Saturday, January 9, 2016
Keeping in touch – “To Blog or not to Blog”
An E-mail from Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale
If I pose that question by dropping the ‘l’, the answer is easy! I was tempted to write as I have been wondering for some time why our Blog is not as popular as I was hoping it would be. This view may be erroneous if we base popularity on the number of hits as nearly 890,000 is not bad for a Blog! But we must remember that this is probably not a true representation of popularity as quite a number are automatically generated by surfing robots, as I have pointed out before. These are automated mini-programs, which search Blogs hoping to dredge useful data such as emails of people. Even if for argument’s sake we regard that 50% are robotic hits, it still leaves a healthy 400,000 plus hits. But if we consider how interactive it is, by looking at numbers who comment, then we do fall short by quite a margin. The total number of persons who have commented is below 20 and of these there are less than 10 very active people.
The questions I am posing are these. Why is the comment rate low? How can we get more people involved? How many of our Batch colleagues actually use it? Is it worth sending a questionnaire by email to get the answers? Does the Blog serve a purpose? Is the time and effort made by Lucky so unselfishly, worth it?
Or is this a wider issue about how school friends or University friends keep in touch? We have moved in different directions and we have built up new friendships and we may feel a need to move on putting our past behind us, especially if that part of our past is something we want to forget. We have formed groupings within us based on where we live and our own interests. Our circles have widened and those who we consider worth keeping in touch, we still do but the criterion has to be much wider than “he/she was my batch colleague”. The bonds that we had then have to be very strong for them to survive the ravages of time. We are pleasant when we see each other, but life has taken us in different directions, and we have moved on. We may not feel the need to rekindle the relationship.
Then there is the question of priorities. There never ever is enough time to do what we wish to do and looking at the Blog may not be a priority. Like a good restaurant, if we enjoy the experience, we will come back!
There are other possible factors such as familiarity with computers and the Internet. I still have friends who get their children to set up their TV, check their email!
How much a person uses anything depends a lot on how useful (enjoyable) it is to that person. The Blog may be an avenue to display their talents (music/poetry with me and Zita, and writing in ND’s). It may be a pleasant way to spend time reminiscing. It may rekindle old friendships (e.g., with Razaque in my case). It gives us an opportunity to rejoice at the success of colleagues (e.g. Lama), it may be a medium to recall with pleasure a time we were together at a critical phase of our life, it can be a way to show our appreciation to our Teachers, it could be a medium to enlist help for a good cause connected with our Medical Faculty. It has also been a reminder of our mortality with the growing number of obituary notices.
I have posed many questions and tried to indicate why I feel that the Blog has a lot to offer. I am a firm believer in putting the past behind and moving on. There is no time like the present moment but the present moment could be enriched by learning from the past, but not dwelling in it pondering on the “what might have been”. That kind of reflection, the “what might have been”, is pointless and corrosive and is a recipe for discontent.
But to me, what is important in the final analysis is not how frequently we keep in touch but the ability to pick up and continue from where we left. I felt that very much at the last Batch Reunion when I met colleagues after so many years.
So come on my friends, pull out your fingers and start typing on your keyboards either as a comment, or as an email to one of us. As for me, I enjoy reading the Blog and contributing to it and shall continue to do so.
With best wishes,