As lives have begun and ended, one thing remained eternally constant: change. Whilst change has been utterly and largely negative in terms of the human mindset, it has been very much positive [perceptions matter], and at the same time very much negative [perceptions make it so] in terms of technology.
There is no doubt when one says that the large advancements in the field of technology have certainly made our lives comfortable and luxurious, but here is what we have failed to realize: that we have given birth to our virtual self in some, or more than some, fields of technology. What I mean by that is, we’re living a virtual, an untrue life somewhere else, where the worries of our real life are nothing but a dream.
My doubt is… which life do we now consider as our real life?
Many of us take solace in the fact that whilst we have no friends in our neighbourhood, no love near us, we definitely have more than 500 on a certain Facebook. We no longer meet people in real life, where real life is the world around you, but online. We do not know our neighbour half we well as we know someone else living thousands of miles away, simply because she is a Facebook friend. We talk to her through chats, through messages, through wall posts, through the phone, by texting… and sometimes we fall in love. My doubt is – are the feelings that erupt here, are these real feelings? When, in real life, no one really cares, online, it seems, is the only way one feels that they have a life. Life today seems to be lived more on the computer [read any form of technology], be it on Facebook, or Twitter, or btjunkie [a certain aXXo, who you should be familiar with if you’re an avid movie-downloader, is a virtual celebrity online, with a whole Wikipedia page to himself [see page], whilst no one in real life even knows his name], WikiLeaks [Julian Assange would be nothing if not for Leaks]… and even movies.
Now there will be many of you reading this shouting various opinions. Some would probably ask me who the hell I am to give you all a philosophical lecture. To that I’d just say that this is a space for personal writing, and it is your personal choice that has led to you to read this. There will still be others saying that I’m a mindless idiot trying to waste space meant for movies, to which I’d say the same thing to those who’d ask me: what has this to do with movies? Keeping it simple [silly!], this has everything to do with movies! Because movies are nothing but one another sphere where we live our virtual lives! There are some of us, a minority for the moment, who only live our lives waiting for upcoming Friday’s, where we stand in lines for hours just to watch SRK on screen, or Aamir on screen. As a die-hard movie fan, each of us would surely have, till now, at some point in our lived lives, done that.
Here is the mistake that we all make. Often, unknowingly, instinctively, unexpectedly and inevitably, we end up giving too much important to our virtual lives. I speak from personal experience when I say this: in my neighbourhood, or perhaps, in my city, I don’t have a single friend to hang out with. It’s not because I’m a loner or anything… it’s simply because I’m stuck in a loop: I spend time on Facebook, because that is the only way I can interact with friends… and I cannot go out to look for friends, because I spend too much time on Facebook! To put it bluntly, I find myself a experiencing a false sense of happiness in a virtual life that I have created for myself, unknowingly. Suddenly, you would all be giving me a strong, straightforward factual point… that if technology has given me a reason to smile, then it’s a good thing! To that, I’d say: in the short term, yes. But, in the long run, as I have slowly realized that Facebook is not the reality, it’s simply given me a reason to be sad. Because now I have realized that the Facebook life is not my real life. This is. This life, where I can’t virtually win ten thousand dollars by pressing a few buttons, and use it to buy better fodder for my farm animals, grow loads of wheat and be a rich, famous person. This life, where I can hardly make 3 people agree to my point of view, whilst on Facebook I could post a status and get 35 likes and 40 comments. That is not the truth. This is. And the sooner we realize that, the better.
They say that the time is not far away that technology would slowly take over us. By giving us a virtual life, it has already found itself a way to absorb 50% of our attention. We fall in love with people over the internet, but when we meet them, we realize that they’re so very different from the way they project themselves online. Because in life, there are no reset buttons. In life, there are no delete buttons.
Life is not a DVD player that we can fast-forward, or rewind and live again. Life is not a remote-control to pause it when we feel like, life is not a falsely-created scene where we can have a thousand retakes. We are not the actors given a written script, being guided by a director, and paid for by a producer. We are our own director, our own producer, our own editor, our own musician… with no control over any of these. Life is not a movie that you can watch and smile, feel sad for, enjoy, set everything right in the climax, and then walk out in the credits. Life is what it is: it is reality. The reality that we all have to face. We can’t decide to make a bad decision, and then delete the scene and write a new script.
Let us not love, eat, pray, enjoy, laugh, befriend, interact, like, comment, message, call, marry or break hearts in our virtual lives. Let us come back to reality. There is only one, and let us make that one worth living for.
That is why life should not be a movie. Because we can never remove the audio when we want to. We have to hear it, bear it, share it and face it.
We have to live it. Make it worthwhile.
And then if you have a great story to tell about yourself… you can always make a movie on it! Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of chances to do retakes then.