I religiously delete all chat history as and when the chat is over, clear out my inbox on a daily basis, sparingly use Whatsapp

Why I choose to remain tech-challenged in a hyper-connected world of online narcissists
Blog Technology Thursday, June 02, 2016 - 13:49

In an age where technological gadgets are churned out by the dozen per minute, being diagnosed as technologically-challenged is apparently more of a social stigma than not knowing why most modern-day couch potatoes go gaga over the American fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones with its blatantly violent sexual subjugation of women.

I choose to be technologically-challenged, and why I do so is a matter of much discussion among my colleagues at work who even swear with a click.

Being part of an online venture while not exactly being wowed by all that happens online is something the tech-savvy crowd just doesn’t get. So while I prefer to simply stick to writing articles and restrict communication to an occasional G-chat or a video conference call, I see people communicating simultaneously on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and what not… all in one breath.

As one of my journalist colleagues succinctly put it: “They seem to have actually rolled out a mat on social media and lie there 24x7 commenting on just about anything and everything under the sun, irrespective of whether they possess even an iota of knowledge of the topic under discussion.”

‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ is sheer blasphemy in the online world, with people online never tiring of the slogan ‘Give me more!’ Right from informing you that they are up and shining and the exact time they got out of bed or are in it, had coffee or tea, the state of their hair, the colour of their nails, the way their dog ‘ohhh sooooo cutely’ nuzzles up to them, the brand new tattoo they got on the lower back, I am genuinely surprised at their lack of mention of the exact colour of their ‘poo’ as it gets flushed down the commode.

With the advent of all these latest technological gadgets and burgeoning social media presence in our day-to-day lives, whatever happens in our mundane lives is there for all to see. Everyone else apart from me and maybe a few equally tortured souls seem to live a happening life, while we -the unlucky lot- just trudge along with our routine chores.

It could possibly be an extreme fall-out of such over-exposure to social media that I consciously choose to stay away from it all, except for the bare necessities needed to keep in touch with the rest of the world.

Yeah, I do admit that my paranoia of being deprived of my very own personal space does take me to the other extreme. But then what else do you expect from me? After coming across real-life cases where I have known people to retain more than 5000 emails in their inbox which is clearly choking for space now makes me religiously delete all chat history as and when the chat is over, clear out my inbox on a daily basis, sparingly use Whatsapp, preferring to send direct messages over Facebook or Twitter rather than posting on the wall.

I am totally uncomfortable at having my pictures splashed all over the place and would probably have a fit if I had to press the ‘like’ button for all the zillion photographs that come my way on the social media. There are friends who have cold-shouldered me for not liking a picture of their freshly cut mane or that of their pets. On second thoughts, perhaps one is indeed better off without having to deal with a bunch of narcissists breathing down your back.

How does one actually get the brain to work with so much of information overload is something I am yet to figure out, but I do know several people who simply thrive on the air-time through the various apps that are churned out every second on social media.

More often, it is this very craving for instant fame that get them to stage the most absurd stunts on social platforms, even going to the point of live-streaming their own thought-out deaths for that last-minute recognition that never came their way while they were still alive. And of course, there's always a group of whackos who live with their index finger permanently glued on to the like button on Facebook, with 'likes' pouring in even when someone announces the demise of a loved one.

With such obtuse reasoning having garnered its own set of weirdo aficionados, I would any day prefer to be a technologically-challenged person who still finds immense happiness in simply sitting and staring, actually meeting up with people face-to-face and just enjoying a moment of silent companionship with those whom you really care for, rather than key in a perfunctory salutary message from across the same room, where real conversation simply petered out a long time ago.