Monday, June 13, 2011

Lost in cyberspace

Many a times I have been awakened from my blogger-self with a jolt - does anyone read me? My worries and my obsessions? Does anyone really care what book recently addled my brains, or which film made me crave for a slice of that faraway world, or what do baking and nature mean to me? A shaky, doubtful voice answers me - perhaps nobody. I know a few of my friends do follow my ramblings now and then, but then it's just them. Then, of course, I reason with my doubts - I write to give rhythm to an almost stagnant life, I take pictures to unleash the curious cat in me, and I bake to purge myself of the constant hovering demons.

A friend wanted me to write something about this, the dominance of Facebook in our lives. How it has taken us all by the throat making us compulsive slaves to it; and how the old, very personal way of keeping in touch - phone calls - is almost dying. I dare not mention letters, for they have fallen into the 'extinct' category post the email-age. So yes, these days a clever status update or a brilliant profile photo says it all. That's how we know our friends are doing fine - someone went for a vacation to the mountains, someone bought a new car or still better, someone is on the way to recovery from a bad break-up. Sometimes this knowing yet not knowing troubles me, but then I understand since I am a creature from another century, I am beyond any help. As much as I detest this casual, nameless culture born from social networking, I realise I am very much a part of it and something which I cannot do without. With tea and oatmeal, my quintessential breakfast, breaking the day with FBing (yes, that's what we call it!) has also become a compulsive routine.

As I write this, a stream of thoughts cloud my mind - are there any updates on my online course portal? are there any messages from my friends on Facebook? what about that recent post from one of my blogger friends? Yes, everything to do with the online 'me'. It's easy, getting lost in the bottomless pit of cyberspace - a space which has no beginning or end. Once we get in, we become a part of a nameless cosmos, one that spreads across names, cultures and boundaries. Suddenly the real, ticking world becomes hazy and this distant yet alarmingly near world marks our identity. Strange, isn't it?! Maze after maze, profile after profile we surrender ourselves to this enticing depth - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Google Buzz... The list is endless.


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