January 07, 2017

Why I'm getting increasingly averse to chatting

It was the summer of 1999 when I got my first personal computer. I was in class VII. Back then, it was a rare thing for someone to have a computer at home. That was the time when 16-bit video games ruled the roost. So, ours was a Pentium II Zenith computer with 16 MB RAM and 3.1 GB hard disk. It ran on Windows 98. No, it wasn't the model we had paid Rs51k for. The dealer had given us an inferior model. As the one who had selected the PC based on its specifications and as the one who checked the specifications of the delivered machine, I found this out no sooner than the computer arrived. Of course, dad dismissed all the fuss I made over it and we ended up getting a raw deal.

Sorry, this para was unnecessary. This is not a blogpost about my history with computers. Maybe I should write that some day. But not today. As the title of this post says, I'm getting increasingly fed up with chatting. Primarily, because people don't bother to extend common courtesies online. I don't know why people think it's perfectly alright to leave messages unreplied.

I think it's rude. It's the virtual equivalent of you hearing me talk and then never bothering to reply. Rude, man. Be that as it may, this seems to be the norm these days. People just don't bother replying. If you can't carry a conversation forward, just acknowledge the person and tell them you'd get back to them later. Take their leave. No damage done, right? Then? What gives?

Leaving messages unanswered, I find it rude, insensitive, disrespectful, annoying. Not only it tells me you lack regards for me, it also makes me lose a bit of respect for you. If I message you and you don't reply, it puts me off. For me to message you, you have to be a friend. Or someone I'm fond of. And when you don't reply, don't even inasmuch as extend the courtesy of acknowledging me, that puts me off, man. Breaks my heart a little and sets the tone for disenchantment.

A photo posted by Hemant Gairola (@hemantgairola) on

I'm tired of this. That's why I stay off WhatsApp and Facebook. 
This is not a well thought-out post, just... Writing it because two days ago I reinstalled and reactivated WhatsApp to take baby pics and video from a dear friend, who's like family. Since I'm back on WhatsApp for the time being, I messaged some of my near and dear ones. And as is wont, it was futile to expect basic courtesies.

I don't get it. Just because you don't have to face the person doesn't mean you should take them for granted like this. Yeah, I feel bad about it. But not much anymore, since I'm used to it. But it's still upsetting. That's why it's better not to message people. The worst part is when you ask them where they have been. "Busy" is the most insulting reply. Everyone knows you were not busy. One friend told me "busy" then a day later I saw them posting random pics on Instagram, with hashtags illustrating how they are binge-posting since they have got nothing to do.

All this could very well be because I put them off and they don't want to talk to me. Makes sense. Going by the tone of this blog post alone, after reading this, one wouldn't want to engage with such a whiner. So be it. As someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, I have no qualms about expressing my feelings. Ummm... I'm a poet (a lyricist, technically speaking), for God's sake. The more I interact with people (one-sided interactions), the surer I get about not liking people anymore. 

The reason I started off writing the first para about my history with computers was that—after boasting about my early tryst with computers—I wanted to highlight how I loved chatting right from the time I was 11 years old. New to internet, I'd spend hours every day chatting with strangers from other parts of the world. And now, I don't even feel like chatting with 'friends' or people I'm fond of, since it means putting myself at the risk of being disrespected. It sucks. But so be it. 

Only another couple of months and my rockstar career will be on a roll. I'd be delighted to snub any 'well-wisher' that comes my way then.

P.S. Another reason I have come to despise chatting is some emoticons. I absolutely hate it when I say something and people answer like this: 🙄🙄🙄🙄
The rolling eyes emoji. Don't roll your eyes when I'm saying something to you. If you didn't get what I mean, ask. If you don't agree with what I said, feel free to disagree, but in an agreeable manner. No need to roll your eyes, huh. That's disrespectful. Don't be a Smart Alec with me. Be straight and simple. 

The other emoticon that pisses me off right off the bat is: 
So when I say something and you send me this, a frown appears on my face. Nobody these days folds their hands to greet or to express gratitude. So when you send me this, I wonder if you're telling me "Please, enough!" Usually I get this emoticon when I give a compliment to someone. But this response tells me that maybe you find me a phoney, which is why you're responding to my statement/compliments with sarcasm-dipped kindness. I don't know what you mean when you send me this, but I surely don't like it.

People, use words, not the caveman's communication tool. Just realised that I hate all emoticons anyway because the other person deploys them as conversation killers. If I'm saying something and you don't wish to engage me, you just send a smiley. I say something after that, you send a smiley. And in less than 15 seconds, you politely tell me to get lost. And you do it all with a smiley face. No, rather just say that you have something up your sleeve, take my leave and carry on. Don't play games.

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