You wake up in the morning feeling so desperate. For several minutes, you don’t know why. You look around and feel your stomach lurching. But then, there is nothing intimidating around. Just the same messy room with the Gal Gadot or David Beckham poster.
You feel a lump form in your throat, the size of a lemon. Your palms are numb and your limbs are shivering. You look around and find your mother setting the table for breakfast. Your father sits on the chair in the left corner in his pristine formal attire. He’s a spare part on the corporate conveyor belt. No, they won’t understand what you feel. They would deduce it to be stress due to work, overuse of smartphones, a cold due to consuming ice cream late at night or worse, lack of faith in God. Not them.
You have now lost control. A wave of helplessness has tossed you off the final pad of struggle you were holding onto. Desperately, you reach for your phone. You scroll down the list. It ranges from mobile phone contacts to Whatsapp friends’ list to Messenger chat list and finally even to the anonymous chat rooms. No, not them either. Not one of them. 300 contacts, 500 Whatsapp chats and more than a thousand active heads on Facebook Messenger. Not any of them.
Welcome to the world of the modern youngster. With ideologies that confuse more than clarify. With biriyanis that are relished more on Instagram than on the plate. With a thousand people to talk to and yet, no one who understands. We talk about the people who have a very happy social media presence. The ones we see as a bundle of talent. We savour their charms. Yet, as the night falls, these same people crave for someone to understand what is truly going on inside their heads.
Their Whatsapp shows over 50 active groups. Their Facebook profile bubbles with energy. Their images are filled with smiles that stretch across their faces on Instagram. Yet, the person isn’t the one we really see. We don’t know and we don’t want to make an attempt to know. We are carried away by the brushstrokes the artist paints. The stroke of blood on their wrists doesn’t concern us. In many suicides, which are reported to be due to depression, the parents say that the girl was ambitious or the person’s friends say that the boy was vivacious.
We all laughed enormously at the drama in “13 Reasons Why”. Yet, there was so much truth in the portrayal. Sometimes, people are sensitive enough that a minor quarrel with their friend could break them down colossally. We call sensitivities to be weaknesses that need to be overcome. It is all a product of the image of strength and weaknesses that we have created as a society. We can’t handle a guy who cries. We can’t handle a girl who is moody. We term their behaviour to be ill-mannered. A defect in their personality.
A few questions.
How many of you have spent a large portion of your days scrolling down your newsfeed aimlessly? It is not that we want to waste our time. It is just that we are unable to do anything. How many of you have spent days on the bed without getting the urge to bathe or eat? How many of you spend days seeking for ways to spend them in a better manner? How many of you want a permanent vacation from your life? How many of you have felt a lingering void travelling alongside you through the day?
The list could be endless. Like the struggles such people face.
I am not too sure how to conclude this topic. I don’t want to feed you with lies that people call hope. But then, the next time you talk to someone, look beyond what social media has to say about them. A modern goal for being a friend could be to try and be the person who someone else feels like calling during a crisis.