Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Less Face Book, more Face Time!

I understand this blog is fast slipping into oblivion. Not the place I intend it to go, so I am renewing my commitment to post more regularly. They say you need talent to write. I say you need discipline (and for some people, a spell-checker). This first paragraph is to assure the few loyal readers left that I will try and locate the necessary self-persuasion.

We lead extremely distracted lives, especially if you are of my ilk who sit in front of a computer close to ten hours a day. I am not even going to talk about the movie watching and the TV watching I do, but pure and simple, the time that the digital world is consuming. There was always the internet and instant messaging, and it would actually need some extra focus to block everything out and stay on the job. But at least that was limited to the time spent at work after which I would go home and like a good boy, slouch in a couch and watch the idiot box. Nothing precedes the explosion in the past year or two for me. First came the blogs, then youtube, orkut, then came my smartphone and then came Facebook, and there I was, completely submerged into the digital realm.

There’s always something happening on Facebook in someone’s lives, and the deeper you get into this social quicksand, the harder it is to extract yourself. And it doesn’t leave you when you leave it sitting alone locked behind the screen of your crusty computer. There’s the smartphone, that doesn’t let me disconnect from the internet. It is waiting, silently calling me out to log on and check scores on cricinfo, or when an e-mail at work has arrived at 9.34 pm in the night and the glow of the screen draws me into knowing if one of these three important things have conspired: 1. Did I get fired? 2. Have I done anything that will get me fired? 3. Did someone send an invite for a morale event? Then of course, I have to check my yahoo account for the odd chance that some e-mail is waiting for me. Not to overlook my hotmail account, where there ARE e-mails sitting to tell me that something has happened on Facebook that I should know about. It reminds me of an organizer at a dandia event I once went, telling people: ‘please assemble in concentric circles, one inside the other!’

Internet itself has mushroomed. I follow more blogs, I read more news, I see more videos and I hear more music. In essence, an entire day can be spent doing nothing else but keeping ‘in sync’ and it would still be a drop in the ocean. The more I try to optimize what I see and hear, the more there seems to be out there that needs to be seen and heard.

How ironic that the very same tools that should empower and enrich end up distracting me in the process! In an effort to make my life simpler, I have made my life more complex. It requires a special kind of discipline, an almost ascetic bent of mind to resist the temptation to devote endless hours to this smorgasbord of options out there to spend time on. But wait: now I have the perfect excuse to explain my absence from blogging. Everytime I am on a PC or my smartphone, highlights from yesterday’s cricket match to the latest articles on New York Times (and the endless comments) call out to me among other things. There you have it; I finally found someone to blame for my absence from this blog. I’d go on, but I think a friend of mine just updated his status to let everyone know that he is having lunch!

P.S> BTW, I am still not on Twitter. My last stance against digital drowning is still on.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Annual Performance Review

I submit to judgment,
My past year’s follies.
Wrapped in truth,
Blurred in perception.
An eloquent eulogy to efforts past
Neatly organized in bullet points.
Promises I made, promises I kept;
In optimistic synchrony,
Designed to please
The review Gods