Sad to see the internet generation become slaves to their gadgets: Saqib Saleem

Jun 04, 2014, 11:38 IST | Saquib Saleem

'Hawaa Hawaai' actor Saqib Saleem talks about balancing the virtual and real. It would be an understatement to say that social media has captured the collective imagination of tech savvy people, he says

Saquib SaleemIt would be an understatement to say that social media has captured the collective imagination of tech savvy people. Right from the corporate czars, movie stars and even erstwhile politicians have made their presence felt on various social media platforms today. These days, battles are not just fought on the streets, but also in the virtual world, that too with equal gusto.

Social media has given every Amar, Akbar & Anthony a platform to voice their opinions, warranted or otherwise. As an actor, it feels great to have a personal interaction with the audience, who pay to watch our films. It is also a very cost-effective way to peddle your talent and get real-time feedback, irrespective of the fact that the English language gets butchered in the process.

Like everything that exists, social media has its own pros and cons. I feel that we are walking a very thin line as far as juggling virtual and real existence is concerned.

The virtual world may give us more access to each others’ life, but it’s also responsible for distancing us from those very people. Instead of picking up the phone and calling friends, we pick our phones to post updates online. The romance of handwritten letters is almost non-existent now.

Having been a sportsman for most of my life, I celebrate the gashes and scars that I get on the cricket ground. Getting trolled online doesn’t make the slightest difference to me. It is really alarming to see kids these days playing cricket indoors, on their latest video game. They seem to have lost their curiosity, innocence and themselves into their fancy gadgets. What about sweating it out on the sports’ ground? The biggest casualty of this alarming trend is that today’s children aren’t healthy as their previous generations.

No doubt the internet generation knows a lot more than ever before, but it is sad to see them become slaves to their gadgets and in turn lose touch with active team sports and the nature in general. I agree that the need to stay connected through the virtual medium is important and cool, but keeping it real is the real deal. Every once in a while we should all switch off, wear our running shoes and experience what it feels to push our physical boundaries.

I think that is one feeling that is second to none.

Saqib Saleem is an actor. He recently appeared in Amol Gupte’s film, Hawaa Hawaai.

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