Monday, Sep 26, 2022
Outlook.com
Digital Life

Life In A Hashtag: A World Overwhelmed By The Digital Wave

Looking for solitude while playing fastest finger first in a world of social media rules

Life In A Hashtag: A World Overwhelmed By The Digital Wave
Photographs: Chinki Sinha
Life In A Hashtag: A World Overwhelmed By The Digital Wave
outlookindia.com
2022-01-14T14:55:36+05:30

Solitude has been defined by several thinkers, but perhaps never so profoundly as Rabindranath Tagore in a 1903 essay, Vision of History.  At a time when India was reeling under British rule, Tagore termed solitude a “national heritage”, an essential attribute “of the spirit that characterised Bharatvarsha” that enabled the nation to remain “secure in its expansive solitude” despite foreign invasions as “nobody was able to inflict injury to its soul”. A century later, the spiritual heritage seems endangered. Prompted by the blistering pace of data that has tied people in an invincible bond with each other, a bond that often appears a shackle, the last decade has seen formidable ass­aults on an individual’s solitude. The digital mat­rix has dented the sanctity of our lives and made professions and relations look like a performance, a spectacle.  

Barely able to afford the solitude requisite for their evolution, few relationships are now sacrosanct. You simultaneously engage with a staggering range of people on your phone screen—often in the presence of somebody else. During a conversation over coffee with a friend, you pull out the phone without any apparent reason, do a quick scroll across apps, before resuming the conversation. A message to one’s lover about the evening plans, a tweet expressing outrage, a professional reply to a colleague about work, a peek at the likes generated on the latest Insta post—all this gets accomplished simultaneously, in less than sixty seconds, with someone curiously staring at you.

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.