Most of my friends are from my college life. After college, all went their separate ways. Everyone is getting married, some already have. The first marriage invitation I got was from someone whom I’ve known since class 2, who had gone to same college as mine and was my room mate. She sent an e-invitation i.e. a scanned copy of her marriage’s invitation card. After that, many such electronic invitations from different friends followed. Aarghhh!
“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” So said Mr.Bill Gates. Through Internet, one is able to befriend people with similar tastes,ideas,thoughts and personalities, chat with them and form strong and sometimes everlasting relations. Some just add up people arbitrarily. People living abroad are able to talk and see their family back home with the help of webcams and Internet. Communication has become lot faster and easier with the help of e-mail. In short, the technology is bringing people and families closer as suggested by the Pew Internet and American Life Project research findings.
But as far as I’m observing, it is doing just the opposite! Friends and acquaintances send you an e-invitation and think their duty of completing the formality is over. They don’t even bother to make one call, to give it a little bit of personal touch. I guess people have slowly stopped believing in giving a personal touch in marriage invitations. They are online on Google talk but still don’t ping you to say the customary words ” You have to come to my wedding” for formality’s sake at least. Of course if they have something to brag about they would surely remember you as Xylene writes in his post. If you are that busy then don’t be online! Not with the green button at least! The height of this trend of e-invitations was when one of my friends asked me “is it ok with you if I send you my marriage invitation on e-mail?’ What was I supposed to reply? The mere query shows your choice, my friend. I suppose saving so much paper and stamps is good for the environment and I should not raise such a hullabaloo but I like it when I get a marriage invitation card with little turmeric on the corner. Even if you do send an e-invitation, at least have the courtesy to call up and invite once more on phone!
Orkut’s initial charm for me was that I found many school and college mates there. It was wonderful getting back in touch. The people with whom I had regular contact were also added in my friend list. At every occasion and birthday (thanks to Orkut reminder), I used to wish them. This year I decided to sit quiet and see how many of them wish me. I wished only colleagues, close friends and blogger friends on Diwali via e-mail and sms. Sigh! It was very disappointing especially when I know Orkut must have reminded them of my birthday and I can see them being regular on Orkut. Same with Dusshera and Diwali. Even some of the people I’d wished on Diwali didn’t reply back! Now I’m led to believe that the Indian tradition of wishing each other on festivals, being all courteous and inviting people with warmth is slowly dying in this age of Internet technology. How sad is that! Internet was supposed to bring people closer and make communication easier.
There was a time when people opposed to the online revolution had declared Internet as a threat to society, sure to split families, fracture friendships and turn users into computer crazed geeks. And I’m afraid to say they were right. Some might say that I mind all these courtesies and formalities too much but thats the way I am. Moreover, I know it is not totally World Wide Web’s fault. The people are at fault too for not being pro-active in nurturing relations and friendships in the first place.
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