2013-10-09

Guest Post: Sneha Bhat, 'It's Complicated'

Today, I welcome on the blog Sneha Bhat, a prolific and amazingly talented writer who hails from the beautiful land of Jammu and who is an engineer by profession and dreamer by choice. I have known Sneha for more than three years on the blogging space and requested her to pen a guest post for my blog. The nice girl that she is readily accepted and get set to read Sneha on this thought-provoking piece, 'It's Complicated' as to how technology and social media has impacted our lives. Sneha works in Mumbai at Tata Consultancy Services and is someone whose writing I admire a lot. Give her a loud shout on snehabhatsepo.blogspot.com and make sure to hop on her blog after you read her piece here.

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SNEHA BHAT on 'It's Complicated'

It's Complicated
Sometimes I sit back and reminisce about the good 'old childhood days. The simpler times. The days of playgrounds filled with us kids playing silly games. The time when counter-strike and Xbox were unheard of. The uncountable hours spent saving Mario's girlfriend. It is so amazing that I still remember all the places to collect the coins, eat that mushroom after a smart head-bang against the brick but I would have a very hard time remembering something like, say Bernoulli theory. With the advent of technology in every little sphere of our day to day lives, a lot has changed. The way we eat, the way we communicate, the way our relationships are is quite different from what it was around 10 years back.
Sneha Bhat

I still remember when I was a kid we used to write letters to our cousins in other states. It was quite a taxing job, buying envelopes, stamps and finally the little voyage to that omnipresent little red letter box. However, the actual test started after the letter was posted, the anticipation and the wait involved had its own sweet sour experience. Sometimes calls from STD-PCOs were made to check whether the letter was received or not. Now imagine the state of lovers staying apart with only letters as the means of communication between them. Archie’s gift shops must have earned quite a fortune in 90s selling those colourful heart shaped letter pads and perfumed notepads. My English teacher once told us how her husband used to write her long beautiful letters when they were courting. She went on to explain how she would have to sit with a dictionary and try to understand the beautiful words he used. At that time I would have difficulty imagining someone written love filled notes for that devil of a teacher. But thinking of it now, it is so romantic, so old English and so Jane Austen and Margaret Mitchell.
Our generation is so far away from the genuine romance. The feeling unadulterated by desire. To us everything is just so accessible. Anybody is just a call away. To make that call we don’t have to go anywhere but just press a few buttons on our mobiles and that’s that. If not call there are other different modes by which we can transmit our messages. There’s text, then there is email, social networking sites and thanks to smart phones there are numerous apps which allow any one from anywhere to contact you.
Come to think of it, wasn’t the older time simpler and easier? Limited means meant there was nothing much to do apart from yearning and waiting. However in today’s scenario there is way too much confusion. I mean anticipation of hearing from someone is surely going to drive you nuts. Messaging someone on Facebook, then checking them on whatsapp to check out the “last seen” and god forbid if the last seen is greater than the time of the Facebook message, the other people is surely going to be on the receiving end of a lot of agony. And, not just this, there viber and wechat, on one hand and Skype and hangout on the other. Sometimes it just feels really bad to wait and then get dejected by these different types of gadgets created to make our lives simpler. At times like this, I usually start missing the old times when there was one landline phone and you were either available or not. No mind games no confusions no mix-ups.
Apart from adding a complication into our lives, it is my personal belief that the presence of various gadgets have made us dumber. Take the mobile phone, for instance, all the contacts are stored into it. There was a time when I remembered all the phone numbers by heart friends, relatives, neighbours, mom’s friends, dad’s colleagues. Now sometimes I have trouble remembering my own number. My to-do and to-buy list is also very conveniently fed into my phone as and when I remember it. If I don’t do that I fail to recollect anything in the shop. And early morning dose of almonds also doesn’t seem to work. The dependency on my phone is so huge that sometimes I wake up sweating from the nightmares of losing it. Not just the phone, while jotting down some points in a meeting, I sometimes have trouble spelling simplest words, such is the dependency on the spellcheck tools. Thanks to MS Word for correcting my senselessly spelled words in a jiffy and making by posts readable.
The whole point of this rambling is that sometimes simplicity is really the best. Happiness derived from simple things in life is usually the best. An unexpected call from a friend, a sweet gesture, feelings, emotions and love. We need to come out of the gadget zone and try to spend some time with real people doing real things and experiencing the real happiness.


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