The ‘Digital’ Us

While Karachi was rattled with a powerful earthquake in the mid of September, I was here in my office building. As we rushed down the stairs with little idea, still half conscious, self realizing whether it was just an earthquake or overwork that had relentlessly forced us away from work, I just had those ‘Final Destination’ moments all over my mind.

What if the building had collapsed? What if the power cuts we suffer relentlessly was permanent. What if we had to dwindle within the within those nasty moments of blackouts lasted forever? What if we would run out of those china made rechargables, batteries & flashlights and walk miles to have access to the closest water closet? What more – I would have to run miles rush to the nearest outlet to access internet & electricity to some rubble turned bakery for some electricity to recharge my smartphone & my laptop so that I could merely tweet about the catastrophe I had been through. Certainly, I wouldn’t have been the only one. The people would just stand there and rummage in awe scavenging on little they could find to relive within all the mayhem.

For a moment, Nature had just reminded me how essential was technology and yet we were all obsessed with technology and without any electricity we could have just been so – handicapped. The moment’s realization made me think that these electronic devices that we carry with us mattered as much as food and shelter. The self we owed to ourselves no longer exists and an abstract digital universe is part of our identity.

The self & fiction have a lot in common. They are both stories, interpretations. You and I can experience our lives without our story. It may be moribund, but the larger phase we have concocted to our lives is larger embellished with the fictional contour. Our story of our lives is based on direct experiences. The story of a novel involves scene after scene. Similarly our lives involve a series of discreet events that complete the chapter of our lives. It’s the story after another story, not just involving heartbreaks and happiness that make our lives so happening. It’s just perhaps because of these, and sometimes in spite of these, we have our lives so ‘musical’.  Technology has rephrased the way we exist. It has translated the smallest granular moments that we spend, living with our families, with our loved ones. However, it has also generated realms of data that our minds that no longer comprehend and that it why we continue to develop more & more complex and sophisticated machines.

All of this to say that we perceive and what we can measure is only going to widen. You and I can only answer the intrinsic nature of the worldly phenomenon. For us, what’s important is whether you’re happy right now. For us what’s important is continually winning the hearts of the people. Once in a while, if you are smart enough, you would realize that the heart you win, eventually, could be your own.

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