Saturday, August 15, 2009

Managing life in the Internet era

Friends are those who enjoy being with us. Out of them, there are special friends who enjoy being with us in both the happy and sad moment. During the days when there were no phones and internet, it was not a hard job to select those few special friends out of the handful of companions. Simple logic, if there are 5 candidates for 3 vacancies, selection is easy for the interviewer.

With the advent of the mobile phones mania to our little island, many had sms friends. They replaced pen pals of the olden days and guess what, these sms pals are more funky than the pen pals who takes months to reply for a snail mail.

Then comes the email, chat rooms and social networking and with them, floods in lot of unseen friend to our lives. Now, the number of friends are not handful but thousands of handfuls. Selecting the best few to be with is a bit difficult task. Lot of people may seem to appear best friends but only lord knows who they are in reality.

But, there are this special buddies you met online, then met in reality and have a good friendship maintained and some although have never seen, continue to be best of friends for a long time.Apart from them, there are school mates and class mates on your chat lists. The third kind of people in most of your lists may be the professional or work crowd. For example, there can be your colleagues at work who chat with you about the present project you are working on. Fourth category is the people you love. May be family or your fiance.

It is always nice to have lot of friends around when you log into skype, Gtalk, Yahoo or facebook for that matter. But how are you going to manage them all? There are hundreds of best buddies online. You do not know what they are up to, you do not know where they are. Thus, having a green bulb next to a name of a buddy does not mean that he or she is ready to chat and similarly, having a red bulb always doesn't mean he/she is not ready to have a chat.

Talking in general, the fourth category and the third catogory are in the top of the list of priorities.

The reason is no other than their importance to your present life. If you do not respond to your GF, she will shout at you and being silent for the professional list is too dare to think of.

But hey, you got to give the others a hearing too. Some times, you are exhausted with work that you postpone some work that you have to do.

For example, when I logged into facebook one day, it said that the next day is going to be the birthday of one of my best buddies. I told my self that I am going to wish him early the next day. The next day comes in, I sit in front of the computer thinking that I have to wish him. In a moment I forget it with the whole load of information/work put in front of my eyes.At the end of the day I turn eyes out of the computer and then only remembers that it was his birthday. I log into the chat using phone, he is no where to be found.

I thought I would SMS, but that too was postponed forever. Later he showed up in the chat list , I tried to say hello and say sorry but he was silent..then yesterday there comes a message saying that I have forgotten his bday and I have forgotten him.

Well, I was helpless. what he says is true. I have forgotten him. I didn't even emailed when he was not replying for chat. I was embarrassed and believe me it was a hurting to get such a message from one of the handful of my best buddies.

True that Internet is helping us to get to know many friends but that is not all, it creates new needs for us and sometimes makes us stranded among the friendships that come along the wires (and for the wi-fi users : over the air.).

The first time I used the internet was to do some research for an English Debate and that day, I thought internet was a great tool for education. The moment I got to know about email, I was crazy sending forward emails to friends. A friend invites me one day to Hi5 and from that day I was not only crazy sending forward emails,reading them but also making new friends. then comes Facebook. (count the numbers everybody, now 3 needs, turn on the computer, read mails, go Hi5ing, see the faces of Facebook and do some research for school work), Then comes chatting, blogging, twittering, stumbling, you tubing, flickering, LinkedIning and a whole lot more.

Its true that they are great services, but still, do you not feel the needs they create? if you create a blog, you feel like monitoring the visitors, so you put up a script in the blog to track them. Than each time you log on, you not only feel like reading the comments of the visitors but to know the countries from where they came and how did they found the link to the blog. The list goes on and so is the day.

We sure can live without those but, "It" sometimes makes us all slaves of the internet and ultimately forget humanity.

Forget it so much that you postpone wishing a person through a call or a SMS because you feel it is better to wish him over the chat which is spontaneous and some times more fun than a phone call.

Or, is it simply due to the over flooding of information? The information updating in real time makes you forget the real life issues ? I do not know what it is. The only thing I understand is that internet is the modern open economy. It provides you with lot of new oportunities and in order to keep up with the world you have to update your selves, sometimes forgetting or rather not not bothering about the old things/ services etc. Frankly, tell me how many of you are missing your old buddies simple because they do not have IM? In my case a lot.

But they do miss you too, specially in the special moments. So make sure at least you give your all buddies in the contact list a missed call once a week. Believe me, it makes both the parties happy or may be end up in a long gossipy call.

Now what if this thing called the internet go brum and bang one day like in the big bang? Well, im going to experience it soon, just got the red bill from the SLT and my dialog bill is too high so that they are sending me SMS from time to time.

So back to the age when there was no phones and no internet. let us see how am I going to choose the best 3 out of 5.

PS: My dear friend( whose birthday falls on 11th of August) , Wish you a happy Birth day. I know this is too late to say it. But still, I couldn't think of a better way to apologize.

Your message in the morning is still waiting in my inbox because I'm not that strong to bear the guilt of not remembering your birth day :(

the bottom line : Take this as a lesson you internet junkies. Computers and internet does not worth a single penny when compared to human beings

Speaking of being addicted to the internet, this what an online quiz said of me.


L33T H@x0r (81% - 100%)
You live and breathe the Internet. You rarely leave your computer(s) for fear of going through withdrawl. You are beginning to say "lol" and "brb" in verbal conversations and you haven't seen your friends face-to-face in months if you don't count their web cams. Maybe it is time to back away from the computer slowly and go get some fresh air? The Internet will be here when you get back!

The Quiz at Quiz Meme!

yes, it sure is the time to back away from the computer slowly and go get some fresh air

See you soon!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Boys, Prefects and more

This post is nothing but some personal ideas.

These days are making history. A girl was killed inside a school and apparently, a phone, some prefects and teachers are to be responsible for that. Some girls and boys who were imagining that they were in love had eaten kaneru to frighten the parents. These incidents may be just news for the majority of the nation. For parents, it may appear as a warning and for the students it sure is a shocking news. Since many have talked of the incidents in the above points of view, why not blog about the way i feel about this whole thing as a past prefect?

I was the deputy school captain of my school for the year 2006/7 . more than 3 years back, my thinking pattern was very very different than the present one. there are plenty of reasons which you 'll understand by the end of the post.

I still have no clear idea what was in that mobile phone to make her suicide. But I'm sure the school has a big share over her death. if the same incident happened in a boys college, he would be punished, may be kneeling in front of the office and that is all. so , what is wrong with all this girls' colleges?

First and foremost, I love my school because it is the place which made me who I am. If you enjoy being friends with me, you have to thank my school too. How ever, that does not mean that I only have to speak of the good side of everything.

Going back to the incident, if I was the Head Prefect of that school,and if I had the power to decide, what I would do is to talk to the child and let her walk off with the phone. no problem to both sides, she will get the phone and I will get her abide by the rules of the school. But, that is not the case, all the senior prefects would have got together and they decide what to do. This "what to do " part is dangerous. Being prefects, they have the power, but using the power in the proper way is not taught to them by the relevant authorities or simply, as any other human being, they need to use power to gain wealth and status.

It is true that I also had to take some actions to some "actions" when I was working as a prefect. but now, they seem stupid. totally stupid. Once I was talking with a younger sister of the school and she was saying that she was afraid of me. I asked her why. she said that I was strict. well, I would have been strict during the school time, but now i am not (although i think so, its up to you to judge). so the reason to think that I'm strict and a monster to be afraid of?

Tearing up a picture of prince william in front of her eyes! I didn't even remember doing it, but it seems it was embedded in her mind. I continued the conversation. Akki I was born in UK and I love that country. Prince william is the royalty of my mother country. It is true that he is a "guy" but still its nothing but a mere liking to collect pictures of the people you love.

I was sad. but was helpless. during the time when I was a prefect, we had to abide by the rules and if went other wise, it means the end.

Thus, boys were out of everything. Being prefect, I had to be of an exemplary moral character and according to the idea of the world in which I was living at that time, being good is all about being good and being away from boys.

If I go for a debate, a quiz or any other inter school competition, talking with boys was looked down upon by me myself. It's not that I hated guys. It was more like a virtual dungeon. I was under the impression that talking with boys and joking was a bad thing and each time I talked with them I was mentally counting the time and make sure I end the discussion before hitting the red line. It was such a difficult thing for me to talk with boys, let alone having a boy friend.

It was the result of both the school and the family. On one hand, I'm grateful for both the parties for keeping me out of the company of boys and on the other hand, I'm so sad that I missed a great company during the school time.

That is all about being a prefect in summary

Since I missed the company of boys during the school time, now I know what I missed during the past. I personally do not like being in love during the school time. How ever, not having the opportunity to be friends with boys is sure a misfortune.

When a girl with lesser understanding about the creatures called boys come into a society, she a sure to be an easy catch. But today hardly any school would admit the fact. For most of the girls' colleges are walling up the avenues for their students to mingle with boys. Its just crazy....

When such students become citizens of this big society, they fall in to the trap easily. Guys would come as lovers, friends, study mates, project team members etc to your life and who knows what their real intention is if you have no understanding of the way the mind of guys behave?

For me, luckily I met this guy who very well understood my situation and helped me to get away with my boy phobia. But, we cannot be sure that each and every girl would have that chance. Although I had no close male friends at that time, I believed in him and it is my luck that he is such a good person to be with. what if he turned out to be a crazy moron. When he was being friendly with me, I thought it was love but he was just being friends. That was just because I didn't know how is it to be friends with a boy.

When he first phoned me, I thought it was a sin to answer.

But today I laugh at the fact.

The reason is that today I have male and female friends alike and I think it is a priviledge.

However, during the school time, it was not. talking with a boy was considered a taboo and I used to look down upon the girls who had male friends. Any girl with a strict family back ground and would think the same. The situation would be dangerous if she was brought up in a girls only school.

Then, let us consider the present situation in sri lanka.

Mobile phones being prohibited
Facebook banned
Porn sites blocked
Movies with adult only content censored/prohibited

If i was a prefect, I would say yes to all these.

But as I'm not a school child anymore, these things stand just like bullshit.

To start with, I would quote "ඕවා මේ ලංකාවේ බ්ලොක් කරනවා කියන්නේ අනාගත පරම්පරාවම අවුල් කරවන වැඩක්. මොකද ඔයා හිතාගෙන ඉන්නේ අපි බැඳපු දවසේ රෑට කරන්න ඕනේ දේවල් අපේ අම්මා, තාත්තා කියල දෙයි කියලද? ඒවා ගැන අපි දැන ගන්නේ ඕවා බලලා තමා."

Note that this was uttered by a school boy in a conversation he had with me about blocking the porn sites.

Although not 100% correct, he definitely has a point there.

I do not encourage anybody to watch porn, but at least you got to have an idea about sex, no need to explain as I believe that the readership of this blog is matured to understand what that means.

Going back to the words of that teenager,it reflects how young people find a way to quench their thirst of curiosity. If one way is blocked, they will soon find another way.

The issue is the same with all the other taboo topics.

Now you might wonder what the heck me being a prefect has to do with this?

Well, being a prefect, I tried to be a goody goody person. No jokes, no friendly talks with boys and no any other non-sense. I even avoided chatting, emailing and IMing in sinhala thinking that it would destroy the image that the public have of me.

But to day, I'm different, may be different than a traditional girl who would not blog about porn sites being blocked. Coming into the university and of course reading made me completely a different person. The bottom line is that when you hang out with people, you can get to know the society and it is not what the school offers us or at least it is different than what the school promotes. (Now, that statement is personal guys. so, please do not get angry over it.It is how I felt)

This difference between the actual society and what the school wanted us to be makes lot of troubles.

With all those hushed up thoughts and feelings, I came out of the school in 2007. when I was feeling that society was diffrent than the one that we had inside the school it was too late. However, being a prefect, i have got lot of experince on how to deal with people. Being a silent girl those days, i observed the society and of course, made some terrible mistakes too.

But still, being prefect gives you the courage to carry out any task succesfully in life. for me, today I have managed well in the company of males because being a prefect gave provided me the right time to be open. so dear sisters and brothers.think of the chance and act carefully. And parents, im sure if you are with your children and be friends with them, many disasters can be avoided