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How an okay became ok, and then k

Once a warm greeting, happy birthday, too soon became an HBD. Can we not Maria Kondo expression and conversations, please?

Among the many lessons of recent times, minimalism is just one of them. We have learnt how little we can live with, or how little we need to live, and how for how long we can sustain with the little we have (or whatever is left of it).

I am a supporter of the philosophy of minimalism, which suggests we should own fewer possessions, the rule here being just as much as we need. This philosophy gained popularity over the last few years and was applied to various areas of life and the paraphernalia including interiors, wardrobes, art, food, and more. The idea being to declutter our cupboards, desks, plates, and rooms; to avoid unnecessary expenses, eating, and of course, stop hoarding.

With unlimited ways to stay connected and growing social circles (with still only 24 hours in hand), the philosophy naturally extended to decluttering our real and virtual lives as well; to avoid unnecessary stress. Unfriending people on social media was announced as a social media posts, and an act of self-care. In short, focus on things and people, that/who matter the most. Of course, when in the middle of all this, Maria Kondo entered the picture, we began to explore the many hidden dimensions of the concept, and some of us ended up unnecessary spending on tinier boxes to get rid of the other tiny boxes we had. Nevertheless, am assuming that some good came out of it and some houses are now cleaner and few items of clothing are feeling at home, with their new found colour-coordinated hangers. In short, less is more, re-emerged as the mantra.

So far, so good. Saying goodbye to toxic people and resisting the temptation to fall in for buy 2, get 3 body lotions, both are good ideas. Sadly though, somewhere in between applying the concept to social media profiles and moisturisers, we ended up

Maria Kondo-ing our expressions and conversations too.

Scroll down the recent conversations on any chat window and you’d observe it in its many avatars. Notice how an okay gave way to an ok, and a few months down the line all that was left of it, was a k. Once a warm greeting, happy birthday, too soon became an HBD. The memes on how much time do we save by not typing the extra two alphabets is the good that came out of it! Of course, emojis made the words unnecessary too — why type out a heartfelt warm note of love, when a yellow face, with twinkling eyes, can communicate the same? Questions like ‘how are you?’ are now asked as conversation starters, in case, you thought the idea was to know how you were; hence, a mere ‘fine, and you?’, suffices. Long e-mails too are a thing of the past, for automated messages works well enough.

Often, I try to steer such discussions to the need of the use of words, and that too not just because we are forgetting how to spell, but simply for words allow us to express generously — in comparison to say what memes allow. Enter minimalism in communication and you are training your mind and heart to receive and give out information, which you need – read: this conversation benefits me how and how not. Some may call it the selfish receiving and sending of information, unconsciously at times. Yes, whilst it is a way to avoid unnecessary banter, to protect yourself from negative vibes — minimalism in expression is toxic, it’s you radically reducing your chance to experience an emotion, and further brushing it under the carpet, with just a few words vs. a diary entry that you would have scribbled, allowing yourself to feel joy, grief, or even a routine. Staying away from minimalism, just allowed me to make a case against it, did you see what I just did?

Disclaimer: This is a place where now and then — we pause to make sense of a routine existence. We turn into bystanders (as we witness our lives go by) — observing, absorbing, questioning, wondering...


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