Righty ho!! In case you are wondering if this thing is about yapping all over the place, well..... you are not very much off the mark!! Frankly, the focus here is about how much we interact over the net/phone with people we hardly know or who are just mere ids/nicks for us. IS it really possible for us drown so much into this world that we lose touch with reality and are virtually incapable of talking to anyone in person, unless we end up texting/IMing them?? Can fruitful relationships really be developed over the net??
In case, you wonder, why I decided to take walk down this alley it's because of a discussion on Virtual Relationship at Between Us Friends and an article in Times of India this Sunday Shall We Talk the Talk. Having contributed to both of them, I realised how much there is to talk about this topic.
Most of the people in the 15-30 age group spend a lot of time on the net, create different ids and get chatting. Previously, it was Yahoo Chat, then came along India times Chat and other chat engines. Finally, we had Orkut. That was the first salvo from Google, which took over and altered the entire world of online interaction. Hi5, did I hear someone mention that?? Well, the truth about Hi5 is, it doesn't offer the same facilities that Orkut does. Moreover, while Hi5 was sleeping, Orkut captured the imaginations of the young generation like never before. Orkut was the rage. And then, slowly came GTalk. Still evolving I've heard. Never mind. The point is through all these forums of interactions, people came to know each other. The world started shrinking. Distance mattered lesser and lesser when it came to knowing someone as if you know them for ages.
At such a point of time, members of senior generations kept talking about how unhealthy it is, how much we are losing touch with the real world (they still say so, but in a more understanding manner!!) and so on. Result, a complete network of friends who have never met each other except in chat rooms and yet they are perhaps better connected than anyone else they know.
Is this undermining the need to interact face-to-face?? Not at all. If the pattern is to be closely observed, these people meet over the net, connect, establish a bond which definitely makes them feel strongly that their interaction is not all about just chatting it's about being friends..... and then they meet. It's happening everyday. And having been a part of such gatherings more than once, I can vouch for the wonderful meetings that they can be.
But the flip side is, some one can get too involved in the world of "asl","brb","lol","lmao" to lose touch with the real world. And this happens only when one allows the net to dominate one's life. Every technology has a flip side, the trick is to use it judiciously.
And frankly, as a person who has found real friends over the net forming lasting bonds is not a difficult task. trust me, it's not easy either, but then you know the ropes.
Talk as much as you want, but remember nothing should be so important that it runs your life rather than you yourself!!
The rambling on this topic is not yet over. I'll continue later with the relationships part. Stay tuned.