Writing in a Viral World

Punit Pania
2 min readAug 30, 2020

I have been writing for over a decade. When I look back at the significant archive I have accumulated I often find it naive but never alien. I have distinct memories of the version of me who wrote those words. It is scary to open the past when it is in such condensed form. But it is often reassuring as well. To see a teenage suburban kid battling identity and hormones and still trying to find meaning in a pre-4G India.

But language has limitations. So does art and even thought. Each person is only a finite sum of ideas. One may rewrite, embellish and expand. But beyond a point you are just showing off your writing skills instead of breaking any new ground.

What next then? Shackles of employment, EMIs and societal obligations are gone. One could commercialize existing content, push for video deals and sign tours. Glam up, dumb down, collaborate, deconstruct. But it will just end up being the same rat race in a glam avatar.

Words can only go so far. But actions can go further. And experience can go beyond. Even beyond the need for subscribers and validation. Which is why many artists hold themselves back at level 2 and 3. They can see from their vantage point that what is coming next is beyond their little performances and stories. We are too high on expressing life rather than living it completely. Because beyond this the self starts dissolving and without a self there are no autographs. Civilians are spared this pain in exchange for salaries and taxes. But the artist suffers gravely at the edge of a horizon no else can see or approach.

However, end goal remains the same for everyone. It begins with switching off the Wi-Fi.
Good bye, for now.

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