Webinars galore

I talk to my parents twice a week. They are doctors and too busy with their work and social life. I have no complains, in fact, I love the fact that they are such busy bees, because I have no clue what we might talk about if we have to call each other everyday. Thankfully, they have brought us up to be totally independent because that is how they love their lives, not only in their professional lives but social circle too.

Recently, I called her mid morning to convey some message from an uncle who I spoke to before that. She cancelled my call and I sat wondering what is keeping her so occupied on a Sunday morning during the lockdown. I got a call from her few hours later saying she was busy with a webinar. My jaws dropped. Did my technologically challenged mother tell me that she was attending a webinar? This is someone who uses a smartphone to receive calls and for WhatsApp.

In the past couple of months, my mother has figured out how to download and use Pinterest, Zoom and many more apps. Also learnt how to pay the utility bills online. That I think is adaptation to the situation at its best. I have always appreciated my mother for her ability to adapt with the changing times but she might not have bothered sending that gene my way.

The research and the knowledge that is shared freely now is exponentially higher than what happened in the pre-pandemic era. I wonder if a pandemic is the only way that would teach us to be humane and shed the materialistic skin that we have wore for a while. The insane amount of stress on the whole mankind has exposed the best and the worst aspects of us as individuals and as a society.

The ongoing pandemic has changed the way the world works. Every sector that could possibly manage things online, has shifted its functionality onto the virtual medium. And that adds to the stress of everybody who handles interactions better in person rather than over video calls or worse, chats. Assuming that a millennial can handle these better than the senior citizens is misplaced. Even though every age group has a part of the population that is hyper social during normal times, the absence of human interactions physically around each other is harrowing for the same group.

The new ‘normal’ is not so normal for most people but as a species we have evolved for better survival and we will continue to do so. That doesn’t mean we would succeed right away but might stumble along a bit until we succeed or perish.

I have always loved the Darwinian theory of “Struggle for existence, survival of the fittest.” His observations were based on his studies of the natural world where he probably counted humans. But I don’t think he ever imagined his theory at play in the rawest form aimed at our very own existence.

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