I just read this article about a writer/comedian quitting twitter for a few months and remembered how i used to write long posts analyzing interesting articles, quotes, movies or even incidents almost a decade back. This is not a throw back to that or anything, but just a rant about how i agree with a certain portion of this article about my generation’s attitude to technology. To be precise this portion:
“this younger generation doesn’t have the demarcation we have—of a world before cell phones and then after. It was always there for them. So it’s not a novelty. And thus has less power. They don’t remember the endorphin rush of sudden connectivity, like when people my age first logged onto dial-up Internet and, after 10 minutes, sheepishly searched for their own name. Or the first time we received an email. And when those things happened on our phones? It was like the apes touching the monolith at the beginning of 2001.”
I was fascinated with the internet as a teenager. So much that in the real year 2001, i published a real book about how to use the internet (a kind of first in Gujarati at the time) and how fascinating your life could be online. People who were toddlers then are on their second or third tablets now. Most of the times, it is those who have grown up without the internet still get fascinated with any new aspect of social media or technology now.
Reading this made me think of how i have tried to break away from facebook and twitter, only to keep checking it passively. I hardly post the real fun i have had or places i have been to or even the articles i have written, wishing to keep my print and online lives separate. Past five years have been spent on staying away from social media and somehow it feels unnatural now not to be all out there. There is no separate, offline life anymore.
I still don’t want to spend too much energy into checking into every theater, restaurant, airport, stadium, forest, castle ruins, beaches, river cruises, and mountain tops i am at, friends i hang with, books i read, movies i watch, cocktails i drink, yes, my life is that awesome too, to put it modestly 😉 – i am going to function actively less instead of being a snoozy ‘likes this’ person. Passive activities online could actually make you feel like an ‘oxy-moron’ at times. So a break from it all would mean a complete offline break.
I can’t change the generation i belong to, but i definitely can let the teenager in my head take over, sit back and scroll.
To think of it, a post-Millenial or (Gen Z if you will) won’t feel the need to write a post like this. :p
PS: Here is the link to my latest travel article about the Canary island, Tenerife.