Hi folks! 🙂 Happy New Year to everyone out there. And I just realized that my 2017 starts over again on February 1st, this is just a trial month. 😀 Although I was helluva busy for the past 2 months, I managed to keep myself updated with the regular happenings. And, it struck me in these 2 months quite profoundly that what seemed uncanny just a few years ago no longer causes any raised eyebrows. Every other person now has adapted to this new change and now it has actually become a trend. 😉 No matter which cafe/restaurant I went to, expensive or cheap, formal or informal, trendy or old-fashioned, the diners seemed to be more engrossed in photographing their food than eating. The moment a dish was placed on the table, everyone would whip their smartphones out and begin clicking away. If the restaurant was unpleasantly lit, the pictures were taken with flash, which miffed me immensely, but left everyone else aloof.
That’s when it hit me. This is the way diners are expected to behave in restaurants. Because if you don’t take a picture of that exotic new dish you ordered, can you really be sure that you actually ate it? For that matter, can we? So, everyone clicks away while the food grows cold. I used to proudly do this earlier when I ate in a restaurant, but then I realized, is it actually even required? Do we actually have to snap every moment of our life? And nobody thinks that this is at all bizarre. This is, in fact, the new normal. 😛
And that got me thinking. How many things that we earlier considered emphatically strange do we now regard as completely normal? The selfie is the first thing that comes to my mind. The days when taking pictures of yourself pulling duck faces was seen as a symptom of a serious narcissistic personality disorder are gone. Now, the selfie has become so commonplace that nobody even comments on it, leave alone give you unusual looks when you take one. Now that I pull even more weird faces whenever I take a selfie. 😛
It is that other newfangled contraception that attracts weird looks when you use it. Yes, I am talking about that influx on human civilization, called the selfie stick, that has rapidly conquered every tourist spot, every museum, every historical palace, one picture at a time. But how long had you thought it will be before we start seeing this as entirely normal as well? Going by the selfie experience, not very long at all. 😀
So, what are the other things that best embody the new normal? Well, it is a long list, but here are just a few things off the top of my head.
Cosmetic work: There was a time when those who resorted to plastic surgery or cosmetic intrusion of any kind were seen as vain, even deluded, for trying to interfere with the work of nature. No longer. These days, getting Botox and fillers are seen as being as familiar as getting a facial or a manicure/pedicure. Nobody raises an eyebrow (possibly because they can’t) if you confess to having had your face ‘done’. No doubt that people have literally started loving the artificial beauty rather than the natural one.
The mainstreaming of porn: The advent of the internet made porn readily approachable to anyone who knew how to use a search engine. But there was still a stigma attached to it; people made sure to delete their search history every time they drifted online for a little titillation. Those days are long gone. With the runaway success of books like the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and much else, porn has gone mainstream. (It helps that reading it on a Kindle or any other hand-held device makes it embarrassment-proof as well. 😛 )
Blended families: The aeon of the nuclear family is over. With divorce rates ascending and re-marriages becoming increasingly typical, the blended family is what it is all about these days. Ex-husbands, ex-wives, new wives, new husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, live-in partners, step-kids, half-siblings, step-siblings, all shove each other around the family table on affairs like Diwali, Holi, Onam or Lohri (or even, this being India where we celebrate every festival we can get our hands on, Christmas and Easter 😀 ). They eat, they drink, they laugh, they tussle, they brood, they make-up, they snap, they eat and drink some more. The period of literally boycotting any exes has gone. It is a beautiful sight. 🙂
Start-ups: In earlier generation, everyone you spoke to was writing a novel (or thinking about writing one), even though people still now have ambitions of becoming a novelist but not at a much higher rate than before, in this generation that has just been decanted from college, everyone is working on a start-up (or at the very least talking about working on a start-up). 😛 Names like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal are tossed about along with figures that make my mind startle as everyone talks up the valuation game. Everyone has an actual business plan going on inside their head. All I know is that if I had a dollar for every start-up that I hear about, I would have enough money to launch a start-up of my own. 😀
Over-sharing: I don’t know whether this is genuinely very unusual or I find it. As the joke goes, in the old days you put all your underlying thoughts and feelings into your personal diary and got seriously annoyed if anyone read it; these days you put all your innermost thoughts and feelings on to social media, and get very perturbed if no one pays attention. (No lies, I’ve also been doing this, but I genuinely never craved for attention. 🙂 ) This is an age of putting it all out there. Your vacation snaps go on Facebook and you wait anxiously to see how your friends react. Every stray thought makes its way on to Twitter, and you measure your self-worth by how many RTs ( that’s retweets in case you are still living in the 20th century and have not discovered Twitter 😛 ) it notches up. And then, of course, there are all those food pictures cluttering your phone, which duly do duty on Instagram to tell people what a charmed life you lead. Almost everything we experience in our life is on social media. What’s not to ‘like’? 😀
Although it is a very good platform to share stuffs online, but one should always know where to stop. You don’t have to broadcast every high, and hide every low. You’re trying to live. You’re not trying to convince the world you have a life. Not every part of your private life needs to be public. But yeah, everything that was quite unusual earlier has made its way to the familiar and nobody gives a damn about it. 😀 It’s precisely good as long as it is creating a positive change in the society. 🙂
Signing off this post and not feeling sorry for being inactive for this period of time as the best moments of my life sometimes don’t make it to social media. I’ll however try and publish at least one post in a week. Thank-you all for the love. 🙂
I love you all very much. Take care. *all the hug squeezes* 🙂
Pic Credits : Tumblr