What’s app chat is the new kid in town.

Barrage of messages all day long with very little credibility sandwiched in-between various versions of truth float around. I am expected to check all messages frequently. And if I don’t, someone will call to ask me if I am fine.

Hell ya! I am as good as it gets. Just stop forwarding me details about what Aamir Khan had for breakfast. Or how Buddha will bless me if I agree to bomb other groups with a superstitious forward.

I am fine. Really. Not knowing many things helps me focus on MY LIFE! So I AM FINE!

And then there are groups – community groups, school friends groups, family what’s app groups, cat rescue groups, Bollywood groups, reading groups, writing groups……..

I need an assistant to keep track of all of them. I have tried to leave many groups only to be re-added by some zealous friend who insists that I am becoming a recluse. If I am not reading 4,756 messages a day then I am not enjoying my life.

Then there are layers of politics.

Who created the group?

Who will be added?

Are there any co-admins?

Some people want to remain in power by being the only admins of the group so that those wanting to join must beg to be part of the group. In grand scheme of things, their inconsequential and bland life suddenly becomes important. The admin of a what’s app group has the power to banish or to accept. Their 20 seconds of fame is linked to the click of a button.

And what about photo forwards? Jokes. Bollywood weddings. Industrialists engagement parties. Jewellery shows. Clothes design. Political jokes. Humorless jokes. Colourful images of how exciting life is out there, while you hide behind your phone trying to buy into that world while sipping on falourless slimming tea and dreaming of chocolate cake.

No one calls or visits on birthdays these days. Instead, icons of cakes and candles are forwarded. If you are popular then a great shot of flowers might come your way. No more let’s meet and wish a friend. That is so outdated. Reaching someone through a random messaging app will help them feel real special.

And then there are the thank you messages. I am expected to thank all those who randomly wished me happy birthday with or without a smiley. If I miss someone, then I get a separate message asking me if I saw their message and why have I not responded. I mean don’t get me wrong; it’s great to be wished by so many people. But there is only so much I can gobble of the cake and candle icon.

How I wish we could back track this technology. The joy of seeing your best friend ring your doorbell with a chocolate on your birthday can never be replaced or forgotten.

I have no need to connect with hundreds of people out there. I have only one need. To connect with myself. I want to live my life. Not a life that is linked to the buttons on the phones. And even if you don’t wish me good morning on my what’s app, I am sure to have a nice day. My cats will ensure I am happy.

The more tolerant we become to reading short sentences, slangs and jumbled up words; the less likely are we to go through a 500 pages book.

This my friends is the reality! 

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Shivani Adalja

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