The Virtual World

The Virtual World

The virtual world has been edited by Rushi Bhimani.

It is often said, that the virtual world is like a whole different world altogether. A person seems to have another level of their personality. That world has its own essence, but like everything else it has its set of pros and cons. It has somehow made our world a diminutive place to live in. Sure, communication is a lot easier, but it has brought people in a zone where they are so close yet quite distanced.

It does reflect on how much the world has progressed. It’s one of the greatest examples of human achievements in the field of technology and science, and the impact it has had overall cannot be overlooked. I am sure our grandparents could never fathom that they’d be able to video call someone, or that one could find a life partner on a matrimonial site. Our parents might have never believed—if told twenty years ago—that they could get lessons from some brilliant experts via tutorial videos. What makes it even better is that all of this can be done while sitting comfortably on our couches or in our bedrooms.

Almost everything today is just a click away. Our entire life has managed to fit itself it this compact yet vast virtual world. We have integrated this world of 1’s and 0’s so deeply, that we make friends, find dates or spouse, shop, trade, watch movies, learn to cook and do a whole lot of things online. The real question is that did we make the virtual world a crucial part of our life or replace it as out life altogether?

We never really realized when we made that transition; the one where we involved ourselves so much that it became our life. It is safe to say, that our lives revolves around the virtual world, completely. Each and every emotion, all the empathy, laughter, happiness and angst that was once felt in person, are being exchanged over messages today. Texting has clearly become a part of the daily routine. It is believed, anything in excess is not good, it turns lethal. If we look a little closer, somewhere it applies in this scenario as well.

I tend to wonder, are our bonds limited to text messaging, WhatsApp or Facebook? We are so accustomed to conversing virtually, that we have some really soulful and fun conversations without even meeting the person. But what worries me is the outcome of our meeting with the person in real life, face-to-face. We just don’t know what to say, what to talk about. The flirting, the emoticons, the moments are always understood and felt better when they happen in the real world rather than the virtual one, oh wait…I think I got that wrong.

The memories we are making, those memories would last longer and feel beautiful when shared over meetings, face to face conversations, and it scares me as we are gradually forgetting that.

I admit, that I’ve met some really amazing people in the virtual world who have stuck by my side as and when I needed them, while I lost some dear ones in the real.  Having said that, one thing is extremely clear to me, that the virtual world is a medium to connect, but it is not the final point of sharing bonds and memories. We need reality, we need to feel in order to reciprocate. We need a hug when we are low and need to yell when pissed off, no emoticon can help there. We ought to feel, and that is not something a WhatsApp message can replace.

On this note, I’d take the liberty to quote Durjoy Dutta, “Texting is a brilliant way to miscommunicate what you feel and to misinterpret what other people mean”.

Sometimes to hide our emotions, to save ourselves and others from pain, we tend to miscommunicate. We pass on lies of blanket the truth and sugarcoat words. And the virtual means make it so much easier to do that.

The virtual world is definitely a good medium to stay connected, but I’d suggest never make it a necessity to save any relation or a part of life that you cannot live without.

Sometimes it feels good to just keep your cell phone at home. Just go…just go for a drive. Watch the sun setting down in the lap of nature and witness the moon, lighting up the night sky. I know, it sounds romantic but try it, you’ll be spellbound. Feel the cold wind on a chilly winter night. Hang out with friends to create memories that we may share with the virtual world, but not make them there. Keep it as part of life and that will make things much simpler and meaningful. Yes, the virtual world is important but again, importance could mean different things.

To read more by the author of  The Virtual World, click here.

Vyom Desai

Philosopher. Wanderer. Nuclear Engineer. Budding teacher. Kickass social worker. A true samosa enthusiast. Remember, blackberry is bae.