From Fad To Fade [Part II]: The “e” Which Matters

It’s all about perspective in this fast moving world. Think about The Sims, GTA, or Half Life, or any such interactive first person game. These are not just games people play: they live them. Sitting anywhere in this world, you just need a console and internet to be anywhere, talk to anyone, and do anything you like. Of course within the bounds of the game!

Sometimes I think, is this all because people are afraid to face reality? I wouldn’t dare to stroll around the town or walk in to a bar just to initiate a conversation with a stranger. Fear (of getting beaten up) would be the last thing on my mind. It’s the embarrassment I might face, or the reaction I might get from the other person which worries me. But, with a mask on (virtually), no one would know me. Moreover, the person on the other side will become playful too.

“The fact that all of this was happening in virtual space made no difference. Being virtually killed by virtual laser in virtual space is just as effective as the real thing, because you are as dead as you think you are.” ~ Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

Oh no! I’m not against the technology or the advancement. In fact, being associated with so many social platforms myself, I have seen the benefits of it. I have been able to communicate with friends whom I last spoke in high school. I have been able to see what others have been doing (status updates), and share with my friends what’s happening in my life too. The important dates are reminded to me, and I can create social events to be shared with a larger audience. Most of all, I have been able to create a (limited) global presence for myself with a scope beyond my imagination.

But… How long can one continue like that. Perhaps, forever! Maybe not! At some point you would need to fill the void which has been created. People will not know how I speak, how I walk, or what kind of person I am. It’s our body language, our daily interactions, our manners and cultural values, and all our subconscious actions which define us. And, I can’t run away from the fact that behind all the virtual medium I’m hiding the loneliness, the urge to be known.

The darkness, which has stemmed within, can only be cured by rambling under the sun, meeting new people (face-to-face) and speaking your heart out, for a change. The limited light emitted from ‘e’ medium will not lead you anywhere. The inclination towards material world is impermanent. What’s lasting is your senses, your true self. So, go out and meet people, make someone laugh and laugh with them, make a connection, create some spark. But, don’t spark the connection, the relation just by sitting behind electronic media.

 

As C.G. Jung has said, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

 

Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).

Thanks in advance!

Advertisements

From Fad To Fade [Part I] – Difference Is Just “e”

As far as I could remember, it was during summers. We had just finished the last lecture of the day. I and some of my friends were walking, under the parking shade to avoid the scorching sun, towards the local eatery to grab some evening snacks. Couple of them were talking about social networking site, Facebook or was it Orkut, I can’t remember now. Anyways, the discussion got me intrigued and I jumped in between to ask, “What’s that you guys are talking about?” My friend, almost awestruck as if I belonged to a bygone age, replied… “Haven’t you heard about it?” I felt so down and out of touch with what was happening around me. That very evening I went to my college’s computer lab and created my account on that site. I spent some time understanding the purpose and features of the site. Since then, I have been a member of most of the social networking sites, largely popular around the world.

Years later, I wanted some details and was searching my username, which I was sure I had stored somewhere on my laptop, but couldn’t find it for some time. All I could do was to skim across folders and files, only to find username for every other site than the one I was looking for. Overwhelmed with the data I ran down, I asked myself “Why did I join all those sites?

The prompt answer which I could think of was, “It was a fad during those days” And I didn’t want to be the odd one out amongst my friends. Naturally now, I have a lot of friends in my friend list. But, does that mean I am in contact with each and every one of them on regular basis? I suppose not! The networking site have merely served as a contact book to locate and add (long lost) people to a list which I can refer when needed, perhaps rarely or never. Not to forget the meaningless, well sometimes useful, updates which we share. The number of people commenting of liking the post became an obsession, to level where people started posting status updates varying from “I Just woke up”, to “Going for bath now”, to numerous obnoxious shares.

Nonetheless…The charm, which ones got me hooked to these site for hours together, was fading now. I was starting to realize… the difference between fad and fade was of ‘e’. You must be thinking, “What a fool! He must be really bad in English.” Well… It’s not the grammatical error I’m pointing to, it the mental closure which we have attained due to “e” or “electronic” or the virtual lives we live. We all have loads of friends in our list, but we never speak. We send out smileys over chats, but we have a straight face while doing it. A success or a birthday surprise visit to friend’s house to wish him well has been replaced with a text or picture message, let alone calling up. To peak it all, sitting over dining table people usually communicate with one another over phone (thanks to chat apps) or are busy tapping and swiping (mobile) screen.

So is this “e” thing a bad one?

Continue Reading – Part II

 

Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).

Thanks in advance!

Brexit: The New Bit On The Blog, Like A New Kid On The Block

brexit

Last week of June 2016 brought about a tsunami in the Eurozone, people overwhelmed with mixed emotions rallying on the streets, and Brexit became the talk of every hamlet, town, and city. The country which once ruled a bulk of this planet, went through a hullaballoo when one of its member states (well an independent country too) decided to part ways with the union. And now… it was the kingdom itself breaking its relation with the (EU) zone which it founded along with other members.

The principle idea behind the EC/EU zone, at the time of formation, was to create a common market for the members to trade and create a place for growth. Ralph Nader couldn’t have explained it any better, “Free trade agreements are trade agreements that don’t stick to trade…they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people – and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce.”

So why was the Great Britain exiting the EU (Brexit)?

This question has bamboozled not only me, but a lot of people around this world. Some had their personal, and professional interest attached with it while other were just curious to understand where this all will lead to? The stepping stone for this exit was laid long back when the ruling Labour party had a (failed) referendum way back in 1975, subsequently over the years. The lack of public support thereafter meant the UK remained part of the EEC/EU, until recently when the ruling party announced its decision to conduct another referendum.

Taking a step back from the political agenda of several MPs and political parties, I would like to focus on the socio-economic outlook of the country for the last decade or so. Even this might be a humungous task to explain in short. Working in a team is always challenging, more so when some members perform well, perhaps due to the skills and access to resources, while other lag behind. Over the period of time, the ones doing better think of others as a liability, someone feeding off their hard work, whereas the others struggle to cope up with the challenges and start finding ways to be at par, or maybe better, with everyone. With a limit attached to everything, be it the resources, jobs, or facilities, people start migrating to places which can offer them better lifestyle. The influx of people results in an increased competition, and decreased benefits. Every pie has to be shared with more people than earlier. It like reminding us of Darwin’s survival of fittest theory all over again.

If you lack something, you should not be shy of asking for help. In this case, immigration is rather good for the country. It boosts sales, creates a healthy competition, and improves the economic stability. On the flip side, an uncontrolled levels would mean feeling of hatred, and discomfort among locals. Imagine a situation when a lot of people suddenly turn up on your doorstep, more than what you hoped for. Then again, if you are opening doors then let it be free of caste, colour, race, or region. Or, inconceivably, have mechanism to identify the type of people you would need for your growth. Studies have shown that a larger chunk of people, outside of the EU, have been equally responsible for the growth of the UK. But they are the ones having to go through stringent immigration checks, and laws. Protecting your people, your country is one thing, but it should not reflect as being racist, even for a slightest bit.

As Christopher Hitchens wrote in Hitch-22: A Memoir “What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition.”

Is IT Really Dependent On Business?

During the good ole days, businesses were carried out as a means to share the extra produce and make some earnings. At the time, the earnings were often one thing exchanged for another, which was required by the person. The quantity would have differed, as agreed under the then used barter system. Gradually, the metal (coins), and then the currency changed the way how the business transactions were carried out. If I were born during the early nineteenth century, I would have known more details, however, I could only speculate now. People had to walk miles to reach the market place, since they had no means of travel. Years later, with advancement in technology, people started getting access to different modes of travel and communication. For a person dealing in the local market, it opened doors to vast customer base, and eventually to outside world.

I believe, it was the risk taking capability of the individual which pushed them to expand the business or not. Some were afraid of the prospects, while others did not had the resources. A few of them, who took the risks, didn’t know to manage the business at the large scale. Then of course, there were people who kept pushing and were successful. Most of the business empires, which exist today, are result of constant adaptation and upgradation. They worked different businesses, lost margins, made profits, went through the process of letting off business units when times were adverse and stitching them together when the money fell through the roof.

As with any particle, there is transition from ground zero (startup) to excited state (stable). Somewhere in between, is the saturation or stale state. This state may be achieved once or more by the businesses. This is when any business would need a catalyst (a different idea, a new product, or a new process) to shoot up again. If the business is at its peak and doesn’t need or can’t find a catalyst, then its downfall is evident.

During the late ‘90s and early ‘20s, internet became the medium and the technology feeding on this medium became the catalyst for the businesses. With a little bit of investment in software, the companies were finding ways to reduce expenditures on travels, meetings, and other things. While at the same time, they were connecting with more people (at global level), generating more interest in the products, and increasing the transactions. Software, programming languages, platforms, and even the methodologies were all evolving and assisting businesses to grow further.

As Bill Gates said himself, “Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.”

True, the software started driving business, but a software is not some lines of code which performs a set of tasks. Software should be thought of as a star within the information technology space. It serves as a channel for people to communicate, to share and sell ideas. Information technology is rather a vast area of study to understand to store-retrieve, send-receive information, and software is used to make it all to work in conjunction. Fortune 100 Companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and others have all created a business out of information technology.

People would argue that IT exists because of businesses, and they might be right to a certain extent. But, more and more companies are making IT as their business nowadays. To me, one can’t survive without the other, it’s like hand in glove. After all, it’s not a charitable world we live in.

The Desire to Get Promoted

P.T. Barnum once said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing!”

Why do we want to grow/get promoted?

  • To move away from monotonous work
  • To learn something new
  • To gain benefits associated with the new level
  • To keep up with the competition and challenges in this ever growing world
  • To fulfill our desires and reach the goals we have set for our self

Since the adolescent age we are offered rewards, in terms of toys, or candy, or any other thing. We perform a task when we were offered something in return of we were afraid of being scolded. Occasionally, it was to outperform other kids, perhaps, to be able to show our talent. However, most of the times kids would shy away from these situations.

Coming to think of it as some indicators for neurological reactions, based on individuals’ needs, we can map these to R.I.C.E

  1. Rewards based, where one has desires for being rewarded, sense of being appreciated in the crowd
  2. Insecurity based, where one is afraid of failure, afraid of losing out, sense of being not important
  3. Competition based, where a person try to fend off all competition to make a stand, to be better than others
  4. Evolution based, where a person learns new skills over time and grow as others grow, while at the same time is aware of competition from peers

Every communication needs to have two channels, one to send and other to receive. Likewise, every task has two channels – one is expectation of completion and other is reward for its completion. The ultimate reward is the outcome of the series of tasks linked with one’s (work) profile. These rewards are means to overcome the insecurity of being left out in the crowd, and/or losing out on the prospective opportunities. These insecurities grow with time, as people tend to have more desires. The desires stem from the socio-economic changes, the technical advancements, and not to mention the family and peer pressure.

To attain self-actualisation, the realisation of one’s true potential, a person goes through different levels of needs, as detailed by Abraham Maslow.

Maslow Pyramid

Some people attain these at early age, others struggle citing to various factors. Starting from the bottom of the pyramid, the first three levels are the most desired and comparatively easily attainable. But as you go up, the objectivity or the individuals’ perception of these level come in to play.

Then, the question one should ask is, can I quantify these desires? Or, do I need quality more than anything? One can settle for a practical approach of attaining more, while others could strive for simplicity and happiness with near and dear ones. I have often seen people working at odd hours, and at the same time suffering with health and other issues. That’s the price one has to pay to maintain things at equilibrium. In the end it boils down to how far you are ready to go to achieve (what you desire) and/or sacrifice at the same time. Or if, there is an alternative!

”The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” …so remember: great achievements take time, there is no overnight success. ~ Leo Tolstoy