In a world where Internet follows us like a faithful Retriever, the impact of quotes is no longer what it used to be. Quotes come in different shapes and styles, colours and fonts. It’s like a generation awakened to the miracle of speaking their minds through someone else’s words. Better be, shooting one’s gun from someone else’s shoulder. Quotes are trending. Everyone else is either talking about one or sharing one. It is the new ‘selfie’ in town. Every time I scrolled down my friend list, there it was, a thumbnail filled with wise words spoken by a great mind of a bygone era. A quote is no longer a quote. It has become a mass weapon of criticism and silent treatments. We live in a time where people keep their shoulders ‘warm’ but give ‘cold’ quotes instead. Because, let’s face it, discussing an issue can be tiresome. Even worse, I may lose my ground in front of straight facts. Why not establish my point through a quote? That way, I don’t have to talk to the culprit but a glance at my quote and that good-for-nothing knows why I put it there.
If 2015-16 were the years of applying layers and layers of filters on our images to convert them into retro styled bizarre photographs in disguise of “cool effects”, 2017 brought all glory to the #NoFilter hashtag. We suddenly realized that natural lighting in photographs is more attractive than slapping a filter on any photo we take. This is my point (of no return). To understand the value of something, there are times when we need to overdo the exact opposite of that till your brain explodes and you suffer a mental breakdown. In short, you get ‘quotified’ from every nook and corner.
I limit my social media penetration to a bare minimum. But, whenever I look around, I get this feeling that I’m being quote-martialled. This trend has been ongoing for quite some time now. People feel the need to express themselves through quotes. With the advent of social media, human behaviour has gone through some serious changes. Famished or not, it has become quite a common sight that people are taking photos of even a simple glass of water at restaurants, ignoring their hunger or social etiquette of not using a device when being with the families or friends. Our photos find a quote even before we start eating. As long as we find a reason, we will post them everywhere till the point has been forcefully established. Look, it’s raining outside, let’s find a quote to share. My partner is not caring enough, let’s put up a quote to make him/her realize what we think of this behaviour. Whoa! There has been a terrorist attack and the government is doing nothing? Let’s search for some political quotes. I feel wise today, let’s use a quote. Life is bringing me down! There has to be a quote for that? I’m deeply bothered because I just saw an Orangutan doing hula hoop in my backyard, let’s find a suitable quote!
It’s like we can no longer remember the joy of expressing our minds without referring to someone else’s words. It’s like there is a quote for every possible action and reaction out there. It’s like saying; hey this is how I feel about this and see who else had to go through a similar situation before? It’s Albert Einstein! See, if Barack Obama felt the way I feel, my feelings must be legit. In short, existential crisis spotted.
Albeit quotes have their immense positive effects – these are messages from enlightened souls that light our inner spirit. Perhaps the only way to find a balance and truce is to chart out a path of existence of our own expressions alongside quotes. There’s no denying that sometimes all it takes is a small paragraph to revolutionise the way we look at the rest of our lives. They inspire us and often make us act on our boldest opportunities! But, whether we can stop overusing quotes or be altered in the process – remains a question unanswered.