I am not big on birthday parties. Yet as I am going to be 40 this year I thought I should celebrate this milestone age with a big bang surrounded by family and friends. A sort of reunion.
Soon I started listing all the people I wanted to spend my big day with. I made 3 lists of invitees. First list with all my childhood and school friends I made memories for first twenty years of my life born & brought up in India. Second list -parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and long list of close extended family, who all still live in India. Third list with all my college, university friends, colleagues and neighbors who all shaped my successful happy immigrant life here in United States.
Thanks to social media era we live in, I am connected and in constant touch with many of my family and friends around the clock. Linkedin, Google hangouts, skype, watsapp, facetime, text messages, emoticons all these simple yet powerful tools make the interactions so easy and real time that I never felt we all lived thousands of miles apart.
Soon it was apparent with the distance that separates us all, that most or none of the people in my list simply cannot be physically present to share the cake and exchange warm hugs.
I was both sad and happy with this fact. Sad that the technology made us believe that world is just a global village and nomadic lifestyle people like me can study, work, and live in any part of the world. At the same time I am very happy that if I want this same technology/digital tools – like instant messaging, video chats, group chants – can make it so seamlessly possible for all my invitees to be present virtually at the same time at my party – call it ‘party in the cloud’.
For now I am convinced my 40th party is going to be real small and local. I see life half glass full. For my 50th birthday I am pretty sure my party will be a real big-bang. By that time we will have people capsuled that can transport people between places in no-time, we will have virtual reality so advanced that I can re-live my childhood environment in same neighborhood, off course we will have augmented reality where my friends and family can magically come and appear in my own living room, best part Alexa will entertain the crowd with music, jokes, fun facts and making sure all the lights are on.
Yet one imagination is incomplete – wonder what tool I will be using to share cake and exchange warm hugs?
With a perspective this is Saritha