Instant Review

It is an amusing delight to see the changing device characteristics of us species. It is the same generation that waited patiently as kids to have the photos clicked, sent the negatives to the photo shop, await them to be developed, and get to glance at the photos when they are home, like say after about 10 days. And this same generation gets impatient in 5 seconds when you don’t show them the photo just clicked – 5 seconds ago. It ‘has’ to be sent to their phone via Whatsapp –  instantly, so that they can upload it on their Facebook – instantly, and person sitting next or the one who clicked the photo ‘must’ be tagged – instantly, and his/her girlfriend/boyfriend ‘must’ like it, yes  instantly. No waiting time, what-so-ever and for what-ever reason, is acceptable. 

Let’s see letters. There was this time, just about 20 years back when letters was the only way to communicate for the majority, telephones were scarce and expensive. You never knew when or whether an expected letter was sent, when you would get it, and what time. You would wait patiently, day after day to see an envelope with your name on it in a familiar handwriting. That moment is a pure bliss. With the emails, and instant messaging and these darned smartphones with 3G connections, you would reach out to your phone even before it stops beeping the notification. Read it right then and there – having dinner with your family, talking to someone, driving on highway, watching your favourite tv show, standing in queue, or pooping – doesn’t matter. Yes the phones are carried to the toilet. You know – just in case. A message has arrived, you have to read it, NOW. If not, the fear of it disappearing or changing is so high that it simply should not be left unattended. It could cause a calamity, why take a chance?

How about returning calls? Not so long ago, caller ids and answering machines were non-existent. If you could not answer the call before it got disconnected, there was no way you could know who called. But now with all these fancy facilities, you know who called, what time, how many times, and listen to the message left if you want to. So now you are obliged to call back and ‘catch up’. This is not an option unless you don’t care to be perceived as arrogant and rude. Same is with the messages, you ‘have’ to reply within a tolerable time, because the sender knows if you received it and whether you have read or not. Damn, there is no escape. So instant is the protocol you have to follow. How could you let the middle of someone’s sentence (that someone sitting in front of you) interrupt the beginning of this important conversation?

The way these paradigms of the social conventions are changing the specification of us until-now-intelligent-and-considerate humans, you can only be pleased at it. These new instant norms and dynamics have gone to the extent of……

….brb. Got a call!


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