Friday, January 20, 2012

The World Unplugged ~ A Day Without Social Networking

      “If I won a Nobel Prize, and no one facebook status’d it, Did it really happen?”

As a child, my parent’s always told me about their years of socializing, where the youth went out for dances and parties with friends, spoke about their college days and had dinner in a huge group. If my father wanted to discuss a match with his friend he had to walk all the way to his house, and if my mother wanted to ask her cousin what dress looked better she had to carry it to her home and in order to find out the answer. “None of this tweeting non-sense” they’d say.  Nowadays , the world is built to our convenience. We are a lazy generation who have everything at our finger tips. If we want to know how a dress looks, we just take a photograph of ourselves in it and if we want to discuss a sport all we have to do is send a text. SMS, MMS, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr means we can have a social life without even changing out of our pyjama’s.  
We sit there, in our oldest clothes, hair uncombed, pizza sauce dripping on our shirts, yet our profile pictures make us feel beautiful, almost as if all decked up for a party. We are smart and witty when we comment on a status or a photograph. If in real life we stammer or are extremely awkward, online we are models and studs. That is the power of social networking.
Today, as an experiment I have decided to take a break from all sorts of social networking sites and stay off the web. That meant, no Facebook, no Youtube, no twitter, no text messages, no television.. . A sort of rehab that only lasts a day, because even before I started I was sure I wouldn’t last too long.  
Ive never been an alcoholic, nor a smoker or a druggie, so I never experienced what withdrawal symptoms felt like till this January 2012. Let me tell you one thing, It isn’t fun. It is nothing short of torture to be so isolated.
From a young age, I’ve taken up the habit of checking up on the world via web as soon as I wake up. So habituated to that, as soon as I woke up I switched on my computer, only to remember the technology “bandh” I decided to take up.  Almost immediately I changed my mind, what harm was there to just sign into Facebook for a minute? Who would know, other than the 30-40 people who would be online on my profile at that time?  Before I could ruin the experiment I decided to head back to bed and sleep a little while longer and it was then that it hit me how bad of an obsession the online world had become. “Web” couldn’t be a better name for it, bringing to mind a picture of a huge entangled spider web and me, the helpless little fly caught in it.
As I drifted off to sleep I began to dream. In my dream all I could see was a chat window and a conversation I was having with all my friends. Each person was just a name typed on the screen... no faces, no bodies...just words. I woke up panicking, and itching to turn on the computer.
Nothing is more certain than the fact that a day without social media truly makes you feel isolated.
I decided to go make myself a snack to distract myself and had a very interesting conversation with the microwave oven, who told me I should text some of my friends to keep me company. At first , it made a very convincing argument, but then the dishwasher told me I should stick to the experiment.
I was losing my mind.
After a while, I sat down to finish up an English assignment... With a pen and paper, and as if that wasn’t hard enough, I realised I couldn’t use Wikipedia or online Websters Dictionary!! Now what was I going to do?  I decided to leave it for the next day ... My mind just wouldn’t seem to work without the prodding of the online world.
As I lay on my bed, in deafening silence, I realised that there was  an important football match that evening.  I knew that everyone would be talking about it, and predicting outcomes. What a day to pick a social black out! This was my breaking point.  I felt like it was 2000 all over again, except the older more mature me was taking it much harder than me in my lack of social life back then.
Never have I ever wanted to take up alcoholism more. Anything would be better than this media-less torture.
I was waiting for the hallucination phase where I would start seeing the twitter bird flying around the house and having conversations with my iPhone.
At 4:30pm I could take it no longer. I just had to check into Facebook. I gave in to temptation and signed in ... only to notice 12 likes on my status “Taking a break from Social Networking For Day, See You All Tomorrow,” and one comment from my cousin saying “1000 bucks says you won’t last past 5 in the evening.”
Not only did I fail the experiment, but I just lost myself 1000 rupees.  I could go on about how disappointed I am in myself for giving in to temptation, but I’m going to go tweet about instead.

The End.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Rihanna... random rough sketch to test my new derwent ink tense colors. What amazing pencils... so vibrant! I enjoyed working with them!