Friday, April 15, 2011

Are we creating memories ?

It is fun when we, the old school-mates meet. We recount every details of the episodes. Like, how we escaped the classes. How we spent all night awake dancing. How we had fun on the evening, when our mathematics exams were over. How we spent our first day together, all of 10 years old, far away from our loving parents. We surprisingly remember every detail and recount it religiously every time we meet. And at the same time, I wonder, if we are generating enough stories now - to be recounted when we will be older by 30 more years. I find that though the current crop of social networking sites are tremendously boosting up the social communication, there is a lot of room to catch up.

For example, a often repeated story from our school was, how our beloved history teacher would enact a particular scene during our drama rehearsals. He was our writer, lyricist and director of the mythological and historical dramas, too. He had a particular high-pitched melodramatic style of dialogue delivery, quite un-befitting of his small physical appearance as well as his soft nature. We would enact his acting to render even the most serious roles as a comedy. One particular student in our batch was particularly good at this caricature. During a class break, he was doing the same to entertain us and then, the teacher himself appeared. To our utter surprise, he joined the laughter. Even more, the whole class duration was devoted to those caricature on that day. Can we ever recreate such moments in the virtual world ? Can we have the light-weight moments created when we stole some tiffin from a friend ?

True that we are far from and possibly never will be in a position to capture those moments but, an effort is worthy nonetheless. I was hopeful, initially, when the social networking evolved till some things kept striking repeatedly.

A significant flaw in the social networking sites is the missing cultural identity. I do not play mafia and I do not understand what a farmville neighbourhood is - if I am from a village in India. I do understand Chawl, I have seen Dadagiri. We are seriously restricted when we are asked to choose a personal identity from the likes presented here. It is kind of a cultural migration that we are forced to, because of our technical poverty.

If I paste a link to this blog, you can only like this in facebook, retweet this in tweeter and at the most engage in some limited conversations. What is missing is definitely the fun-filled evening discussions, the meaningful gestures from individual culture and the platform to contain all these - to generate stories.

Which we will recount in future.

The photo captures a moment, when we were generating stories. The question is - can we ever reach this reality in the virtual world ?


  1. Thats a really neat article... my 2 cents... I don't think we can ever capture these moments... these are too spontaneous...
    just seeing the pic above has filled me with so many emotions... it amazing i feel.. the way these moments make you feel even after so many years...

  2. @Sundeep,

    true - but, i am ever so optimistic.

  3. hey chattu..nice piece of work.. i think every action of us can be memorable but our brain is directed to memorize moments where we feel the question of creating memories largely depend on our brain..registering moments and being able to recall them...therefore it is a complex chemistry of our brain which is both real and virtual..

  4. @Rajeev - a counter argument. recollect your favorite facebook(or any social network) memory.

    perhaps we will be adjusted to the virtual world someday to have some things as our memories. but, that is yet to happen for me.