I often think of an instance from a decade ago, when I cringed at a friend urging me to buy a touch-screen phone. Very soon, almost everyone around me was using these apparently ‘oh-so-cool’ phones and I didn’t mind being the odd one out. At that time, when I had just joined college, I didn’t feel like splurging my parents’ hard-earned money on this flamboyant device. However, the trap was laid and sooner or later I was going to fall into it. I finally put my hands on one of these touchy things. But, in my defense, only because I forgot to take out my good-old ugly looking phone from the pocket of my jeans which I very conveniently tossed into the washing machine. There was no looking back from there.

Later, I asked a shopkeeper- what’s this Android thing? My Java phone is good enough. I can make calls, send messages, even play some games if I want. And isn’t touch-screen supposed to already be the latest thing? What new value will an Android phone add to my life? The shopkeeper simply said “Madam, wo aapko use karke hi pata chalega (you can know only by experiencing it)”. Trap laid.

In an instance from a parallel dimension of evolution, an acquaintance said “I’ll send you a friend request on Facebook. Accept it okay?”. I proudly replied “Don’t bother. I don’t use Facebook. I occasionally use Orkut though”. He did a face-palm right then and there. That’s how late I already was and the ignorant me didn’t mind. However, some free time and random curiosity ensured that I end up creating an account on Facebook. Slowly, I began liking the fact that this platform did give everyone a chance to create an identity and establish their individuality. How shy they were in their non-virtual lives didn’t matter. With a few experimental posts in the beginning, I felt welcomed and embraced warmly by this world of likes and comments and so, even if reluctantly, a tent house was put up here.

But the world- this obnoxious, crazy, ever-changing world full of fanatics was not ready to allow us laggards any rest. “Why haven’t you installed Whatsapp yet?”, a friend screamed. “You’ve got to be on LinkedIn to be seen as a serious professional”, taught my seniors. “Dude, Facebook is for oldies. Insta is the new thing”, said the contemporaries. ‘Little drops of narcissism scattered everywhere’, is how I used to see this phenomenon. Every time, I retaliated. Every time, I ended up eating my own words a few months or years later.

No one forced me to join these platforms. But when everyone around me was high on something, it seemed sinful to not even taste it. Because if you decided to shun this world, where else would you go? You’d be wherever the people who are close to you are. And unfortunately, very few of them are there with you completely in the physical world. For you to share your stories, and for them to appreciate them, you go to the world where they live in.

The dynamism of technology is so closely intertwined with our lives that whether you love it or hate it, you can’t escape it. So, I decided to make peace with it. Moreover, having chosen a career in the field of marketing, I would have been a complete misfit if I did not make an extra effort to understand what people liked, where and how they spent most of their time and what is the most effective way to establish a conversation with them. I told myself to better start enjoying an affair with the internet. And so, every now and then it was okay to indulge in the guilty pleasures of the virtual world.

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Author's Bio: 

Founder of Wytti | Chief Content Strategist | Storyteller