Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"How am I?"

For years and centuries before humans were hit by the gadget which even one year old can understand, the most profound question for each thinker (even lesser mortals) was - "Who am I?". Haven't we all read various writer write about this most classical question? Someone even said that most of the work done in art, science and religion actually tried to just answer this 'just' question. Means may be different but the answer to this question is surely the key to self-realization and claiming that self-realization.

But, alas, the question has changed with the introduction of social media and all the image management around it. The question most of us seeking now is "How am I?". If someone just wants to have a look at this question, go on and pick up any social media imprint of a person and the question would right there. In the era where people do not have time to read through a full article (or sometimes a paragraph) - how can we expect someone to read you? And hence it is our 'socially' moral duty to push ourselves into their minds. Even though the image which we try to push is totally fake most of the times.

It was not that this question was not prevalent earlier. Yes, it was prevalent when we all were a kid. Don't you remember, you used to judge yourselves based on how other person feels about you? Like, how do I play a particular based on a friend's opinion, or how do I perform in studies based on a teacher's opinion, or how do I rate myself as a son/daughter based on parent's opinion. Weren't we judging ourselves based on some other person's opinion. And then we grew up with the same philosophic mind of judging ourselves based on what other people think about us. But the difference in those times was the comforting factor that we were fine to live in our cocoon thinking and pondering about one's self as soon as we were out of the world's eyes.

With the advent of social media, humans just took it to another level. Instead of just trying hard at times and getting our high based on how people judge us, we went a step further and introduced marketing to it. Well, isn't business all around you - so why not introduce it in your self as well. And let people judge you highly - yes, because that it what gives us a high. Now, we actually lead people to judge us in a particular way.

A way which is built by us - one status message, one photo, or one check-in at a time...


Vibha said...

There's some deep thinking here Akshaya - A well-written blog that makes one ponder. It is true that social media has changed a lot of things, but I think, and as you rightly pointed out, the introduction of marketing to it has really done us in. What else can we expect when people become brands and more and more contests and serious prizes are judged by the number of likes rather than through a detailed critical evaluation. If you look at how things are progressing in the world of writing (for that is the world I know a little and can comment on with some authority), it isn't one's writing talent that makes one a bestselling writer anymore, rather it is the talent in putting on a show (marketing in other words). Which I believe is rather unfair. As everything becomes more and more about money, I wonder whether evolution will slowly make us more superficial, more shallow till the point that external appearances and gloss is all that will matter. Oh wait! I think we are there already.

Thanks for sharing, Akshaya. Would love to read more.

Akshaya Saxena said...

Thanks Vibha for the elaborate comments.