“I don’t want to be sucked into the technology whirlpool,” she states emphatically, and with a hint of pride.

Living in a city that is so thoroughly networked you can almost see the synapses evolving into little super microchips, you wonder how this sort of thinking can prevail. And when it’s coming from someone who is not in her 50s, 60s or 70s, but in her 20s, you wonder if this sense of bravado is going to prove a stumbling block in her future endeavours. How will she communicate effectively if her fingers cannot articulate abbreviated messages in less than 160 characters on a keypad?

In amongst the Facebook postings, sms and whatsapp messaging and other modern tools of communication that add to the noiseless chatter in the air around us, it’s hard not to be moved to some level of participation. To firmly stand apart from it could be viewed as foolhardy or brave.

Her reasons for distancing herself from the e-noise: “There is too much invasion of my privacy and too much being sucked out of my personal life space.” If you could see these electronic missives being fired around you, it would probably darken your personal space, too. It’s probably quite apt that it’s called cloud computing. An electronic storm cloud is gathering overhead and descending about us rapidly.

You can’t see it or feel it, but the majority can’t live without it. For some, this is the vocal community they crave to be a part of, even if very little is verbalised. For others, physical detachment from the ether becomes necessary, like a detox session.

Bucking the trend is sometimes liberating. In her case, it’s about breaking away from the social peer group pressure that many lack the willpower to control and manage. Rather than being sucked in by the race to keep ahead of the competition and handle the ongoing one-upmanship, she’s decided to turn away.

Standing apart is part of the key to creativity. Without the unique vision of its leaders who are willing to follow their own vision and beliefs, many of today’s big brands and thought leaders would not be in existence. They are the few who light the path ahead.

So, for my young 20-something friend who has turned away from the herd, have the courage to step forth and seek whatever it is you are in search of.

STORM_EditorsPage_images_03Kannan Chandran