28 September, 2014

I Share. Therefore, I Am.

Before you start reading this poem, send out that last text

for immediate replies, mean more than meaningful ones

Send out a compliment, or wishes or mere meaningless words

but read this only, when ten minutes I can behest


Not that I don’t like those snippets of words

small texts, comforts, distant hugs

It began with online chatrooms and virtual communities

and calling out to the world, realizing aspects of my personality

And then I unplugged


Excited, I learnt about myself in the virtual world

to lead a better life in the real one

But today, something seems to have gone wrong

when an echo of a buzz wakes me at dawn

A little device in my pocket seemed to have made all the difference


Today I text during meetings and shop whilst in class

my prized skill is to text while maintaining eye-contact

My parents ignore me for their phone over breakfast

and my attention to my sister doesn’t long last

Heck! I even text at funerals


I have removed myself from grief and reverie

I have eradicated any self-reflection capacity

I successfully am alone, while being together

I am with you, but also everywhere

I customize my life, and go in and out of where I am

I cherish the control, on what enjoys my attention span

I only observe, the bits that interest me


Yes, I have lost all friends in an array of screens

yes, it is I who has been lost in the sheen

Perhaps, I should be interrupted

but honestly, I’d rather go through the ordeal

I like people in the Goldilocks zone!


Someday… someday which isn’t the present

I would like to learn how to have a conversation

But conversations happens in real time,

where I can’t control what I might relay

I like to clean my messy relationships with technology


I am connected, I just do not converse

and I don’t mind, I miss nothing

after all, don’t these sips of communication

add up to one big gulp of real conversation?

No. They don’t.


They are good for relaying information

letting someone know I think of them

but I do not learn, know and understand someone

I do not learn, know and understand myself

But I’d rather just text than talk


I wish I could just dispense with people altogether

why can’t Siri be my best friend, she always listens

I like Facebook too, I see people listening to me

I see empathy there, and it’s not very different from the real thing

Technology, gives more to me than people do


I’m lonely, but I’m afraid of intimacy

I wish the comforts of companionship without the demands of friendship

I turn to technology because it offers the comforts of companionship within my control

But am I comfortable? Am I in control?



My phone allows me to put my attention wherever I want

it tells me I will always be heard

it says, ‘you will never have to be alone’

and so whenever I’m alone, I panic and my anxiety reaches for a device

Being alone, feels like a problem that needs to be solved


I connect, I share. Therefore I am

If I want to have a feeling, I send a text

I feel alive when I connect

I lose my capacity for solitude

And in losing solitude, I isolate myself


I connect, to use people as spare parts to support my fragile self

being connected, makes me feel less alone

but again, I feel more lonely each day

and I know if my children grow up the day I live, they will only be lonely

I’m smitten, by technology. Too much talking might spoil the relationship


Solitude scares me, my children don’t understand it

my phone offers a much better restitute

I communicate, I speak, I feel alone

I avoid the boring bits, and long being understood

I let technology win the bid over human connection


Technology says it will take something complicated, and promises something simpler

Life is hard, relationships are filled with risk

Technology is simpler, hopeful, optimistic, ever-young

With technology I can love my friends, I love my body, I love my life

I look for romance online, I love in worlds online

Robots, are my true companions

My evenings, are better spent on social network than with friends


I live here, I love here, I end here

This is a life I have chosen, I have no regrets

And now, if you please, may go back to yours in a world

for a screen awaits, and has not been checked in  while


Vishal Gupta

23rd September, 2014