Some time ago, a WhatsApp group chat of mine took an undesirable turn and to avoid any heat, I apologized for my words quickly.
The same day in class, my friend Shashwat asked me, “Were you always like this?”
It took some time before I realized that the reason behind this was probably the absence of any apologetic behaviour on my part, as if ‘Sorry’ was an inconsequential word in the likes of ‘Whatever’, ‘Hmmm’ and (the most irritating) ‘K’. Small amount of introspection was enough to tell me that this was indeed the case.
My own indifference to critique and opinions struck as a surprise to me. I was certainly never like this! I tried asking few of my friends whether it was their influence on me and they replied with negation.
At this moment I thought I heard a voice, but could see nobody. I looked at my Tablet’s screen and found that the voice seemed to be emanating from it. It said, “It’s me, the virtual you! The cause of your behavioural change!”
Imagination is a curious thing. It can make you talk to yourself, electronically too! Naturally, I tried to turn a blind eye to this voice and obviously, I failed.
The virtual me spoke again, “Try to remember the situation few years ago. Whenever you used to feel sorry, it reflected on your personality too. Sleep would become scarce, glum mood lasted unusually long and painful recapitulation of your fiasco frequented your mind. Does it happen anymore?”
I realised I had a point and that I should give myself some attention. (Wait, what??)
I realised my virtual reflection had a valid argument and deserved some attention. I indeed used to be an introvert. I expressed myself to very few people and always used to overthink before striking conversations to avoid ruining the first impression. And then…
“And then you found me! Unlike you, I was confident and fast. I started conveying your thoughts and became your preference in a jiffy! And look at you now! You hardly ever hesitate for a moment before conversing with strangers and just like me, little do you care for the nature of the feedback!” exclaimed my virtual shadow.
I ventured to ask, “How did you do that?”
It replied, “I imprinted a small part of me into you.”
“Oh! Do you plan to take over me completely?” I enquired.
He said, “I do want to. I am trying, but there are some values within you that resist this process. Once I completely take over, you will be quick. Just like I can’t see people in front of me, you will stop looking for reaction from others. You won’t even bother about what you are expressing.”
Alarmed by this, I said, “No! That would be something undesirable.” After some pondering, I continued, “Tell me, what did you get by helping me?”
“My existence!” he quickly replied, “You transfused a part of yourself into me. You don’t need to laugh out loud anymore, I convey your LOLs for you. I express your emotions for you, so that you don’t have to do it yourself. In the process, you lost some emotions to me. Same goes for your friends.”
I said, “But don’t you think that’s a bad thing that you virtual personas are doing?”
He said, “We never forced you into anything. It’s all about what you want.”