One beautiful old book surpasses a trillion online bytes.

One real world trumps a billion virtual worlds.

One genuine disciple beats a million Followers.

One Rupee spent wisely offline beats 100,000 virtual bucks.

One real, small and humble farm beats 10,000 on Farmville.

One true friend beats a 1000 on Facebook.

One warm offline appreciation beats a 100 likes.

One game played in Mother Earth’s lap beats 10 virtual games played simultaneously.

One real life lived genuinely beats a false virtual life full of lies and make-believe.

© Sunil Rajguru

Breaking News, Social Networking style…

I was looking forward to two book releases. I came to know of both through Facebook. (Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Eoin Colfer’s And Another Thing…) The same networking site also (to me) broke the news of Michael Jackson’s death and Roger Federer’s last Wimbledon triumph. While all this is fine… I might have got these from the regular news sites had I been more regular … the worrying thing is that more and more “Personal Breaking News” is coming in this novel manner.

Take job changes for example. In the good ole days, you used to come to know through the person himself or atleast through the office grapevine. Now, on your Facebook Live Feed, you suddenly see a status message: Today is my last day in office! You wonder where that person is going. But for that, you’ll just have to wait for his LinkedIn update! These sites will also tell you in which city the person is, how he is feeling, what kind of a day he has had etc. Observe a person’s Wall and you’ll get a fair idea of what kind of person he or she is.

Now is this good or bad? I guess it’s a bit of both. Bad because the personal touch is going. People appear to be more comfortable in the virtual world as compared to the real one. That way, these are more of anti-social networking sites as they bring down one-on-one interactions. Good because it is necessary and we don’t have a choice. Life is becoming busier and busier and we are meeting and interacting with more and more people. If you are a gypsy like me, changing one’s city every few years, then you’ll have a huge network of friends and acquaintances. I guess this is the only way to stay in touch with everyone. It’s pretty effective.

Right now everything you do is more or less public. Maybe in the future we’ll have closed networks. Say ten different home pages on Facebook that cater to a particular group. Or specialized Twitter feeds that are tagged and non-searchable on the Net. I say that because the shift may be from the “Public” to “Private” virtual community talk. Maybe I’ll want to tell everyone in my life all of my news and feelings in a virtual and secure manner.

Wonder how things will be like when my son grows up. Out of all the futuristic predictions I have seen, two stick. One is a powerful microcomputer that can be embedded in the arm. The second is a projection screen. (Then there’s also the electricity generator via body motion.) So you could activate your computer and be in cyberspace 24/7 on any place on Earth.

Would we then all be lonely wanderers doing our work continuously and updating what’s on our mind all the time? (Or locked up in a hut like a hermit doing the same?).

How about an update straight from the mind? Imagine billions of people sending thousands of status messages each and every day in cyberspace. Wonder what an alien would make of that zettabytes (or yottabytes?) of random data.

© Sunil Rajguru