Some Observations About Relationships On & Off Twitter

I joined Twitter on 14th September 2008. I didn’t really think much of it. I randomly saw these messages from people. I stayed away.

‘Razzdino is now following you on twitter’

Suddenly, amongst those unknown people I was following, there was a face I knew. I started having twitter conversations and sort of started liking the platform. Soon enough, I found a few interesting people to follow.
I took my time to get to know the platform, which is how it should always be. In the last one year or so, I have got to know a lot of people, made some lovely friends. There’s always a flipside to it.

When you follow someone on twitter, you know the intimate details of their life. It’s almost like you peep into their heads. Yes, you know what they eat, who they hate, which film they’re watching. You know every bit about their life as long as they’re tweeting. You end up having random conversations at odd times too. However, in the offline world, you don’t get access to such details about a person and at such regular intervals unless you literally live with the person.

You love the conversations, you love reading their updates, so obviously, the next thing you do is add these people on facebook and on gtalk. No harm done. You’ve never met them, but you do feel a connection. But what happens when you meet them offline?

I have met almost a couple of hundred people off twitter. I think I have observed enough to say this. When people who follow each other online meet offline, they end up interacting like they know each other for eons. We all have masks online, so when these two people’s online masks do not match their real-life masks, it ends up making things awkward.

Some people are just as loud-mouthed as they are on twitter, some people are as quiet as they are active on twitter, some people are far cooler in real life than they appear on twitter and vice-versa. Meeting people offline can shatter your pre-conceived notions and bajao your expectations. I agree with Bombay Addict when he says, ‘I think at some point we start expecting people to behave in a certain way. I think those expectations become a burden. I’m ok with imperfect people. I like imperfect people. They’re like me. I don’t think I can live up to anyone’s expectations and I don’t think I want to. I will be inconsistent.

How many of us have the maturity to say this, least of all implement it? I don’t. But I am inconsistent, which brings me to my next point.

When you’re friends with someone via twitter, especially when the friendship came about quite quickly, there’s an immense pressure to be something you’re not. Friendships should evolve over a long period of time. The time gives you a chance to know the person for who they are, for the flaws that they have. It took me a long time to understand this that on twitter, you tend to share, reply politely and be the warmest person ever. There are chances that you’re not like that at all in the offline world. But someone who has managed to be friends with you via twitter, will always expect the niceties out of you. It’s not their fault. They’ve never seen your flaws.

I’ve had people throw tantrums because I had the time to attend tweetups but I didn’t have the time to socialize with them. This person had made friends with me via twitter and within a matter of weeks, she had decided that I was her best friend. When this tantrum was thrown my way in real life, obviously, I reacted the way I would in real life. She couldn’t relate to it because she didn’t know I had the ‘mind your own business’ side to me. Back then, I fumed. I really didn’t know why a person would expect me to be their best friend. Now, after the detox, I understand. She saw what I showed her and she wanted to continue to see that.

It is important to understand that relationships on twitter, however rosy they might seem, are relationships based on online personas. If you want them to be real, take it slow. I have a bunch of friends whom I have followed for years, I met them a few times and our friendship evolved slowly and steadily. These friends have lasted. Because we took our time.

Too close, too soon does NOT work.

Metaphor For A Metaphor

Metaphor: it has defined much in life. It has complicated things and yet simplified so much. Metaphor is what I hide behind when im too cowardly to be in your face and one such night, I tweeted about my love for Metaphor.
Metaphor became the soul of conversation that night. Metaphor was the flavour of that night and metaphor came screaming back to me. He made me choke up with emotion and made me poetic. And here is a poem I ended up tweeting:

Metaphor is an empty perfume bottle I remember you by,
Metaphor is a supressed old flame…
Metaphor is an old T-shirt I hold dear,
Metaphor is the warmth when Ur here.
Metaphor: that’s all I have…

Metaphor is that teardrop that fell,
Telling my heart to bid you farewell.
Metaphor is that batting eyelid,
It captures the memory before it spills…

And then, magically, the poem became interactive.

@ashumhatre: Metaphor is that stain on the old shirt, metaphor is our relationship and its dust. Metaphors : That’s all we had! 😉

And the sweetest  replies came from @baxiabhishek:
I’ll be the jeans to that tee, i’ll be there where calls thee. 🙂
I’ll be the tissue to wipe the tear, you called me, so i’m here.

This entire metaphor talk made me think. We don’t hide behind metaphors. We use them to enhance what we have to say. Being obvious isn’t very charming, now is it?
Metaphor gives us the license to beat around the bush and it connects two things perfectly well. There’s nothing clever about metaphor. Metaphor is just natural…

And while I’m on metaphor:
Metaphor is a friend that tells,
All, in due time, will be well.
Metaphor is a friend, who understands,
What is hidden behind your metaphors so grand.
Metaphor is a friend who knows,
Exactly how a metaphor grows…

This one’s for all you metaphor tweeters: @baxiabhishek @ashumhatre @unitechy @mriganayanika @fossiloflife @menonhari @archisM @avgs @ideasmithy @simplymalyalee @aalaap (who’s too straight-froward to use metaphor, we understand!)

The Day The Jammies Rocked Twitter

Girl talk was never this fun! As you already know, we’ve been nominating men for their yumminess factor. So @unitechy, @LimeIce, @spitphyre and @punkpolkadots suggested that we do a virtual slumber party on twitter to talk about men!

What we started as a fun thing to support Yaymen, soon spiraled into a wicked wicked conversation that raged on twitter for a couple of hours. If you thought Indian girls are chuimui types, think again. This was us, just plain wicked, talking about boys, first kisses, love and a lot many things.  And I was thrilled with all the boys’ response. They cheered us, answered our wicked questions and totally made the party rocking. Once again, girls, the men come to the rescue!

Right from first kisses, to missing the exes to craziest places they’ve got it on! We discussed it all and as I read the feed again, I smile to myself. Yaymen or WPP is not just about having fun. It is about expressing who we are. We represent the girls who are not ashamed to speak their minds about men, sex and life in general.

I hope everyone else is enjoying our venture as much as we are. And again special thanks to you all again for making both Yaymen and Wicked Pyjama Party a huge huge success. And when I say that, I say it for Reena, Michelle, Gursimran and Apurva! The rawking ladies of twitterverse…

How Yaymen Will Work!

So the nominations are open. Time is running out girls! Here’s how you make sure your favourite guys get appreciated on Twitter:

NOMINATIONS

For NOMINATIONS – ONLY Women can nominate, so all the #yaymen need to actually CAMPAIGN to get their women following them to nominate for them.

They can nominate them for the following categories:

 

  • Butt
  • Abs
  • Smile
  • Humour
  • Personality
  • Flirt
  • Intellect
  • Successful

 

Nomination replies will be as follows: @yay_men i nominate @boy1 for his personality – or – @yay_men i nominate @boy2 for his amazing butt!

Nominations will be closed one week from the day we announce the opening, i.e. 28th April. 

We will tally the nominations and announce finalists in the different categories on the 30th of April.  

Finalists will be informed thru a series of tweets such as: @boy1 @boy2 @boy3 finalists in the “Best Smile Category” 

VOTING

 

Once the finalists have been announced, VOTING can begin. 


They will need to vote with this line @yay_men i vote for @boy1 in the BEST SMILE category.

 

ANYBODY and EVERYBODY can vote as long as they’re on Twitter. 
Voting will end 1 week from when it began, i.e. 7th May.  

Winners will be announced on the following Saturday or Sunday afternoon. 

Jury Fury!

All those who wonder what’s the new page on my blog all about. Get ready to cheer. Your’s truly is now on the jury of Yaymen on twitter. But it’s not just about twitter, in general, I feel that men don’t get the loving they deserve. 

Come on, we love acting all feministic and shunning the fact that we need men, but the truth is, men make life interesting. However powerful we are, men will always stand by our side to just support us. Be it as a friend, brother, father, boyfriend, husband or a plain acquaintance. 

Of course, they sometimes make us fret, worry, angry and all that, but be honest, don’t you love fawning over your boyfriend’s laziness or your dad’s eating habits? Don’t you love that they can’t make a decision without you.

I love it. I love it that my brother calls me to ask me what coffee he regularly drinks at Barista or that my best friend depends on me for directions. I love it that the father and the brother would suspiciously eye any guy who so much as looks in my direction. I love it. 

And if men make me feel so awesome, why sould I be all coy about appreciating them. The male beauty pageants need to go beyond looks. And that’s exactly what Yaymen is all about. Its about appreciating men, thanking them for their love and attention.

Don’t be shy girls, let the men know we cherish them. Because boys might be stupid but men are awesome. 

PS: I dedicate this post to John Abraham in the yellow boxers in ‘Shut up & Bounce’. He takes eye candy to whole new level and he sparked off the Yaymen discussion!

Gender Bender

‘What did I ever do that you found such a weird name to give me?’ I remember asking my Mom every single day when I was a kid. Yes, I was the girl who was always asked ‘Why do you have a guy’s name?’

Then I became the girl who was called ‘shakti kapoor’ ‘shakti man’ and what not! The worst day of my school life was my 11th birthday. The school would put up your name on the notice board with flowers to wish you a happy birthday and I was pretty kicked about it. So imagine my horror when they wrote my name as Mast. Shakti Salgaokar on the blackboard! As I stood there in front of the highly decorated notice board, watching my dream wilt through the haze of my tears, every single person passing pointed to me and laughed, ‘They thought you were a guy!’

I went on to be a tomboy who took great pleasure in thrashing ‘stupid’ boys. Of course, terrorizing the ‘stupid’ boys helped. The jokes on my name obviously stopped, but somewhere, the guys all forgot I was a girl.

Of course, through college I continued to be a tomboy and only discovered the joy of being ‘girl’ like recently. That’s a different story (you can read it here). I love my name, it’s different and I have found peace with being myself!

So why am I writing this? Because something happened and I am revisiting my childhood traumas. You all know how super thrilled I am about twitter (In case, you don’t, here’s a post about it). My twitter updates have been regular and random. And I’ve even made a few friends on twitter! So anyway, I suddenly changed my twitter avatar to a nice picture of myself. And immediately, I was flooded with @ replies asking me if that was indeed me. And two tweeple actually were surprised I was a woman!

Of course, I don’t know if they were disappointed I was a woman, but I was in a bit of a shock. Did these tweeple not a get sense of my gender from my tweets? Or am I still that tomboy I used to be? I am a bit baffled. Anyway, is this a side effect of the cyberworld? You can’t see the person you’re interacting with, all you have is the assumption you’ve made about them!

PS: Check out twitter if you haven’t already done so!

Twittering Upto A Revolution

26/11 has changed many people forever. Those who have survived it, those who escaped it and got lucky, those who lost loved ones, those who came face to face with the terrorists, those who were reporting on location and then there were those who monitored the news closely and kept contributing to an online newsfeed with timely news reports, analyses and opinions.

I was on twitter and I sincerely want to thank the community for using this unique medium to create awareness about the situation across the globe. The phenomena brought forth the power of citizen journalism. Of course, it had its pitfalls too. Rumors can spread quickly etc. But then, think about it. Those living abroad and concerned about the situation in Mumbai could constantly keep in touch via this medium.

These twitter feeds were being used by the international media as well for the speed and precision with which it functioned.

Unfortunately, the one thought that hasn’t been letting me rest is that the terrorists’ aides could have been monitoring twitter too. The TV channels couldn’t stop giving out key information about the NSG operations at the three locations, which I am sure was being conveyed to them. The terrorists were equipped with SAT phones and blackberries. Did I unknowingly help those b*stards?

But I think some people on twitter deserve a mention here.

Right from the list of emergency contact numbers to the victim names, Asfaq was constantly mobilising info to help out concerned individuals across the globe. Your contribution is immense. Thank you

www.twitter.com/asfaq

He heard a blast like sound in his south-Mumbai residence and immediately put a question on twitter. His tweets on my phone made me realise the magnitude of what happened at 10.30 pm on the night of 26/11; thank you, Gaurav.

www.twitter.com/gsik

Lives abroad, but didn’t lose touch with the city while it withstood the worst terror attacks ever. Used to be a student at my Uni. Thanks for interesting reads you put up, Shriansh.

www.twitter.com/shriansh

I don’t know this person, they followed me and I followed them. They’ve been putting up amazing articles that give you an indepth read into the situation.

www.twitter.com/crypticvalentin

This person has been speaking of communal harmony and just been supportive of the sentiments of the Mumbaikars. It didn’t matter that they’re far away in LA, US.

www.twitter.com/goldenheart

He got together with his friends and organised a candle light vigil at Carter Road. Thank you.

www.twitter.com/ajeshh

These are just a few of them. There are a lot more. These guys make me believe that our country has people who think and will not be scared to run the country if they need to.

At a time where me and billions of Mumbaikars were distraught about the terror struck in their city, seeing these guys constantly putting up info, selflessly, was heart warming. I am glad I could put in my two bits. And as I write, there are about 20 tweets going up under the #mumbai tag every minute. Bravo guys! Bravo!