But soon, SU turned into a social network on its own, and an addictive one at that. The only difference was that i was networking with random people around the world. So i guess i justified signing up for orkut by telling myself that if i could waste time networking with some random person across the world who happened to be into the same stuff as i am, i could network with people i know too. And orkut had its uses too, it was the ideal tool to connect with that large number of people that fell in the grey area between acquaintances and friends. these were people whom i was likely to fall out of touch with once either of us left the same general geographical location, since keeping in touch for the most part meant the usual hi-hello when we ran into each other occasionally.
Eventually i got out of college (with some difficulty, i might add), and life outside was a different scene altogether. Social networks became a way to kill those spare hours that seemed to hit me between getting off work and going to sleep. In that sense, facebook proved even better, with all the timewasters on it in the form of applications, quizzes and such. I wont describe my position as one against social networking. It has its benefits and detriments, but then what hasn't? Its just that mandu's post got me thinking about some stuff. status messages, to be specific.
I had an interesting discussion regarding this with my housemate nikhil, who is a prolific writer and poster of status messages on facebook. he said, quite frankly, that at one level status messages are about social acceptance. its a sort of reinforcement when people come and 'like' or comment on the message. on facebook, its almost an art, this reinforcement. it makes you feel good at a certain level. i respect his acceptance of that fact, and admit it's pretty much the same for me. different people hunt out this acceptance in different ways, for a lot of them it's sharing with the (online) world the seemingly cool stuff they're doing in life. for me, it's (hopefully) making people smile by posting a line of wit, either mine or by someone wittier than me.
which finally brings me to what i was worrying about. whenever i write, i try and make it funny. often its effortless, but often enough i have to try and make it funny. and recently, i was told that my blog posts were losing out a bit on the funny. i attributed it to my finally growing up, but then later realized that the funny hasn't quite disappeared from other zones in my life. i mean, i still crack the worst jokes possible. after further investigation, i placed the blame on status messages. i guess im happy enough getting a few laughs by writing one line than an entire post. so my question is, am i alone? is there a statistically significant number of aspiring writers out there who are finding satisfaction in the 140 characters of a tweet, or an SMS, or a slightly longer status message? in the years to come, will literature shrink to fit this line-size of instant gratification, and the attention span that goes with it?
purely rhetorical, you may stuff your opinions..