30 March 2014

Say what?

Over the last few weeks, I have been talking to a lot of people. By talking I mean I retweeting, sharing stuff on Facebook and spaming my Gmail contacts with "Fwd: Fwd: Re: This is SO COOL" emails. Not to forget the nights spent staring at "last seen today at 23:59". Conversation that actually involves using the voice box has substantially declined - maybe for the better, maybe for the worse; I don't want to get into that. I will leave that one for you to debate with your parents.

I have noticed somethings about the conversations we have. Either these things were always there and I was too stupid to not see them or I just have had more time lately (a declining number of party invitations?). I feel that we have lost the will to appreciate what someone else is saying. Take for example this :

Bobo 1 : Dude, look at the cool stuff I bought! I got a shoe freshener!
Bobo 2 : Oh nice, but you know what the purpose of shopping is, right? It is to buy things you will use and not just collect

This is of course a terrible example, but explains the point - people are waiting to burst your bubble. Off with their tongues they go prick prick prick! I am guilty too - there is a certain thrill in this. But I am trying to change. Trying to appreciate what the other person is saying and not give automated, tangential and opposing answers. Take another example :

Bobo 1 : Hey! This is a cool place - it must be so beautiful to vacation here!
Bobo 2 : It would be so expensive

While I agree that everything has pros and cons, I dislike it when people just hang on to one problem and ignore the good points. They don't appreciate the good. It makes the other person feel insignificant.

But this is not limited to people talking. Take a look at the articles that are trending on social media. A person would blink and there will be blogs for and against their blinking. "Why the world will miss Khushwant Singh?" "The Khushwant Singh they will never tell you about" "Khushwant Singh - The Sikh" et al. At some point you won't know what to think about anything. I love freedom of speech - it allows me to trash talk and get away with it. But I think at some point in this race to be noticed, to be liked and to be retweeted, we oppose for the sake of being different. I could be wrong and I hope I am.

But that doesn't conclude my whining. A lot of our Facebook feed has stuff from 9GAG, Buzzfeed, Thought Catalog and the others. And when you see something funny or something interesting you might want to share it - either to spread the knowledge/laughter or to get the likes/retweets. Either case is justified. But what really annoys me is when someone says - "Oh! I have seen this!"

So you've seen this before and it's not surprising, right? I mean, this stuff is trending and from the many sources that exist, it is possible that you have seen this. But that's not why someone shared this in the first place. The reason why someone shared something was not because they wanted to be the first person to share it (or is it?) or to show you something novel and rare; but something that they found funny/interesting and thought you might like it too. We never appreciate their thought of sharing, do we? Ever say thanks? We just say "Is this the one with...? Hahahaha" or "I've seen this hahahhahaa"

This meme (which you might have seen before) sums it up well :

Be nice to people. Appreciate the good things. Criticise where necessary. But don't forget the good things.

Song : Moora -- Gangs of Wassepur 2

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