If you are reading this, you are in the same boat as me. The boat that the web media has categorized as "Social Networking". Blogging is but a small part, its a huge sea out there.. the picture above shows some of the drops from the vast pool. The world is changing, you can either hop on or stay out but you cannot say "This is just a craze, it will pass". Some people said that about the internet and about e-mails, am not sure whether they still think of themselves as the smarty-pants of the world. You can get on to the boat of Social Networking or opt to stand on the shore and wave, but the worst thing you can do is to call this phenomenon an insignificant trend that will fade out.
After a long long time, I got back in touch with a very close friend. No, I hadnt lost him in the Kumbh mela, I always had his phone number and could have called him anytime, but we had both been busy and had stayed out of touch. In the period we had not been in touch, some radical changes had happened in our lives, marriage, job changes, and even a change of country. I had tried getting in touch with him on multiple occassions.. I had sent him a FB friend request, had commented on his Orkut photos and scrapped him on his Orkut Scrapbook, but had not gotten a response. I had concluded that for some reason he was angry with me. Finally one day I got him on Yahoo messenger and pinged him and asked him if he was upset with me for some reason. He laughed and said he had thought that I would be upset with him for him not staying in touch.. So we laughed about it, and he called me using Gtalk voice messenger on his mobile phone (gosh.. i didnt know you could do THAT!) and introduced me to his new wife whom I have never met. We talked for a long time, two people in two continents who had had a misunderstanding because of stupid social networking, and had sorted it out with some smart social networking.
Yes, now you can break up and make up on the internet. Or have misunderstandings with friends on it. I have even heard people falling in love over it, I have 2 friends who found their life partners while on social networking sites and are now married to the ones they found. I have 2 friends I found over social networking, they are now really close friends and I can count them in my 'top ten' friends list, but I have never met them or seen them (except on social networking sites), one of them is in a country I didnt know existed till I first talked to her. One of my friends is somewhat a celebrity blogger and has a huge network of followers all over the world whom she is very friendly with, people who are an integral part of her lives. Even my parents, who till a couple of years back didnt even have an email account, are on Orkut, have multiple mail accounts, and voice and video chat with me on Yahoo and Gtalk (I am thinking of introducing them to blogs, but dont know if its a good idea or not :)). Its simple, they have found they can stay in touch with a son who is abroad, and a lot of loved ones who are scattered around the globe by just joining a web service and buying a microphone and a camera.
For me its a boon. I recently became active on FB, after being coerced by a lot of friends. I am already on a similar site called Orkut which is not as 'international' as FB, so I was not very keen but finally had to give in because even my best friend started thinking I was outdated (lol.. yes I am THAT influenced by close friends). I thought it will be tough to cope with following so many sites but I am coping well. And so are most people who thought this will be a passing phase. I wonder if very soon the good ol' mobile phone will only be used for local calls.. maybe soon not even for that. What will be the next wave? Will I be able to hop on to that as well? Or will I get old and lazy and say "Its just a passing phase, nothing can replace the internet?". I dont know. With age also comes the fear of being left behind. Of being outdated. I turn 28 in a few months, and the fear of getting old is looming large. LOL.. Did you believe me on that? Of course I am kidding. 28 is the best age to be! You are just old enough to have the maturity to do most of the things in life, you have the money and the enthusiasm and you are still on the right side of 30!! And I know of some people who will frown and say thats not the right side of 30, and I love you guys for your spirit. But the right side of 30 is always the side you are on :).
Irrelevant fact: Because of lack of having a licensed version of Macromedia Flash, I am now trying to make a presentation in Movie Maker.... It is like tying up your hands and legs and asking you to climb the mountain. It is frustrating and yet its a new way of doing this, especially if you have climbed the mountain a million times already!
Quote of the day:
Calvin : You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
Hobbes : What mood is that?
Calvin : Last-minute panic.
- From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Photo reference for above photo: http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ncrochet/