I secretly think my life has gone a little out of shape some time around the year 2009 when I was nearing to complete my degree(s) simply because there was little to do. At least in terms of academic. Until today, I honestly feel my life has little structure or no structure at all.
Really, all I do is laze in bed all day and think about thinking. I might just be one of the laziest bum ever, I promise you my mom wishes she could do something about it. Or my future husband, or mother-in-law. Ya Allah, I hope they wouldn’t have a problem with that or perhaps I should outgrow this soon! My life has become a mundane routine of unhealthy attachments with my laptop, social networks and other electronic devices day after day. I communicate with my closest friends more on Twitter than us meeting up personally, how sad is that!
Please don’t get me wrong when I highlighted my academic life in the first line. I am not one of those students who let academia define their lives. Maybe I have, once upon a time ago. But I promise you I have outgrew that. I knew there was something much more to life and like everyone else; I was in a quest for an existential meaning (I still am just for the record).
But that’s not just about the academic world. I have always wanted to be an academician, God permits and if and only if I have the capabilities to do so, insyaAllah. So, if you don’t trust your future children in my hands, make sure you care enough to know their teachers/lecturers/professors names because one of them might be me! I have always think children to academicians would be well moulded and are good individuals and have always wanted to date one! Eh, irrelevant.
Among the things that made me realise about my unproductive lifestyle are my horrible, horrible present handwriting, which mostly look like GP prescriptions, and my growing laziness to keep things organised. I supposed I’m not one of your obsessive-compulsive ‘anal girl’, but growing up I get things organised by arranging my CDs alphabetically, tall to shorter books, colour coordinate my colour pencils and all that sort. But today, I am just plain blah!
Then I realised what was the cause of all these. If I were to be back in school, I would still have that attachment to my stationeries, notebooks and textbooks. We were still bound to do handwritten essays. We were still given opportunities to doodle on papers, textbooks and even on the tables although that might have cause a little fuss amongst the teachers and prefects. We meet our friends everyday over at school and in between classes. Oh, how true what they said – life was simpler then!
As we grow older together with the modern world however, we grow more distant from that little ‘structured’ world of ours when we were a little more organised and a little less lazy. The days when we were more attached to our pencil cases than to our laptops or other electronic devices to the extent when I was drafting this piece of writing, holding my favourite pen feels awkwardly weird. We have put too much trust on these mediums that we have become lazy. Think about it. We have the ‘oh-so-awesome’ Siri to read and reply our text messages for us, or to ask questions you’d ask your friends or strangers! We have Amazon and other websites recommending things that might be of our interest thanks to that coding they have encrypted to recognise our browsing habits. We have Google and Wikipedia for instant knowledge. And even Youtube to learn the most basic things. I say this because my kid brother once searched on Youtube on how to style his hair. I mean, really? (I would honestly nag him about creativity etc but we’ll save that for next time).
Gone are the days when we go around school urging everybody to write in our biodata books and where friends can decorate and personalised their personal pages. Today, to profile people, we just go on Facebook. It’s easier to profile people too, huh? That I can’t deny. But that’s just it. We have become lazier than what we were before - lazier to socialise, lazier to strike up small conversations and talks. Gone are the days where we would have to go to the bookstore and manually search for the books that we want. In the Western world, online consumerism are widely used in contrast to our beloved country, which also means online banking too. Nothing personal against it, just a little sad about the diminished thrill and sensation of spending a little longer in the bookstore to look for books and that human relationship between the shopkeeper and the customer. The Internet, yes it is easy when you have Google. But we would become much less of a social being when we are innate to be dependent on each other. And Siri? Ya Allah, it’s a topic on its own.
Sure all of these make our lives easier, but is it really what we seek and yearn for?
Personally, like how civilizations learn from the civilizations before them or nations and the ones before them; I think we ‘learn’ from the lives before us. To be fair, the condition of our nation wasn’t all that ‘Malaysia truly Asia’ or ‘1Malaysia’ before. Thus, the older generation would appreciate things that would facilitate to liberate the burdens in their lives. Like a stable financial account which would mean a more firm purchasing power because televisions, cars, telephones and even education were only limited to the luckier ‘class’. They might not admit it openly, but subconsciously, it affects us until today. Life was tough back then when you had Japanese soldiers who carry rifles with samurais attached to it wandering around your kampung area. With duit daun pisang being printed overtly, prices shoot rocket high; and goods are not being delivered just because the Westerns wanted the Japanese to leave. It is only logical to seek a more comfortable lifestyle when you already have the means to do so. And then it gets passed on to us. Of course again, subconsciously.
Therefore, our detachment from the littlest things in life like our pens and papers are transferred like energy to a different form of attachments to electronic devices and this has taken its toll. With consumerism and capitalism at its peak coupled with our urge to supersize our purchasing power; we become lazier by the day. My past interest in pretty stationeries have been replaced by cute blackberry, iPad, iPod, Macbook covers; my bad habit of hanging on the telephone with my closest friends for hours has been replaced by 120 characters on Twitter.
I am not pointing fingers to anybody or any parties at all. Maybe in its own, it is a dependent relationship like how human beings are innate to be - a pivotal relationship between our middle-class urge to consumerism, banks and capitalism that are dictating our lives, which would fundamentally lead us to a materialistic and superficial lifestyle. Which reminded me the instance when I was walking along the streets of Paris just recently. There in Galerie la Fayette were all the fortunate individuals who had the purchasing power to splurge on custom made designer goods when just on the outside of the building, were homeless individuals sleeping under dirty cloaks and people selling peanuts to make a living.
This lifestyle of electronic gadgets, social networks and consumerism not only had made me a lazy, less productive and also a heedless being about the actual cause of my life; but it has also made the world a façade place where individuals have superficial relationships paraded. You know, where you and your ‘friend’ only ‘talk’ to each other on Facebook and not really in real life. Or like when the pretty ladies on the beauty pageant root for poverty, animal rights and world peace when all they really care about are diamonds and the fast-paced life? Superficiality at its best.
Come on, I know all of your souls are much better than this. Time to wake up, Nadrah, jangan malas oi!