Facebook WhatsApp Twitter – Three parallel virtual worlds and the many synonyms of each. Where are we living these days? Answer: In some social networking site.

What inspired me to write this now is my recent visit to a relative’s place. Their kids are the most adorable ones I know off. Always fun to talk to, to play with and to travel with. I had gone to visit them after a year this time, and they were barely to be seen in the house, literally. They had been bought phones -the smart ones. They are living in the parallel worlds where you can meet them and like them or comment to them or share a video of the real world.

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Life has changed so much in the past few years for everybody. Purposes of life has changed so much. When was the last time you went to a place where your purpose of visit was solely to engross in the beauty of the place. ‘Oh wait I need to click a pic to be uploaded in Facebook.’ Oh wait that didn’t come out right… another one’. ‘Oh with another background!’ Now to upload after editing on Instagram, trying all the shades. Cut crop upload… Then wait for the likes, count the likes, wait for the comments. All in the trip where the sole purpose is no more to engross in the place, time and person you are with but to share and to look for notifications.

We are all lost! Reality has become a lodge where you stay but do not belong. I’m not saying that there are no advantages to all this. There are no more teary farewell parties that used to happen years ago where you really said goodbye . You knew you may not meet your classmates or schoolmates ever in your life again… You wouldn’t know where they would settle, unless you met somebody who met your friend accidentally somewhere and then you tried to contact. May or may not have succeeded. No WhatsApp groups. You just moved on in life with a fading picture of your past. Now we never say goodbye. Next moment you can see your friends online and even know what they are thinking. World has shrunken. Almost nobody alive disappears. How much earnest are friendships on webworld? I know of people who are very vocal on social media who don’t even smile when they meet in the real world.

Alter egos, false projection, desperation, boredom, unproductivity. I had just temporarily shut off from all the social media because I had an exam to appear. Unknowingly, I returned to the real world. I saw more things. Listened to more people, laughed out loud (LOL) more often… literally went ROFL… Had gone to places without a camera, smelled fresh rain soil, had time to ride a bicycle, repainted old paintings, noticed that lesser children played outside the houses, realized people around (and myself ) are getting old, noticed that my dog played with frogs every night.

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I had time to think of doing things and noticing things which otherwise I would not have preferred trading with my time in the alter world. I didn’t miss anyone. Of my 1100 Facebook friends, 5 called and asked me where I was. And those who mattered kept in touch… I met my friends and didn’t waste much time posing for photographs. I was happy to be wished on my birthday by people who remembered it without a Facebook reminder. I thought more about the past, the present and the future. I wrote more, read more.

It’s not a write up to say life is getting worse with technology and that it is a villain, and we should go back to lesser facilities. But pause! Take a look around and be here, in this beautiful real world first; and then maybe wander off for a while.

Where do you live? In the social networks or in the moments around you?