At sea

I shun modern gizmos. A new mobile phone gives me jitters. I am technologically and digitally challenged. Unlike Gen X and Gen  Z that has grown up with digital technology, I was introduced to the digital world when I was well past my youth. No wonder, I find myself outdated in this E-era. I am wary of e-commerce. Unless I touch, feel and see any product, I can’t buy it. Though I have started using e-wallets, I am not comfortable with online banking. I have become accustomed to emails but my typing speed continues to be painfully slow.

I am lagging behind the younger generation in every field of technology, but one area where I can beat even the youngsters is WhatsApp.
On Facebook ,I am still a laggard  . Instagram is the latest social media craze among the youngsters, but I like to swim in familiar digital space and am hesitant to take a plunge into uncharted territory.

Social media has introduced me to the world of emojis, the small colorful icons which have brought a revolution in the world of digital communication. I am smitten by the face icons expressing a whole gamut of human emotions. No need to bother about the correct grammar, struggle with the choice of words and type lengthy messages, emojis are there to convey the message and express my feelings.

I love to spice up my text with emojis but the variety is baffling. To add to the confusion, every digital platform has its own set of smileys. I find it difficult to choose from a sea of smiling, grinning, laughing, winking, frowning, crying emojis, and icons with sad, angry, surprised faces with their umpteen versions. My favourites have been folded hands icon, ‘Namaste’ and the original simple yellow Smiley, the happy smiling face but lately I developed a fancy for ‘heart’ emojis.

I started using heart icons, of various types and colours, with flair.  When I was liberally and indiscriminately shooting a variety of hearts–pink, red, vibrating heart, twins, heart with a ribbon, my niece remarked, “Do you even understand what all these hearts stand for?”

No, I didn’t know that every heart icon has a different purpose and connotation. What a bewildering revelation !A sparkle heart means an honest appreciating heart, pink heart wrapped with ribbon implies being smitten with someone, heart growing in size implies outpouring of emotions like love and affection, two static pink hearts imply being super flirtatious and so on.

With all the gyaan, my soaring heart came crashing down, bringing an end to my love affair with ‘heart’ emojis. I felt embarrassed for randomly picking up a string of hearts, and shooting them arbitrarily at people.

At sea in the sea of emojis! Yes, I am with bewildering variety and their myriad interpretations. But I am wiser now. Think twice before clicking on these harmless- looking icons, for I am still not sure about their implication.

(Published in The Tribune as MIDDLE on October 25, 2021)


28 Replies to “At sea”

  1. ‘Technologically and digitally challenged’ that sums me up so accurately… Rama dear I too fall in this category..Thanks for illustrating heart emojis…I have been using them indiscriminately….am a nincompoop so far as online transactions are concerned. Your magical pen can describe anything and everything so interestingly…God bless

    1. How to thank you Mrs Dhawan for your lovely comments,I don’t have words. You are past master in the language , I am so naive..Thank you dil se.

  2. Rama dear you are such a good writer.I don’t find words to express. Thanks a lot for sharing your special knowledge with all of us

    1. Ha.. ha.. Neelam the google gyaan! More confusing than enlightening!
      Thanks Neelam for your encouragement and support.

  3. Read your article, Rama. Once again a beautifully written piece with which we all can connect. But this one is so light hearted and enjoyable. We all are trying to swim in the sea of new emotive languages and technology.
    But in this group I send any and every emoji as I know friends would understand what I am conveying without bothering about what it actually means.

    1. Thanks Alka. Your compliment is a big morale booster. When I wrote this piece I wasn’t sure of the response. I am glad it resonates with my friends.

  4. What I admire the most about your articles is the honesty with which you reflect and the superb articulation. You have an art to weave yourself with environment and while doing so you represent the whole generation. Simply SUPERB.👏🏻
    ( hope I am using right emoji😊)

  5. An excellent piece, as usual. Many will connect to it and find it a very true representative of their own feelings and predicament (!), more especially of my age group, who, belong to an even older and more ‘backward’generation than yours, dearest child.
    Glory to you Generation X Y Z..
    We are comfortable with our own ‘mental retardation’
    God bless your pen, dear rama, and may we continue enjoying much more of lighter vein

    1. Ma’am , a big smile on my face ! Thank you so much for reading and leaving your lovely comment. Feel blessed ..

  6. So true. I also fall in this category of technologically challenged persons – that’s how my kids have labelled me.
    Every word you’ve written is so apt & relates with me.
    Wonderful blog as always.
    Keep it up Rama.

    1. Grinning from ear to ear.. Thanks Pamela. If you think you are not techno-savvy , you can imagine my plight. The digital world has definitely made us antiquated but there is a difference in degree.You engineers are far-far better than most of from humanities background.

  7. Very true and light-hearted piece. You have rightly revealed the predicament of our generation which is not tech- savy. I too get caught on the wrong foot while using the emojis. At times I record something not meant for everyone. Trying to be more careful!

    1. Yes Praveen, common problems of our generation, not just related to the use of emojis but also inadvertent mistakes in sending messages. I ,too,have found myself in soup when my messages have been misdirected and misfired.

  8. So true Rama, you have put forward this issue in such an interesting and lighter way! I actually avoid using emojis for the fear of interpretation (mis) 🤣
    ..and at times, google meaning of…….emoji and then use it after learning that indiscriminate use may lead to raised eyebrows as happened once using K, Ok and Okay without much thought!

    1. Thanks Ravinder . All smiles.. You are a wise girl, cautious .. won’t indulge in indiscriminate use without knowing the meaning.

  9. A very humorous and self-aware article, poking fun at lack of technological savviness, particularly when it comes to emojis. The satire adds a delightful touch, as the readers navigate through the bewildering world of heart emojis with amusing anecdotes and self-deprecating humor.
    “Lost at sea in the emoji ocean, I’m still trying to decipher the heart’s hidden messages – love, flirtation, or just digital confusion?”
    “My emoji affair sank faster than the Titanic; now I’m stuck in a whirlpool of heart emojis, unsure which one to send.”

    1. Omg ! Glory , what a magic you create with your words! I am speechless. Forgetting about the world of emojis , right now I am lost in the beauty of your words . ❤️

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