Thursday, November 26, 2009

Digital 'Pseudo-Contact'

More than five years have passed since I finshed my Bachelor's in Engineering. My last official working day in college was May 10, 2004. How much things have changed since then? Thanks to Information Technology, we are able to stay in touch with many close friends. Social Networking sites like Orkut and Facebook help us maintain what I call 'Pseudo-contact' with our friends. We add them to our friend list; 'scrap' them; write on their 'walls'; follow their 'Tweets'; Read their 'Diggs'; We know their whereabouts, the main events in their lives etc. Yet we are not in direct touch with them.

I'm very bad in returning calls or responding to emails and hence has lost contact with many friends over the years. But there are a few really close friends with whom I still maintain contact. We mail each other frequently and occasionally talk over phone. Our lives have diverged into so many different ways - Direct employment and marriage; Master of Science; Master of Business Administration and so on. Different locations - India, USA, UK, Singapore... At any point of time, at least one of us will be awake at some part of the globe. :)

A couple of hours back, one of these friends had mailed to the rest of us. He had gone to India to attend his brother's wedding. Of course, his schedule was packed to the last minute.One of our other friends is also now in India on vacation. He's visiting India after 4 years. Both these guys live pretty close to each other. Yet they have not been able to meet each other. Each one had their priorities and Neither one is at fault. This just didn't fit their schedules. God knows how many years have to pass by, until the two of them can meet again. And who know what each one will be doing then???

As time goes by, our lives diverge; our priorities change. In 'ancient' times when there was no internet or telephone, people just lost touch with each other. Now, the digital media is connecting us across the globe and is helping us keep in touch. But it can only do so much: help us maintain 'Pseudo-contact'. As I told my friend, we're now just a little more than pen-pals. But I'm still thankful for that.


Dj's Space© said...

Great Introspective article!
Though i solidly advocate the power of friendship and the ability of friends to stay close and connected despite distance, i'm afraid given the expirience during the last year, i have to agree with you.
Friends whom you talked with almost everyday, for hours to an end, seem to have been reduced to a 'latest update on my wall' or that invitation that comes for a wedding ..

And knw wats the biggest prob about all this -we really would not have a drive to meet, even after a few years, 'coz if we do meet we would not be able to have even a good conversation -- i'd practically know every Single thing about him/her from their updates and Scraps, but that closeness would have vanished! completely!

gops' blog said...

you may call me "old fashioned" for this... but i like to maintain direct contact with people rather than through electronic means...
i hate gtalk for that matter... its been overused and abused to a level that most cannot live without being online..

a very nice article dad... do keep direct touch with me!

n@veen said...

Nicely written! Reflects on what most of us are facing given the amount of roaming we do.

Me and my friend always have this argument. Despite the fact that we understand each other's 'busy' schedule and limited mobility fueled by circumstances, we blame each other for not getting in touch....We argue on phone as to who has the strongest reason...drop off the call and then take a step back to think.......and call each other again to acknowledge that if we had the will to meet, we will for sure....its been 4 years since we met...still we are not sure if we have the will or not!