The ‘in’ things!

After 2 hours of deep thought process, I am as close to framing up a short story as India were to losing to Sri Lanka in the first test (losing by an innings and 239 runs should give you some idea) – the story neither had a beginning, nor an end or anything in between. As the great authors of the yore would say, ‘I am working on a short story’ and will publish it shortly.

That brings me to write about a topic which I am quite familiar with – talking about the ‘in’ things. In other words, I would be expounding on some of the fads (fashion for the ‘poignant’ folks) that beckon us today in ‘every sphere of the world’ (I have no clue what that phrase means!)

Social Media:

Today, everyone and his uncle’s grandfather are talking about Social Media. Simply put, conversations’ happening over the web is Social Media. However, just like the Communist parties of India talk about the Nuclear Deal without knowing the nitty-gritty’s of it (and neither do I) and raise a hue and cry about it, so do everyone I talk to nowadays is talking about the deep impact that Social media is having on the society today. On further enquiring what exactly is Social media, most of the people don’t seem to go beyond mentioning Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, Twitter and Friendfeed. Even if they know three out these five websites, they claim to be an authority in Social media. But as you can see, it is the ‘in’ thing to talk about – just like everyone in IT wants to work in a startup nowadays, and just like every Ramu and Pinky opened a company in the late 90s and just like every web enthusiast talks passionately about Web 2.0 in every forum they can gain entry to.

Being a Social media enthusiast myself (the ‘in’ thing to say you see!), I find it deeply disturbing (so much so that I can sleep over it for days) that people use and abuse the impact of Social media on organizations and community in general. Frankly, talking about Social media is great, but from a business point of view, monetizing the concept is extremely difficult. I would rather get down to numbers and business rather than jazzy presentations using Web 2.0 tools about Social media and its impacts that I seem to go through nowadays.

Politics:

The ‘in’ thing to talk about is the Nuclear Deal treaty. Inflation can cross 12%, the common man on the street may suffer due to rising oil prices, there might be blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad or any other city in India but all the media and the politicians can talk about is the Nuclear deal. Heck, talking about this deal has brought the horse-trading tactics in the open – a seemingly closely-guarded secret we all knew about all along, threatened to bring down the government (not that the government was any better all these days) and advertisers are having a field day on TV channels focused on this deal where all they talk about is ‘hot air’.

But you see, the ‘in’ thing is Nuclear Deal – it gives us a chance to appear intellectual, morally superior and we come across as knowledgeable about day-to-day affairs. Never mind that this deal will result in actual power only in 2020-25 range, never mind that more than hundred things can go wrong in US elections, and never mind the inflation which has shot through the roof (and sadly, without the corresponding hikes in salary), we have to talk about the pros and cons of Nuclear deal.

Technology:

Specifically, the iPhone. iPhone or its younger brother, iPhone 3G. I can understand the excitement in possessing an iPhone – it’s aspirational. Credit to Apple that over the past 28 years, every product it has churned out, it has turned it into a cult. Brilliant marketing. But, I just can’t understand why people cannot be rational when buying such a high value product. Just because it is aspirational, doesn’t mean I shell out close to Rs. 25k and get it unlocked for another 2-3K.

As Apple would market it, an iPhone is a combination of a phone, iPod and Internet. What’s more, iPhone 3G has in-built GPS. What Apple will not tell you (or anyone for that matter) is that GPS drastically reduces the battery life, you can’t send applications via Bluetooth, there is no MMS feature, certain basic features like cut-copy-paste are not enabled and many more. But nope, flaunting an iPhone and talking about is the ‘in’ thing – how else would I prove to be technologically advanced and up-to-date to the society if I don’t posess it or don’t talk about it.

With the explosion of Internet in India (so says Comscore in their ridiculous report with numbers where the terms ‘average’ and ‘heaviest’ mean the same), there would a corresponding increase in talking about these ‘in’ things – sad, but true. Now, that was certainly an ‘in’ thing to talk about – philosophy plus concern without any data to backup 🙂

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