Sunday, February 28, 2010


My computer went on a self-imposed exile.

Two weeks ago, it sighed, coughed, sputtered and then became completely inert.

I can not really blame it. My chats on gtalk and my comments on Facebook have been on the rise lately. The chats, specially the ones I have with her, lean on the scorching side. Plus, all that unrestrained use of the web to search for school projects, recipes, craft ideas, blog ideas, music download... the poor thing could not handle the pressure and simply burnt itself down.

So, I experienced what my daughter's friends call a total ' Techno-Disco' for a fortnight.  For the uninitiated, that is Technology Disconnect. A space where there are no World Wide Web, Facebook or gmail. Can't say I enjoyed my hibernation, but it had its moments. Like when I started watching the saas-bahu serials out of sheer desperation. My journey into the Indian television world almost made me want to hit the escape and the F1 keys. But that's another blog post.

We women, tend to use our social networking sites as family chat sessions. We build relationships here, we nurture them here and we make our voices heard over here. Here, we offer advice, seek help and generally have a good time, with plenty of laughter thrown in. Men on the other hand, do not seem to be so emotionally connected here. They use the internet perhaps as a transactional tool. They book tickets online, pay for their bills online, and do their banking online. No relationship building over the net for them. Even the games they play here are the solitary kind. They tend to be objective and analytical in the cyberspace. We, I guess, tend to be more creative and emotional.

 I read somewhere that there were more women users of Facebook and other networking sites than men. I can not speak for other men, but I know my husband looks at these sites with utter disdain. He thinks moments spent on Facebook is a total waste of time. He would rather pick up the phone and call someone up if he wanted to connect. I on the other hand, thrive on the comments that my status updates get on Facebook. I love the witty one liners, the cheesy replies and the juicy gossip. I absolutely adore my 10 minutes- a-day Facebook interactions. It is a huge stress buster for me. The same goes for blogging. More than my love for writing, it is my love for social interaction that draws me to it. My readers are more like friends who come over for a chat. And that is why, when I can not blog, I tend to miss it so intensely. More than the technology, it is the emotional disconnect with my friends that gets to me.

Apparently the female brain has 11% more cells in the area of the brain called Planum Temporale. That is the area that perceives and processes language and music. Women tend to be better communicators and that is why the networking sites are popular amongst them. So all you men who accuse us women of talking too much, it is simply because we know more words than you do.

No wonder the poor chap burnt down. Women outnumber men pretty substantially in my family.

But this techno-disco thing was not all bad. Once I got over the initial despair, I quite enjoyed chatting and catching up with some of my long lost friends over the phone. Facebook and gmail may be great, but nothing like letting your voice do the talking. Try it sometimes, I bet you will not be disappointed. Your voice will be a little rusty from lack of use but soon you will get it back.

And that, after all, has been our intention all along, right?  To make our voices heard?

I wish all of you a very colourful Holi. The header picture was taken by my daughter, Ishita.


Nona said...

Thanks as Techno-Disco is the new addition to my vocabulary. Now that you have learnt the lesson (hard way), please do not "scorch" "her" to death again! :)

Anonymous said...

Techno-Disco sounds really cool :) I just used on my husband and am delighted that he has no clue what it stands for :)

Yes, real conversations are really good, but in some cases when friends are across continents, technology is a BIG BIG help :)Plus with facebook, I even end up interacting with aunts and uncles who I otherwise do not have too much of interaction with :)

Happy Holi to you too :)

Blunt Edges said...

techno-disco? never heard that term before n i thought i was in sync with today's voacb! so much 4 my claims 2 be cool! sigh

happy holi 2 u too :D

Sharmila said...

I too went thru the same phase recently ... forced leave from posting. Good to see a post again from you Aparna. Hope your machine behaves henceforth. :-)

Haddock said...

I suppose we don't realise it when we overburden the poor thing.

Tomz said...

I got a new information, that women are better if i will talk with a girl, if i stammer in search of words, they might not feel bad..coz they expect only that kind of a communication stamina from u think i am right there Aparna?
But Don't underestimate me..i am also a good communicator as long as my self analysis says..

Destiny's child... said...

Like everyone else here, I find the term 'techno-disco' quite cool.
Hibernation from cyberspace for a couple of days/weeks is fine...but not more than that,..afterall, we are emotionally attached to it, right? :)

Aparna said...

Nona, "she" is my saviour, everytime I need a good laugh, I ping her and there "she" is with her outrageous sense of humour:D

wordsndreamz, most of my friends are across the Atlantic ocean. So Facebook is a big help.

bluntedges, that proves that there will always be someone younger and cooler than you!

Sharmila, my machine is temperamental, do not know how long it will behave :)

Haddock, poor thing decided to let me know it was a time for a holiday.

Tomz, women are better at is scietifically proved :D

destiny's child, you said it!

BK Chowla, said...

Techno -Disco?
Is that the new terminology?

kirti said...

planum temporal explains a lot . thanx for enlightening me.
Congrats that your machine has revived. The term"techno disco " sounds cool but in reality not so cool

The Panorama said...

Great post, Aparna!! I am totally dependent on my cyberworld too. The latest passion is Farmville on Facebook. But I am not much of a chatter anymore.I work on a PC all day at work so lately it's been the idiotbox for me:)
The header pic is simply lovely. Happy Holi to you too:)

Onkar said...

Quite a post. I guess, a break from anything is good.

Samvedna said...

We women, tend to use our social networking sites as family chat sessions. We build relationships here, we nurture them here and we make our voices heard over here. Here, we offer advice, seek help and generally have a good time,..this is such an accurate men in my family goes on facebook, but my sis and DIl both are sort of addicts.

Unknown said...

You've been awarded

The Holy Lama said...

Only one thing about virtual world, you have listen only when you wat to. Mostly it is say or post or upload and leave.Talking on phone demands more diplomacy and cool headedness.

Anonymous said...

Happy Holi to you too!!!

Indeed, its like the arms are cut-off, when I had no internet connection, during my shift to Chennai. And I really wished to be among the friends of blogoworld.

Techno-Disco ???? Quite a techie word !!!! LOL.

Anonymous said...

Happy Holi to you too!!!

Indeed, its like the arms are cut-off, when I had no internet connection, during my shift to Chennai. And I really wished to be among the friends of blogoworld.

Techno-Disco ???? Quite a techie word !!!! LOL.

P said...

as always insightful with just the right amount of humor!

BTW.. your daughter has a really good eye. I think the picture is beautiful. :)

Kavi said...

Planum Temporale ! Well, they even have some words for the wordy ! Well well well !!

Tech-Disco hmm ! I really was uninitiated ! :)

Glad to have you back. And i am told voice-blogs are the latest rage in some sections of the world. well, just letting you know that you can let your voice do the too !


Anuradha Shankar said...

great post, Aparna! really can connect with u... last week, my internet connection disappeared,and i was so utterly lost....

and i just loved that part about women and men on FB.... my hubby too asks me what on earth i do on FB! he doesnt mind LinkedIn since he gets to connect in a business-like manner with others like him, but FB, orkut, or anything else is just a waste of time

Aparna said...

BK Chowla, there are some new words cropping up every day!

Kirti, thank you.

Saroj, Happy Holi. The idiot box here is really dumb and I try to avoid it as much as possible. So it is the cyber world for me.

Onkar, yes it is...thank you.

Samvedna, I am not really an addict but I need to log on once a day every day to see whats happening with my friends.

Mindfulmeanderer, thank you so much.

Holy lama, once I asked my friends son what attracted him to chats and he aid that he need not reply immediately to a query and no one takes offence at his rudeness. On phones however he had speak and that bothered him :)

umsreflections, one tends to become addicted to the cyberworld and at times it can be pretty bad.

P, daughter's latest obsession is the camera her uncle gifted her and she is always thinking of clicking a pic.

Kavi, the voice blog sounds interesting but I also love the written words...tough choice :D

Anu, I wonder how we survived our childhood without the net, and that too with so much fun!

ani_aset said...

ok i have missed out on the header picture :( its blocked in office.. "Apparently the female brain has 11% more cells in the area of the brain called Planum Temporale. That is the area that perceives and processes language and music" where did you dig this out from ;)?
With the kind of news i keep hearing about orkut..i thought it was men who outnumbered women with their fraaanship request :P

Deepanjan Ghosh said...

The female brain is supposed to be smaller than the male brain because it is more evolved.

Hope your problems are fixed. A comp shouldn't crash from long use. Mine is turned off for a few hours a week. It tends to slow down a bit but that's all. To avoid over-heating, just ensure your comp has enough fans. Look at brands like Cooler Master, or ask whoever is setting up your machine.

And the next time your comp crashes, just use GPRS on your mobile, I do!

Sandhya said...

Many of my relatives are strangers to internet, even now! So phone is still in use!

I am addicted to blogging and feel scared to enter face book interaction.

You really, express everything so nicely, Aparna!

Sakshi said...

Ahaa...just like Smitha I asked my husband "Will we be doing Techno-Disco for a while after we shift base to California??" His IIT jaws dropped and for a second I could see newly found admiration for me in his eyes...sobs!!! Keep posting such new words from time to time :)

lolz at your scorching chat sessions with Sujata. What comes to my mind is two shivering computers in different parts of the world wishing for Euthanasia.

Did you get a new computer? hope all is well now.

Sakshi said...

Aww Ishita's photography is Discofying I say :)

Sumandebray said...

Wish you and your family a very colourful Holi too
Nice Pictures!

Smita said...

lol! @ tecno disco :D

I so so much agree with you!! Yesterday while we were walking me n hubby started talking about comp games (he is into farmville big time) and last I remember he was urging me to play same game where I would rather read watch tv or blog hop :D

BTW I feel that a break from tech world can be a boon sometimes!!! In the last 3 days I have stayed away from PC and finished 3 books back to back ;-)

Ire said...

Interesting! I did not know about Techno-Disco! :) Hope you had a wonderful holi!

Swaram said...

Happy Holi to u too :) Lovely header there :)
Techno-Disco sounds super cool :)
I feel its more abt connecting with ppl too along with writing .. glad that u r bk nw :)
And yay to our communication skills! Nice point there .. thanks a lot :)

Nupur said...

Was away and hence too late on this post :) I agree..nothing like chatting with your friend actually than virtually :)

I so want to take a break from this virtual world for a while..but addiction that is :(

How was your holi? The header pic looks cool :)

Aparna said...

@ Ani, I read a survey which said that women outnumber men when it comes to social networking sites and men outnumber women when it comes to Linkedin.

@Double-Dolphin, GRPS on my phone, suggestion noted :D

@ Sandhya, Facebook is fun, but blogging is better. Thanks for your appreciation.

@ Sakshi, would you like to be a fly on my computer screen when Sujata and I chat? Nice way to let me know where you are going next BTW!

@ Suman, thanks and I hope you had a nice holi too.

@ Smita, I would like to read a 3 books back to back but that happens only when I have a holiday. I am still struggling with Wolf Hall now.

@ Nikita, thanks:D

@ Swaram, thanks so much...I blog because I get to meet great people like you.

@ Nu, actually addicted to the blogging world is better than addiction of other kind. Just ask Tiger's wife :)

Arunima said...

my hubby shares the same opinion about social networking sites with your husband. :-)