Friday, August 28, 2009

Social Virtualization anyone?

You know her name, her age, her profession and her relationship status.

You have participated virtually in every single activity she does; her frequent visits to the friendly neighborhood coffee house, her family get-togethers and her cheek-on-cheek outings at brightly lit pubs.

You probably have an opinion on what dress looks good on her and what does not, what she loves eating and what she hates vehemently.

You might even know her pet peeves, might have argued and agreed with her in "comment" discussions on your common friend's updates, liked and unliked her various links and postings.

Yet, she is a stranger, in the strictest sense of the word. You have never spoken to her in person. You avoid her gaze in public. You fidget with your not-so-cool-gadget when she is around. You glance occasionally at her when she shares an anecdote with her friends in the food court, trying to correlate her online and offline persona. You know she gave birth to a baby last Sunday, or is celebrating her birthday today or has an important interview tomorrow, but you pass by her with a vague sense of urgency and discomfiture bursting to hide and share your knowledge at the same time.

There is a pretty good chance that you are as much familiar to her, as she is to you. Yet she employs the same passive semblance as you do in person.

One might be tempted to think that you have a huge crush on her, but it may not be so. These same set of actions could be attributed to a person of the same sex for that matter, and nothing would change. Who are they? Acquaintances? Well, you never got acquainted in the first place. Colleagues? You may not be sharing the same workplace. Friend? Well, you do not share your personal life details voluntarily to qualify as a friend.

The age of paper brought pen-pals and the age of instant chats brought chat buddies. And so has the age of tweets and scraps given birth to a new breed of social structure that needs a name. A tag. And I leave that task to you.

P.S.
Here is an awesome strip that mirrors my sentiments precisely...
Link to Doghouse diaries


Creative Commons License
When US beckoned me by Siddharth Wagh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

4 comments:

*~*Pooja*~* said...

I actually did think you had a crush on her.... but very nice stalk off with the 'pregnancy' thing! ingenious! ;)

the predicament of being me said...

The impatience which this virtual world is creating around us is extremely extremely harmful.

However your blog refers to both real world as well as virtual world. If the virtual world is giving you a common platform and so is real world go ahead and talk. These are the positive vibes which may not necessarily be crushes but a great relationship can be forged in.

Dont hold back yourself.

S.Wagh said...

sure man... in fact i have smiled at instances, only to get an indifferent look in return...

Shashank Kanade said...

Somehow such "relationships" keep on happening, and just like you, i am unable to tag them.
But a problem presented in precise words takes oneself quite far, and your blog describes the problem aptly :)