I once posted as status in my Twitter and FB account :
“does it count that you have a life when all you do in your spare time is tweet, FB, 9gag and/or troll around the internet?”
Sat in my bed deciding whether should I read or should I write? I ended up surfing the web instead. The house isin’t that big but I was truly comfortable in my Indian seat and the length of time that I was surfing was making me thirsty, so I just PM’d (private message aka chatting in FB) my son whose bedroom was nearer the kitchen to please get me a glass of water… pretty please. Before I knew it, he was inside my bedroom with my glass of water and a frown in his face. “Next time you get your own.” then, nearly banging the glass on my side table, short of breaking it before he went out. Don’t get him wrong, he’s a good son, he seldom really does this. He was probably in the middle of his Defense of the Ancients before I rudely interrupted him with the errand, instead of just plainly saying no, he just did the job. He knew how much of a nagger I can become. I was the asshole.
I have never been more immersed in the world wide web in any other period of my life than now. I am apprised with the whereabouts of my children as well as their implicit state of mind thru their status updates, the current social events of my friends via tweets and invites thru tags/messages. I can see what they’ve done and where they went by the pictures they’ve posted and the comments they’ve made. I surf around the world thru web postings and links, going around reading stories, blogs, news updates what’s in and what’s not making me realize that the bulk of my reading material now comes from the online stream. Most importantly, the bulk of my music now comes from the internet and my playlist and music habits, of having to become online to listen to a favorite radio station now becomes a part of my routine necessity.
I can remember when I would have the newspaper delivered by the doorstep but it contained news of yesterday. Breaking news was half a day late, these days we can really get into the story as it unfolds live via satellite. You can see it, watch it and all of a sudden everyone who has wifi at his convenience can really be into the story. Almost everyone’s an opinionated asshole nowadays. Before you’d have to buy the physical LP, single’s 45 then CD’s, now you only need to purchase a download without the hassle of going to a music store to buy your songs. I couldn’t imagine that was possible when I was 10 (this blog, I believe is now making me dated 🙂 ) What makes today, this generation, call for a different kind of culture? You have to morph with the change of information and data speed or you become stagnant and die unknowingly.
I guess I’m glad most of my three kids were born in the nineties. They’ve more or less experience a time when everything weren’t that so much “fast” and convenient yet. My eldest daughter can still fondly remember her street games, where slippers were meant to be part of the game rules so you have to run barefoot to claim them, rubber bands were used for jumping ropes and the bottle caps and marbles that were collected then would make you the coolest if either you have the rarest or the most number in your box of treasures. There was a time that the girl who had the Barbie maybe rich, but she can only play with the gang if she would let the doll be everybody’s baby. Those days you have to get out of the house to actually meet your friends and I would have to get out of the house to find her. Nowadays, I would either tweet, chat or text her to ask where she’s at only to find out she’s just inside her room “chillin out”.
Social media has given us one of the fastest ways that we could reach out. Its integrated, its interconnected. We can communicate and let other people know what we think faster than you can say rosemary duck. Heck, we can even play games online with friends and other people online, with faces hiding under avatars we haven’t even met yet. Internet has given us such a stream of information and a link of activities to really interact and connect digitally that it simply amazes me. I just read about racist and hate remarks that came from a latina teenager condemning even the race she has originated from. I’ve seen fabulous restaurants, beautiful bookstores, unique and exciting places, read and absorb details of their rich histories and other people’s culture, I’ve listened to Adele’s 21 album even before she made a sweep at the Grammy’s, and my butt hurts from all this sitting, my eyes strain from all this reading, my ears are popping from all this listening, yet, I still can’t get enough of everything the world wide web has to offer. Its cool, its fun, for me at least, and I suppose it’s the same way for my children. The home wifi is now something we can never do without. I’ve been off to a world so beautiful, daring, informative and adventurous then came home again to remind myself I have to cook for dinner.
But there’s just this tingling awareness that in all of my adventures, what I have only sensed in that world was what my eyes, ears and fingers can deliver. I’ve had that conversation with myself which goes – Haven’t been there actually but I’ve read about it, haven’t met him/ her actually but we’ve connected online, have already been interviewed online but I don’t actually know how they feel about my submissions.
You see, there is this world that we all need to feel. Like love and life’s intangibles, it’s something that should be able to knock our socks off the moment we get there. Digitization doesn’t make the whole package, not quite yet. Its like the difference between reading the actual book on your hands and reading it from a laptop screen or tablet. It’s like the whole wine tasting experience, you can never imagine flavors unless you’ve tasted them and even before we can write about them, so much so that sublime experiences are often described as wordless.
Maybe I guess we can vote that, nope we don’t have a life when we troll around the internet. We may have made friends thru this medium but believe you me, they all wont be around in your funeral when you die. Yes RPG’s, and other online games maybe addictive and fun, but it can never beat the implicit experience of street games, its social definitions that children will need to build up well rounded personalities. There is so much said when we talk personally, those that were not spoken as well as those that pass our lips, the same goes with writing and the hundred mediums of communication. How can we digitize what was not there tangibly, but was so heavily part of that slice of experience, that moment when it became part of your life.