April 28, 2009

The Net Effect

If you're thinking this is just another article about how the "Net" has changed our lives positively, you are right. And, if you're thinking this is just another article about how the "Net" has changed out lives negatively, you are right again! See, I just gave you a win-win situation.
So, what do I want to prove here? Something that lurks in the gray areas of the Internet-aftermath!

When the World Wide Web boomed in leaps and bounds, I was excited, to say the least. Like so many of you out there, I too was slowly but steadily getting addicted. Then there was this craze of getting all my friends connected via the web. And in a short span of time, as Internet cafe's blossomed in every street, even the ones who were not very technologically adept had an email id and got chatting.
I was simply overjoyed to be able to chat with my friend who lived down the road via my computer. Days went by, life took us our ways. She moved to another city. But hey, thanks to the net we were in touch. Years flew past and then I met her after over half a decade. And that moment, all of a sudden, there was a feeling of emptiness in the air between us. We used to chat often, but now were unable to begin a simple conversation. The exchange of words that seemed so easy through the paraphernalia of technology had somehow put us in a weird spot. It took us a while to really get talking because over the years chatting had made us portray another side to us. Not that we meant to do so, but it just happened. We had to use bits and pieces of our "net" conversations to actually get things flowing. Its one thing to say, time and lifestyles change people but its totally another with a situation like this.

Yes, we could argue saying its not necessarily due to the Internet. Things like this happened even during the times when snail mail flourished. That, I would say, was different. You dint quite chat, per se. The time lapse between letters did help to a certain extent. There is a lot more to real-time chatting than there is to writing letters. Online chatting gives you a lot of options and not to forget, flexibility! Im sure you'll agree with me the next time you tell that old friend online that you have to go out and click that little 'x' mark to close the chat window, but all you wanted to do was end the conversation. I'm guessing that's how the other facet of individuals slowly surface. Then, suddenly before you know it, that incoming message from an ex-coworker with whom you shared your coffee breaks becomes a hindrance.

No, I'm not against chatting. I do it almost all the time too. But I was wondering if I'm the only one who feels this way. Do you, too?