The 3 Variants of Us


Not more than 50 years ago the adage “A person can be judged by his Dastaar(the turban), Raftaar(the gait) and Guftaar(talking style)” was used by the wise. Communication has evolved by leaps and bounds in the last couple of decacdes. Instant messaging apps and internet have changed the way people interact. Now there are more criteria than just these. Focusing only on 3, out of several, we have chats, phone conversations, and in person exchanges. In this article I attempt to shed some light on how our communication through these mediums constructs 3 variants of us as perceived by the people who we communicate with.

On chats

Chats are deceptive. Make the cowardly fearless, pretenders powerful, and the innocent misunderstood.

“Texting is a brilliant way to miscommunicate what you feel and to misinterpret what other people mean.” – Grammarly

Instant messaging apps were very quickly accepted by people. Free unlimited messaging as long as you have internet. It started with the youth, but now individuals of all ages chat with each other. The fact is, when a message is read and the reply has to be typed, there is ample time to think and rethink of what reply can be sent. The few seconds taken to type the message is enough for a person to re-think several times what is to be sent, often times deleting and re-typing the message shows the change of statement the person thought of and is actually sending as a reply. And sometimes if you need more time to think of what to reply, like in a quarrel, you can take as much time as you want and blame the internet for the lag. Gives a chance to the lovers to find fancy words to woo their sweeties when in person they can’t utter a word. Correcting language mistakes and faking vocabulary to mates by using inbuilt dictionaries is one of the most common exploitations of this way of communication. Several other include ignoring others’ messages and continue shooting your own and later blame it on internet, faking/hiding real expressions, etc. And also if smileys aren’t used, the convo appears unnatural and pale. Another concern arises when the person on the other side isn’t coinciding with your present state of mind. Like usually some serious messages are taken as a joke and jokes are taken seriously which result in a huge misunderstanding. I’m too of all, chats also take 10x more time to talk about something than it would on phone or in person. 

On the phone

It saves time. As previously stated, a conversation on the phone takes at least 10x lesser time than a chat. It feels almost realistic and you reply more genuinely. No extra time to rethink, no accentuated vocabulary, no self indulgent monologues. The variations in the voice puts in more feelings into the words. Still it isn’t equal to talking in person. As they say, “Mobile phone is a new avatar of a lie”. People have freedom to say anything over the phone and the other side has only the words to judge them by. Telling a lie can be detected by the face expressions which are not transmitted over electrical signals. Also a person can pretend to like the convo making the speaker feel good and at the same time frown on the other side.

In person conversations

The most unadulterated way to communicate. Since the invention of language and evolution of the ways of talking this method had been the most effective way of communication. Add ons like hand gestures, face expressions, body posture add to the quality of an interaction. The most transparent way where there is no pretending or faking, standing face to face you connect directly to the person and express yourself in a richer way. Eye contact and mere moving of brows also effects the meaning of the message being conveyed. A smile to connect and a pat on the back to console is what is not possible in chats or over the phone. True projection of what a person really is and what the words actually mean can not be depicted without the physical presence of a person.

Many people chose to chat with a person whom they feel they can’t bear to talk to in person. Chats are easy, of course, but you are portraying a different image of yourself on them. And finally when you meet in person after thousands of messages, I’m sure you’ll feel the  difference.