Updated: May 4, 2021
Once upon a time…
That would’ve been the perfect introduction for a fairy tale. But the story I am about to tell you is far from one. Neither does it have a happily ever after nor is it just a tale. This is a story that depicts reality. The raw reality of a world made up of 0’s and 1’s.
Seven million years ago, mankind came into existence. Human beings were nothing but innocent, inquisitive, free creatures who relied upon Mother Nature for sustenance. As time progressed, they shed their animalistic inclinations and established a social institution through which they adopted refined and sophisticated mannerisms. They evolved to possess cultural and behavioural traits of language, thought, expression, creativity and innovation. With the advancement of technology, they even became the creators of a new realm of their own - a virtual world.
This auxiliary dimension was inhabited by 0’s and 1’s who became the enthusiastic agents of the human race for capturing their behaviours and interactions and translating it as unique digital profiles. During the initial years, they thrived on the rich data produced by humans in the form of analogue signals which later extended to photographs, texts, emails and such. However, their prosperity rose to a peak only in the 21st century with the onset of social media which served as a hub for all digital activity. Within a short span of time, 0’s and 1’s were able to encapsulate humanity as a whole and constitute an integral element of their lives.
0’s and 1’s always prided themselves over their keen adherence to the latest trends and their utmost devotion in catering to the digital needs of humans. Yet, with the growing influence of social media, they struggled to cope up with the incessant demands of the new generation. A dark, corrupt cloud loomed over their once vibrant domain ready to wreak havoc and all they could do was stand as helpless spectators. They found themselves weakening as humans neglected their truths and started feeding them lies. The essence of individuality that defined each human was shattered as they developed fake personas with no narratives.
There was nothing instant about Instagram anymore. Hours were taken trying to capture ‘candid’ moments, to filter out all the ‘imperfections’ that would call for public scrutiny and to copy paste witty captions from Google. It was all about the aesthetics of posts and stories and the abundance of likes, comments, shares and followers for which the 0’s and 1’s worked tirelessly for. Gone were the days of Facebook, where life was displayed in all its authenticity. Instead, those profiles were buried in shame for the humans feared actuality.
LinkedIn became a platform to boast of achievements that were never made and to share inspirational stories that lacked virtue. It became a breeding ground for rat races that more often than not ended up in dejection and despair. Twitter was filled with public facades of witticism and empty hashtags. Rather than being a forum encouraging healthy discussions and critical thinking, it undermined and suppressed the human intellect. 300 contacts and 30 different groups on WhatsApp, but no meaningful communications done. It seemed as if everything was at the fingertips of the humans but yet still so far away from their reach.
Humans had been reduced to mere hollow and lone shells of what they used to be. They were detached souls who had lost their values. It was as if they were puppets acting on someone else’s accord, trying to fulfil some purpose that was never meant to be.
As if, they had become 0’s and 1’s.