From Pouting Lips To Blue Whales

I am a millennial and that according to me means that I’m confused about a lot of things. I’m confused if I should be happy about what I am or just go for it as sky is my limit. I’m confused if I should be feeling comfortable in my skin or buy that new shade of lipstick (because this is the age, right?). I’m confused if I should call those people, who tell me I’m putting on weight, body-shamers or really start working out. Once I start working out I’m confused if I should post those pictures on Facebook,  Whatsapp or Instagram. But above all I’m most confused about one thing, if I should be living for the social media or just for myself.

Internet was one of the greatest inventions of human beings. Just like phones, which were also a sincere effort to bring people closer. But since its inception, internet evolved from being restrained to a single computer system to connecting a lot of things, calling it the Internet of Things. With internet, came Facebook and with smartphones came whatsapp. So many apps on the social media meant people would be a lot closer to each other at any given time. But are they really doing that?

There is one popular topic of debate these days which says social media is not bringing people closer as much as it is creating problems for them. We lost the human touch. We communicate better with the devices in our hands than the people in front of us. Like a popular meme says “Those good old times when we ignored each other with books than phones”. This pretty much says a lot about the generation I’m living in. but with these also came a new found love for Challenges. Because who doesn’t want to start a Trend?

When the first of these challenges started up showing on my news feed I was amused, to say the least. Why would someone do something as stupid as that, I used to think to myself. There were a myriad of challenges which ranged from something as stupid as putting one’s lips in a shot glass and sucking it to get some celebrity’s lips to something as serious as ending one’s own life.

I have always been quite intrigued as to what drives people to do such things to themselves, that too on the internet, for all their “friends” to watch. But I never really cared too much about the stupidity of people, which was being laid in public for everyone to see. But then again, when I heard about the Blue Whale Challenge, it was like none of the challenges that I’d heard about or seen before. Because this “game” is actually pushing people to kill themselves rather than just make a fool out of themselves on the net (which might sometimes be equally fatal).

Now the people in question, according to me, aren’t so much “normal” as they are “depressed”. They need human touch and someone to rely on. But what they get instead is a device with a “game” that “challenges” them to kill themselves and whose creator thinks they are “biological waste which needs to be eliminated”. But this is not before they go through a 50 day period of doing self-harm, both physically and mentally. These people are ready to take instructions from someone who is miles away from them as they couldn’t find someone who is much closer home, to confide into. It kills me to know that this game is an actual thing, for something as sinister as this shouldn’t even be even given a second thought, let alone giving it the right to kill a human being.

I do understand that suicides do happen even without this bizarre game pushing them to their death, but what bothers me is the fact that this is a “challenge”, much like all those other senseless challenges on the internet. What does this say about my generation? Our generation? The millennials! The tech savvy, hyper active millennials, who converse better with their phones than with other humans. Who believe that the number of likes they get on their Facebook pics actually defines them. Who cannot enjoy a moment, without posting it on the social media because if you didn’t post about it, it never happened!

Is the lack of human touch, the root cause behind these problems? Or are these challenges are a desperate attempt to get people to like you or at least notice you? I am still trying to find out what exactly constitutes to a trend these days and what makes people do what they do. Pray the answers I find are not something which we already know but chose to ignore comfortably. But who cares about these answers now? I’ve got to figure out things that I’m already confused about right now. Like I’m confused as to whether Biswa is more funny or Kanan Gill?

By,

Rukmini Tata

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