After two years of incessant use, I was growing disinterested with WhatsApp – the famous instant chat application. My disinterest was driven, primarily, by my concern for my over aching eyes. I remember staying awake till wee hours of the night during the early days I installed this application. All of my friends were plagued by insomnia and I was no exception. Phone calls were replaced by messages and barrages of them. Exclusive groups were created wherein the conversation veered around university, girls and sometimes studies.
After the Facebook fever has abated, WhatsApp disease took root. Social life was the worst hit. Message came at odd times- at 3 a.m in the morning, at dinner and lunch time, invariably, much to my mother’s dismay. Occasionally, the govt’s clamp down on internet provided the much needed respite. But as soon as the e-curfew was lifted things returned to the ‘abnormal’. Rebukes became common as my hands were always occupied by my phone, eyes poring into the screen. The faculty of sight suffered the most: I couldn’t distinguish a gay from a guy. Eyes had to be narrowed in order to focus on things. Dark circles engulfed the under-eyes.
And finally after deep contemplation, better sense prevailed and I uninstalled the bloody application one fine morning. Days passed into weeks and my eyes began to recover. I felt a sense of peace and tranquility. But my joy was shot lived. Things turned awry: message tones got replaced by ring-tones. Friends called to inquire about my sudden disappearance from WhatsApp. Morons asked why I wasn’t replying to their messages and a few clever ones questioned why I had deactivated my account. I tried to reason with them but they wouldn’t listen.
Slowly I was beginning to experience the symptoms of Post Application Uninstall Stress syndrome: while walking through a busy street, I impulsively shoved my hands in my pockets to check if any friend has messaged. My mind began playing tricks on me. What if my friends are bitching about me in my absence, I thought. The urge to message someone was surging inside me. I was growing restless. My mom now began to question my Normal behavior. “Why aren’t you receiving those irritating messages now-a-days?” she finally asked. I was silent as a stone. Why do people envy someone’s peaceful so much, I was growing paranoid. Then one very dark night, I quietly re-installed the application and posted messages to few of my close friends. I was back in the virtual jail after enjoying few memorable days outside its narrow confines and my friends felt happy for me.
P.S. These days my dark circles have grown darker, my eyes gone narrower and everything looks dim and obscure and I envy those who do not have a cell phone.