Emotions versus Emoticons

Bangalore 8-9-june2007 038

Man is a social being and hence needs the company of other beings at most times of his life. Another dimension of life is the emotions we go through at different stages of life. It could be joy, sadness, anger or irritation. Every emotion is stirred by a stimulus and then it impacts your life and moods. Most of us enter the world crying and leave this planet without any emotions.

Every emotion stirs our being and we want to know why it happened. When we are happy, we are keen to share the joy with others. The spirit of sharing makes us more happy. Even in moments of sadness, we want to share our sorrow. It is said in most religions that you should never miss a funeral if you come to know of some close friend or relative’s death. This is because this will be the last mortal journey and you can express your grief to that person.

On the other hand, on the birth of a kid to a relative or a friend, you will always have a second chance to wish them in the future if you miss the first day of birth due to any reasons. Interestingly, our religions and rituals do teach us a lot of basic humanness provided we are willing to learn from them. We generally tend to consider these rituals and either ignore them or disregard them.

Today, technology is increasingly making us emotion less. I am the first to adopt technology in every aspect of my life. I use the social media and all possible apps to ease my life. They are indeed very useful and makes my life easy and enjoyable. However, I do realize that wishing a friend or relative in person on their birthday cannot be replaced by millions of posts on social media. There is no substitute for the personal touch.

I realised this lately in my life. It’s always a good idea to use social media and emails to communicate with family and friends. It is indeed very efficient. However, if you want to touch someone’s life, you need to visit them, give them a hug or at least pick up the phone and speak to them. Virtual messages and emoticons cannot be filled with emotions. Our voice and physical presence are capable of sharing our emotions.

I am used to instantly recognising my colleagues at work. I feel good doing it publicly and as soon as the incident happens. I recently started writing appreciation letters in my own handwriting and when some of colleagues said that they framed and preserved these letters for their life time, I realised the value of personalisation and its impact on their emotions.

I would urge people from all generations to continue to adapt to the digital world to make themselves more efficient. However, I would further urge everyone to keep their emotional connect intact. The virtual world is untouchable. It is emotion less even with a million emoticons. The real world is a world of feelings. The emotions expressed by us to others and others to us, touches us.

Children and animals best express emotions without any inhibitions. We can learn to be spontaneous from them.

We need to learn to laugh and cry every day. We need to be like the child unadulterated in expressing our emotions. We need to be willing to be generous in sharing joy with others and make them happier every day. Every emotion expressed and shared helps us to be healthy and wise. An emotion less person is lonely and depressed. Even the animals are touched by emotions. So, why cant we as humans learn from them.

Let us start today.

S Ramesh Shankar.

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