Thursday, May 13, 2010
Then & Now.....
While talking with a friend last saturday we got on to discussing since how long we knew each other...which turned out to be 6 long years...and from then on to wonder how we met, where, when, etc. We are net friends & had met via MSN buddies, a friendship program started by hotmail in 2004. We had met online in 2004 on hotmail chat. We recounted the endless hours we spent for the dial - up to connect, watching the blue dot move back - and - forth, back - and - forth accompanied by the irritating dialing tune. There was always the very great possibility that the net might get disconnected as soon as it connected but those were the days when chatting was a craze which drove many like us to toil endlessly in cyberspace for a small chat. After a long wait when you were online you needed to open the IE (mozilla firefox, safari, chrome had yet to make an entry) and watch the page load & see the blue bar progress like the sand slipping out of the sandclock. The most visited sites were definitely yahoo & rediffmail (orkut, facebook were still just ideas in their inventors head).
When I first got my broadband, it had been with a whole lot of effort. The first kit I got had a faulty router. When I went to the MTNL office to replace it I was shocked to see the officer rip open another box & pull out wires from it & dump them into mine. With his mouth full of paan he mumbled "check karke dekhta hoon" ...still amazing was the fact that it did work...however only till I was in the office premises. I had to make 3 trips to the MTNL office & threaten them of officially filing a witten complaint till they took notice of my plight & gave me a router which worked at their office as well as my home!!! When the guy tested the new machine I was amazed to find Yahoo load before I could blink my eye. It was the start of many surprises.
Later on came Orkut & I personally joined Facebook much later. My paranoia about talking to & adding utter strangers still remains; however having become net savvy I realise whats safe & ok to do & what must be totally avoided.
But coming back to my point of the internet - then & now....I guess its much like the traditional postcard or inland letter. In school when even the Internet was a foreign concept, getting a postcard from my friends in Pune showed that they remembered me, getting an inland letter meant they cared & getting an envelope with 2-3 pages of written matter...........well dont know what it meant but it sure made me feel extra special. Same is the case with the dial - up & broadband. Knowing that someone spent those extra minutes watching the net connect made you feel special, gave you a feeling that you were worth the effort & time. And then today when people have broadbands & think they can fool you into believing that they are Idle, Offline, Not at desk or remain invisible....you wish for life to be simple and straight forward as it was then...when either you were worth the effort or werent...& it was conveyed without words but in the most efficient way known....by ACTIONS