The whole world seems to be hooked on to the virtual world. What happens, though, is an exchange of mundane, useless information
I know a social-networking site-addict-friend who starts her day with a mug of coffee staring at wall after wall (of social networking sites). She tweets, flickrs, buzzes and blogs, all in between getting dressed for work. Of course, even en route she remains girded to the grid and wound to the Web (through the gazillion mobile gadgets she wears on her person, in her handbag and around her neck) only to check in enthusiastically at work and quickly log in all over again — where she continues to give and get updates from the virtual world, byte by byte.
Agreed, most of us do spend some time on these social networking sites, for the most part passively viewing virtual notifications that get dished out faster than you or I can say boo. Or even bah (that's when I see photo albums titled – ‘My little princess - Day 27, Day 28 and 1 month old' followed by another album ‘My-one-month-and-three-day-old-baby-girl')
Then of course there are details about how gooey someone's upma had been for breakfast, how their dog has been constipated for the last few days (of course the remedies come in hard and fast from sources and products hitherto unknown), how delicious tiramisu is (duh, we know), how romantic their honeymoon was (accompanied by about five hundred snaps, which ‘apologetically and unfortunately' need to be uploaded in five different batches, space being a constraint), or some loser's take on a cricketer's innings or some five hundred ‘warm' birthday wishes from people you've hardly known all replete with virtual pink cakes, green candles and virtual (sigh!) red stuff in green bottles.
Says Priya Mascarenhas, a mom of two young adults — “One of the biggest plusses that I find in being ‘wired up' everyday is that I get to see daily updates — complete with photos, videos et al of my daughter who is currently studying abroad. I enjoy her Tweets on which movie she enjoyed or which is the music number she is currently getting ‘jiggy with', although I'm not so sure how many of her ‘friends' on the networking site enjoy her little commentaries!” she adds laughing. “Though I rarely Tweet or leave a status update I think that the virtual world is a great place to safely pen my thoughts and also get fresh perspective on them, without being too intrusive.”
“Almost on a daily basis, I see posts saying ‘nothing to report' or ‘bored' or ‘zzzzzz' and that really irks me!” exclaims Amit Mohan, a software professional. He quickly adds, “However, a good thing about being strung out on the web the whole day is that you constantly get a sneak peek into the minds and ideas of people across industries, companies and sectors. Though I find them few and far between, there have been some very intellectual and passionate debates I have had with a select few on my friend list about things that we feel strongly about.”
Rajani Sundaram who works with an advertising firm agrees that the best thing about being ‘webbed' all the time is being able to reach out to several acquaintances you have known through your life through just one login, but also adds, “Come on, these sites are all for exactly that – to secretly enjoy those gossipy updates about people we once knew, who got married, how fat she became post-pregnancy, the exotic vacation spots someone went to or photo evidence of how sloshed someone was at a party!
These places are like page 3 updates of your very own friends and family and I really don't mind the little mundane bits that come as a part of the package!” she adds laughing.
Maybe life has now become about giving and getting these teeny, dreary details.
And yet again, maybe the fact that we can share these little titbits with friends and family across the world at any time of the day is a welcome gift from technology.
Someone recently Tweeted, “This is now becoming increasingly like real life. The same boring people comment on the same silly boring things on each boring day!”
So maybe the next time you want to put up a few, dull thoughts about how late you slept last night, or want to upload three hundred photos of your child's concert at school, you may want to think again.