Updated: May 20
Yes, of course, I expected a direct no for the answer but think again. Well, I can for the least say yes, I can get bored and I am getting bored. This is the second week of the Lockdown and I can see people posting random personal or non-personal questions, weird and some silly quizzes, proud and insulting screenshots of the games they are winning against their friends and video calls to their friends and family who are far away from home. Well, this doesn’t surprise me because what else will you do when the maximum time of your day you are doing absolutely nothing. Everyone is watching Facebook (which used to be hardly used before), Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter or watching movies or series on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar + Disney and many other online streaming applications. I would request everyone to just question themselves, is there any change in the amount of time that they used to spend before and now? Do you feel after a certain time, *Arey yaar ab kya dekhu*?
I can say Yes to both the questions. According to a Survey from Hammerkopf Consumer Survey, it has been seen that there has been an 87% increase in the use of social media and online streaming platforms. Just make a random guess that this increase is since when. Well, it is from just a week before the Lockdown. Where before lockdown, the average minutes spend on social media was 150 minutes per day, now it is 280 minute per day on social media handles such as Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp. The market research firm, Nielsen has observed that there has been a 50x times surge between January to March wherein January the buzz was just 0.4 million, February had 1.6 million and March had 20.3 million. The increase in the number of cases of Coronavirus rose from 1 to 500 till march and counting, still Coronavirus has won in the race. I can understand your concern, ‘then what else will we do’. I get that completely, but it is good. Do you know the government is using the data from all these social media handles to track the movement of the people in the city? They can see who has been following the lockdown orders as applied by the government and who is not. So, you know it is a good thing unless your mother is on top of your head, blaming your usage of the phone for every problem that you face in life.
The lockdown has led to Internet Service Providers to lift the restrictions on the Data usage and quality of the network connectivity over WiFi or Internet packs on Mobile phones. Some of us can see the continuous messages of reaching the data usage limit in a day as compared to the data usage that used to be when the situation used to be prior-to-Coronavirus. Let’s come back to the real question. Of course, most part of the day is used by people to look into the news of Coronavirus and the effect of it in different parts of the World and how much are the people blaming the Chinese Government and different representatives of the State. Other than that, there are memes on the virus and the people responsible for that, accusations on different people, Social media Gossip as to what is Deepika Padukone and Ranvir Singh doing during Quarantine time and not only them but other people of the film industry. There are many videos on TikTok which shows just too much drama just because people are so bored of staying at home. I remember a meme shared to me which stated, ‘Who said give me unlimited food, WiFi and Netflix and I won’t step out of the home for a month’ but isn’t it becoming a little boring of just staying and staring to their laptop, mobile phones or just people’s faces in these four walls. Well, this is causing another issue in social media.
According to a survey, it has been observed that 1 out of every 5 people regrets a tweet, comment or text that they send to someone over social media. But that isn’t a problem as you can always delete its existence from the world because of the latest features on these applications. But think, has it ever happened to you? Let me tell you some facts back again. Disclaimer: these facts are for people who prove to be unlucky when it comes to those tweets, comments or texts being read by the receiver before they could delete it. 35% of the people think that they sound extremely foolish, 14% of the people think that they may have offended some friend in the heat of the moment, 13% think that they have offended, sadly, many people, 16% think that they have responded way too quickly than was needed and 24% think that they should share everything in their life in the social media. Well, the last 24% is the perception of not the person who uploads it but the people who actually see their activity on social media. Funny isn’t it, but I seriously feel sad for these people for being in the hold of those percentages.
All of this is happening amidst the lockdown so if the friend circle in your social media is understanding, they can get that the emotions are because of the current situation so that’s a manageable situation. Now let’s talk about the What-ifs. What if this lockdown happened back in the 1990s and by lockdown, I mean only the situation of lockdown, not the coronavirus and its impact on the world? These what-ifs are directed to all the 90s kid. We would have been having mixed emotions but I can’t be sure about it. Remember the cassettes and how we used to fix the tape through a pencil or a pen. That used to be a fun activity that at least I loved doing it even if nothing is wrong with that cassettes. The long conversation we used to have with our school friends over landline because the BSNL to BSNL was free. All the video games that we could have played, like Mario, Contra, Taken, Pacman, Hyper Olympics, etc. Obviously, we can download it all now and play it back again but the craze it was back then would have been something very different. The collection of Tazos, Pokemon and WWE cards, pen fights and thumb fight we used to have with our siblings.
All the Door Darshan shows that we could have watched like Byomkesh Bakshi, Chandrakanta, Inspector Bharat, Chitrahaar, Jai Hanuman, Om Namah Shivaye, etc. and the wait of what is going to happen on the next episode was on some other level. We can definitely watch all these series on the online streaming platforms but then this cannot be compared to how it was back at that time. Thanks to the government that shows like Mahabharat, Ramayana, and Shaktimaan are telecasted or going to be telecasted in a few days to help people pass their time. All the comics books like Chacha Chaudhary, Nagaraj, Doga, etc that we would have loved spending hours reading it. Now most of us have lost the touch to reading because of the access to audiobooks on digital platforms, but think how exciting and interesting our lockdown days would have been. The lockdown of 21 days would have not felt this hard for people and we would not have been waiting for 14th April so desperately.
Now I request everyone to please come back from all the memories of your childhood The government has been very thoughtful when it comes to how the people would be spending their time at home effectively by improving their lifestyles, waking up early in the morning, improving the dietary habits and meditation. It has started telecasting old series along with removing the ban on PornHub which is now named StayHome Hub. Well, this is very funny but my motive for mentioning this is not to divert the minds of people or just switch to incognito for visiting the website. Apart from focusing on the benefit of the people in terms of food or shelter, it has focused on this essential need of the people as well. Jokes aside, we are still stuck with the same social media, same streaming channels, and the same internet browsing websites. For how long can we spend our time on these media of interest, won’t we get bored of it at some point in time. As of now, we really hope that this lockdown is only for the next 15 days and not for the next 3 months. But what if you are stuck with it for furthermore days? Though the chances of it coming true are very high as of now.
I am definitely sure that we will get bored of it so the meme forwarded to me telling that you won’t get bored if you get unlimited food and Netflix, it’s a lie. You can get bored and you will get bored after a point of time. Social media and Online streaming platforms have impacted our lives so badly that we can’t even think of a day without the internet now. This is not just for people who have nothing to do just like me but also to the people who are stuck at home with work from the office. I know weekdays can go as usual and this won’t be different than any other day in the office, except that you are not meeting people. Weekends are the time when you feel absolutely bored with your life and think of when these days would end and you will step out of your home without being beaten up or insulted by the police. This feels like ‘We are in the End game’ but sadly we don’t have IronMan to save us from Thanos aka China.
If anybody is interested in reliving their 90s again, please click on the links below:
Shaktiman comics: https://amzn.to/3bK5ybf
Chacha Chaudhary: https://amzn.to/2R5lc9b
Snakes and ladders: https://amzn.to/2R2lVIk
Mitaishi 8 bit gaming console: https://amzn.to/2JxH9d2