By Tinky Ningombam
The human urge to be connected to something/someone is inescapable and makes for a good debate. Do you get restless when you do not check your phone after every 5th minute? Have that tingling sensation on the tip of your thumbs to press you phone pad and see if there’s any messages, somewhat similar to the moments of obsession with your watch in the middle of a lecture to have a constant check on the Time ? Have you had days when you have never shut off your TV and couldn’t sleep without it on ? Have you forgotten the last time when you sat all alone and just sat and thought about YOU ?
The information age has finally dawned upon us and we are intermittently engulfed in the web of technology, info-feeds, pings, smses, bbms and newsalerts from every nook and cranny. Ergo, leading to the birth of two set of people , ones who have given up everything and run to the mountains and the ones who have embraced it. A little birdy once told, that excess of everything is for the record a bad idea. And even though I cannot vouch for the little birdy, clearly, who can trust anyone these days, but the fact does hold some merit if you actually think about it.
We come to a stage now when people want to see and have newer things. New things makes us happy, it becomes good fodder for gossip, it makes us feel something for the First time. ‘The first time’ phenomenon as psychologists say is what is considered as the milestones of human life. A recent study claimed that human beings remember most of our life – memories from our 20’s. The memories of our years in our 20’s are the most nostalgic and cherished for most people. And one of the defining reason is the fact that this is the time when we had most of our ‘first times’ , the first time we left home, the first time in college, the first job… So, it takes more of these many firsts nowadays to satisfy our urge, of our ‘living life on the edge’ , the YOLO (you only live once) effect. Be it hang-outs, sports, gadgets, entertainment, fashion. We are surrounded by many many things all the time.
Boredom, above all things, at some point of my life used to mean the mental and physical state of isolation, without company, without any way or device or media that can occupy/ entertain our attention. It has today has gone through a sea-change atleast for me. My mind travels back in time to the Sunday afternoons of yonder years when I have been left in solitude , with friends who are not available or have better things in life to do than to give me company, when the TV is dead and there fails to be any sign of the power coming back till nightfall, when it is that inopportune time when I would be done reading every bit of newspaper clipping, random comic books around, when I would have scribbled across every possible space of the wall with uncensored graffiti , when the phone would dead because the phone guys wouldn’t fix the cable and especially when the folks would have me grounded. And if you do not believe that ill-luck and lightning doesn’t strike twice, well it happened to yours faithful innumerable times.
And this my young friends was what was boredom
People now, go out , watch a movie in a mall, have lunch at the best restaurant and then come back, plonk on the chair and says ‘ I am bored ‘. Harsh comparison? But I do it too now, I have to admit. Hasn’t this been a lifestyle issue more than a behavioural one.
One good reason is because we want to be constantly ‘in the zone’. Surrounded by technology, people, new gimmicks. New kicks per se. And we do not need just physical objects or tools, we crave for new information to the extent that we feel empty without it.
As my good copywriter friend says “We are perpetually stuck in a state of information frenzy, we want to know what is happening in the world all the time, not just friends, family or random strangers, we are fed with so much information 24/7 that it feels odd when we do not get them and it feels like ‘we are missing out on something’ ” I , too, have constantly felt disconnected with the world the moment I shut down my laptop. And I kid you not, it takes a lot of grit to switch off you phone for a week. It takes a lot of guts to delete you Facebook account. I salute these great men, women and children. Even the ones who try. At least for sometime.
Time, I believe, is the most valuable asset in life. It comes after YOU. We should always take out time for the self. Even if it be for a short while. Sometimes we care a lot of what happens around us, what is being said, that we lose ourselves. We can do a lot better if you devote a little time to your own. Think of your life-choices, think of your past, your future, think of the people who have helped you, think of the things you can do to help. Because to be truly connected, one needs to understand the ‘ME’ first and it has to come from within, not from the outside in alone. Give some time to your thoughts. Your opinions matter.
(Counting the number of times someone says ‘I am bored’ doesn’t count as a worthwhile hobby. Tried that, didn’t work. Got bored myself)