, grandparent or your cousin? On the other hand, when did you last comment on a friend’s update? When did you last make a post on one (or more) of the online forum(s)? Quite sure, this doesn’t require any answering.
As paradoxical as it may seem, when I penned the first draft of this piece, it was on a paper. There were the waves that provided an aid to my hearing. A seemingly endless mass of bluish-green liquid converging far into the horizon greeted my sight. This picture was further painted with a fisherman who was by himself on a catamaran. Clearly, some aspects of old school still pull off the trick for me.
* Source: Internet