Thursday, February 19, 2009

A world free of status messages. :)

As a kid, I used to be genuinely amused why aai got really angry after my dad's mother made a comment that was in no way related to her. Something like, "Mrs. X is a really good mother. She gave up her job to raise her kids", made my mother cry her eyes out for hours together. As I was growing up, I gradually began to understand this method of indirect communication among human females. It was used a lot on my mother's side too, especially by her aunts and my own grandmother. Although on their side it got a bit more arcane and you had to know a lot of Sanskrit to know that you had just been insulted. In my late teenage years I also found myself deciphering these kind of comments for my mother and complicating our lives for no reason at all. I guess it is a part of honing a woman's instincts so that she gets to control the competition around her. 
These days, just like gossip and love, this kind of communication has made its way to the virtual world. These kind of cryptic messages are posted as status updates on the famous social networking website Facebook. It is a sheer treat reading a Facebook page in between (unsuccessful) experiments and I must thank all the girls for this Ektakapoorization of Facebook (FB). One day as I open my FB account I find the following status message conversation.

Madhuri Dixit  "is angry that some women flirt with other girls' boyfriends"

..half an hour later..

Manisha Koirala "thinks that other girls should know how to keep their boyfriends to themselves"

..two hours later..

Madhuri Dixit  "is shocked that a certain girl defends her actions instead of apologizing for them"

..half an hour later

Manisha Koirala "feels that girls should stop accusing others and accept that they are themselves insecure"

This goes on for ages. Peppered with comments from other girls who have committed similar (but milder) crimes and just check to see if the writer is aiming at them. Once they are sure it is not them they pipe in with their own versions on jealousy and insecurity! 

Back in India we used to have a deluge of cold wars even between best friends. In my group of four best gal-pals, I am pretty sure there have been plenty combinations of back-biting and jealousy under the label of  "right" and "wrong". In fact it is one of the only factorial that I can really work out. I learnt permutations and combinations putting all the women into groups of sister-in-laws Vs daughter-in-laws. It is a lot easier to visualize. 
This time when I went back to India, I went out with one of my core group girls. When she started referring to one year old hazy statements, I decided to destroy all my bastions. Over a cup of hot cappuccino in Cafe Coffee Day, I let out the ultimate truth about female friendships 
( I am sure there was a halo around me just for two minutes). In a group, there ARE no secrets. I told her that I had forgotten who my real ally was and that in the long run it does not matter. All of us have compromised equal amounts of principles and we are even. :)
It worked!  Although I do not know if I should be happy about it. 

I have been jealous myself and found jealousy really stifling. I am sure our common guy friends enjoyed these wars with just as much relish as I enjoy these FB status messages. I am not really sure if I am over it as yet, but I am positive that none of us would ever get so creative as these ardent Facebookies to express our anger. :D
It is a journey after all. There is enough "man" in a woman to be able to slap another one of her kind on the back and go for a beer. There is also enough "woman" in a man sometimes that makes him sit at the bar for hours talking about his boss's steamy affair with his secretary. The challenge is to get it to balance and even that is very dynamic! 

However, I would really like it if the world was without status messages. :)
Any opinions? :)



14 comments:

RJ said...

Hmmm...well the whole point of status messages is to keep someone up to date of whats happening in the network of friends...the business case comes from people responding to these messages...thus setting up a whole new level/channel of communication. I am fairly neutral about the whole thing. With many if not all of my friends constantly on FB...its hard not to have a status message which goes un-noticed...i.e. it has a slapstick comment under it.

True it can be a real bore...but hey...you log in...see an update...click on it thinking you have something to say...and find 15 other comments from people who thought the same...isn't that awesome..I mean as a concept...

Girls and insecurities and jealousy are all topics I should not get into..leave that to you ..

Nice one...in times of lack of inspiration to write on my own blog..I find commenting on yours very refreshing :)

PS: people used to refer to me as Rj...we had to sign the sheets, a guy called reggie used to sign 'rg' and i got tired of writing my full name all the time....ergo...'rj' was born...the ulterior motive was also to help people remember my name...rj = ran (run, i used to gesture) and jeet (with a t)....and not call me "ran-geet" as is gee thats wrong !!

Anonymous said...

Interesting topic..

I find it incredibly amusing that people don't mind advertising the smallest of developments in their lives... with me, small things I enjoy/hate form personal memories I often cherish..

May be I have just grown too old and adamant..can't accept new things anymore :)

- Ajay

Anonymous said...

छान लिहीतेस, सई!! इतक्या लहान वयातली तुझी ही समज केवळ अद्वितीय.

मराठीत कधी लिहीणार आहेस. लवकर लिही.
खुप आवडेल वाचायला.

Alien said...

:-)

Saee said...

@ RJ and Ajay..
Thank you for your comments. Ranjeet I am really happy that you find writing here refreshing! =)
And Ajay, I am the same. Many times I end up thinking of all the things that I could advertise just to let people know!! But then I cannot do it. I guess we are the same.
@ anonymous..
Thanks..I wish you left your name though. :)
@ Alien.
WELCOME back..missed you a lot!!

शिरीष said...

Hi Sai! Once again a beautiful post!
I liked the word"Ektakapoorisation"
It rightly describes in one word what you have said in your entire post.
Thanks for the new word.

ajay tayshete said...

Whichever is the world old habits die hard.

Nice post!

Raj said...

So true.. reminded me of this. :)
http://www.much-ado.net/austenbook/

Raj said...

Oh this one is even better. Hamlet on Facebook.. :)
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2008/7/30schmelling.html

Saee said...

LOL
The Hamlet one is really funny!
How was your weekend?

mangesh said...

Dear Sai,
I have started reading your posts recently, but I not only found them interesting but also thought provoking ones. Keep it up.
Mangesh

Saee said...

@ Mangesh..
Thank you.. I am assuming you are Mangesh Bapat.
Cheers!

Pipa said...

OK -- the answer to the kashala was here really!

Amit said...

Sorry for the late reply !!

Great blog Saee Tai !!
Universal truth actually.

I really liked this !!
"I am sure our common guy friends enjoyed these wars with just as much relish as I enjoy these FB status messages." - We were confused initially however we quickly figured out this well known secret...:P

Amit Awati