The 'Selfie' World
I, me and myself . That’s what the society has come down to. Everything about oneself takes overriding priority over anything else in this world. Being self centered is considered to be normal and absolutely fine today!
The Journey from ‘We’ to ‘I’
We have long moved away from joint families where grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins lived harmoniously under one roof no matter what differences they had. However, at some point the differences expanded and so did the families resulting into nuclear families. It may be argued that the job requirements were also the cause. It also seemed that distance indeed makes the heart grow fonder and thus the resulting small families were not frowned upon. People visited each other with gifts in their hands and fondness in their hearts during holidays and lived their lives happily. The senior members took turns to visit their children and spend time with them. All that was fine till the time they were not too old to be able to do their own chores and till the time when these nuclear families did not become miniature families comprising of only one member, the individual himself oblivious to the rest even when staying under the same roof with others. So now, be it because of a busy schedule, work pressure, independent income, ambition to run the rat race of going up a corporate ladder, social ladder or whichever ladder, the ‘selfie’ family or the self centered family leading to a self centered world has come into existence.
The ‘make believe’ world
Social media has added to the woes as it encourages self love and self appreciation leading to a feel good world within the circle of a virtual world. Whatever be our achievements or activities in the real world, we have found a platform to boast through these sites, with elaborate, sometimes exaggerated description and pictures to endorse the same. We seem to revel in the number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ that give us this uplifting feeling of self worth. In the process everyone these days is glued to mobiles, tabs, laptops, i phones and all sorts of gadgets ignoring the real people in the vicinity .Even when we are sitting with them we are scrolling through the posts and comments of a make believe world.
Trends and Effects
These trends are leading to a dangerous situation where a person including children is either living in a status conscious environment or a false world which revolves around themselves and their gadgets. Competition is anything but healthy these days. The need to overtake others to reach the goals is almost the essence of life now and therefore it is done at any cost even if people are crushed on their way to success. On the other hand narcissism is on the rise. People spend hours clicking their own pictures so much so that the word ‘selfie’ has been formally included in the oxford dictionary. Interaction and visiting relatives have become passe because one can simply ‘whats-app’ to inquire about each other. Discussions in the dining table have been reduced to mere formalities in many houses. This is also leading to a lot of communication gap which in turn is leading to broken relationships and lack of empathy. One is quite contended to spend time on his own.
It’s time to wake up and look around. It’s time to see who is suffering. Our parents and the older generation is suffering who feel neglected and left out as they cannot relate to the present day mind set and because we do not have the time to hold their hands to guide them through their old age .
Our children are suffering because their childhood is passing them by and yet they do not go out and play, talk and enjoy the outside world in company of siblings, cousins and friends. They are suffering because they are unable to ask, discuss, argue and understand about the various aspects of life from their parents. They are not being encouraged to spend time, listen to stories and experiences that their grandparents would give anything to share. Many children are going through emotional turmoil since we hand them over the play stations, tabs and TV channels to spend time with in order to compromise on our own physical presence. Bullying, irritability, combativeness is commonly seen in children because of these reasons.
Lastly but most importantly we are suffering because we have become so self centered and so self opinionated that no one else seems to be more important. We are running after a mirage of contentment in terms of material gains that never seems to be anywhere close ,and so, we are always left wanting for more. We are missing out on precious years of our lives that will be gone in a jiffy as our children grow, parents leave this world and friends of the real world drift away further.
Stop and Think
It’s time to start living and cherishing all those we care for. As much as it can’t be denied that the work pressure has increased many folds to have us engrossed in our work, it is for us to make time for ourselves and to keep our sanity intact and our relationships healthy. We must know where to draw the line and what is achievable within our capabilities. Neither can it be denied that the social media has helped to get us back in touch with our long lost friends we didn’t have contact with after those school days or relatives staying in far flung areas, but one can always find time for them without neglecting the near and dear ones who are our priority. Time management is the answer. When there’s a will there’s a way. It’s time to reach out and be there for our parents, children, spouse, relatives and friends, in person so that they know us more than just a profile picture on Facebook.
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