As I write this post, I can clearly see colorful dots in green, red and yellow. Do not be mistaken, for I am not talking about traffic signals here- they change colors fast- yes, as opposed to what most people believe or at least act like, they do not indefinitely remain red! I’ve digressed enough! These dots can be found preceding several of the known and unknown names on almost all instant-messaging clients. These days, they have integrated it with their e-mail systems- so, Gmail (okay…to sound impartial, let me also name Yahoomail) is no longer just about e-mails: in fact, it now is less emails and more chats. Invariably, you must have noticed people with characteristics familiar to the following:
· The “always-Available” class: The green signal never dies, unless their internet connection does. Of course, I am fully aware of the fact that using the phone and the seamless connectivity (what? Is that even possible? Not even the best commercial telephone network in the world provides that, I assure you) that their operators claim to provide, make it easier. But you could save some battery for an exigency, by not caring that some random person could remember you while you are traveling to work, early in the morning! My experience with these people is that they are slow in responding to pings, possibly because they have a lot other chats to take care of, simultaneously. Possibly.
· The “always-Busy” class: For them, life is probably all about a bunch of people born with the sole purpose of interrupting them and ruining their peace of mind. To all those folks, here’s a message: close your browser, disconnect the data service on your phone and enjoy the breeze in the balcony. Turn that red-light on only when you are really busy forwarding important e-mails (like ‘forward to 10 people or you end up in hell, having to share the room with Osama-bin-Laden’!). Moreover, if you are eternally busy, one day, people will realize that you are never really busy and only pretend to. So, they will ping you, without caring if you were really busy forwarding that Rajnikant joke. In reality, most people of this class will respond to your ping almost instantly, proving the color of the signal wrong!
· The “always-Invisible” class: These people are not bad. In fact, they think they could have been Mr.
· The “always-Away” or “always-Idle” class: These people are just fond of being online. They seem to be enjoying the fruits of technological advances, turning their green bulb on, which turns yellow in a while, as every effort to reach out to them goes in vain. Don’t ping them, for you’ll not receive a response. At least, don’t try this too many times: you could as well be tagged “desperate”! Yes, they could have other work and prefer to stay away from their computer. So they are really busy people. Huh? Did I say “always- idle”? I should consider revising it. The truth is: they might be doing anything that your wild mind can or cannot imagine!
Folks, why don’t we use these ‘signals’ a little more judiciously? Red, yellow and green mean something. They SHOULD change colors, like the traffic light. Times are when you should apply brake on that “always-available” vehicle of yours, stop and relax while the red-light is on, and watch other vehicles. You could be idling away but be prepared to return and accelerate your vehicle. Remember, other vehicles are driving along the cyber-road at varying paces. If you don’t stop when you should or don’t move when you are expected to, your traffic sense is in question; so, be prepared to be abused by a honking passer-by. The cyberspace is no longer just for fun- the growing number of tales of love and hatred in it makes me believe that you could actually be juggling balls of different emotions by turning these lights on and off. Being online and being human.