Sunday, July 6, 2008

youtube killed the video star

A friend from work told me about how he and his friends catch up.

"We read each other's blogs." Once they finally meet, there would be no more "Hey, what's up" or "How have you been?" You get the more direct questions like "How was the beach?" or "How'd you get so thin?" Not a minute is wasted since everyone, and I mean everyone, blogs about their lives.

It's the human condish. We just want to talk about ourselves and blogs have completely eliminated the need for the recieving end of our life conversations.

I had the chance to talk to an old friend a couple of days ago. We had lost touch maybe once or twice and we made the rounds of catching up. (No, she didn't have a blog) What've you been up to? Who are you seeing? Yadda yadda yadda... She told me about this guy she was seeing.

They met online. Simple enough, right? They slowly made it up the online dating ladder from private messages to instant messaging until they finally decided to meet. Once placed in the same room, they realized they could not carry on a decent conversation.

"It was like he was someone online and I was someone online and offline, we were both just... off."

It's interesting how technology designed to close the communication gap has somehow managed to build new ones. In one of Jewel's more inane songs she sings "email is cool but romance lives in a letter" Here are a couple of reasons why I agree.

1. You can download the latest movie off a torrent. You can download the subs to match it. You can even burn it on a DVD. But admit it, nothing beats the feeling of being in a theater, butter popcorn in hand while you watch a real movie. It's the total package and if you're with someone you like makes the experience even more memorable.

2. You can also download the latest records. You can rip them off your friend's Multiply page (yes, you can still do that) but nothing beats going to a record bar, browsing through the racks and taking that CD home. I seriously cannot get over the rush of opening the whole package starting from the plastic seal all the way to browsing through the CD's inlay. There's a rush you get from knowing you've supported your favorite artist and now you've taken them home.

3. Nothing beats meeting up with your friend for coffee and hear them personally talking about their lives. A good friend of mine was talking about one of his first work experiences and I laughed so hard. It was way better than the online version (here). Although I laughed at both versions, with the live one you could see how certain parts had more stress and certain parts needed a delicate tone. Any blogger knows that there are certain parts of every post that seem a little weak and hearing these live and in person only lets you see more of him. That's something you could never read off a blog, no matter how great the layout is, etc.

4. Romance lives in a letter (Kilcher, 2003). There's just more umph in an honest to goodness letter. The effort, the stationery selection, even the handwriting. It all betrays details invisible in an email. Plus think about how silly it would seem to act all giddy over a silly unformatted email (in all Courier Sans glory).

5. You could IM, PM, or conference all you want but when it gets down to it, I always have more fun when I meet my friends in person. Hearing them tell their stories firsthand is way better than hearing their dregs. It's all about timing, making the effort to clear a special day. Hearing them say my name is way better than a BUZZ!!!. Hearing them laugh is better than a rofl, lmao, or all the laughing emoticons combined.

So although this technology was designed to keep us together, I would gladly do away with them all if I had to choose. That's friendship for you. Real friendship beyond modems and wires and all we try to hide.

pnf is now offline.

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