Friday, March 8, 2013

The Virtual Messengers!

Living in a country far away from your homeland brings along a bunch of emotions. At the outset, you are very excited, want to explore the place around and on the other hand you miss your home country, your old life. And when the distance between the two countries is 13,289 km, it's even more complicated. You try to find things which will help you get adjusted in the new place and yet be connected to the old. That's when the  awesome saucesome messengers/networking sites come to rescue! Whoever coined the name messengers to these connectors, needs to take a bow!

Before being married, i use to have a Yahoo! messenger id but i would hardly use it. I used to live with my parents and siblings, so wouldn't need that to talk to them, though i see it happening now in some homes and it's gonna go up in the future!! Kill me if i'm wrong! To talk to my friends/cousins/neighbors, i had my mouth which would personally be present with me and i had my cell. More than enough. Way more than enough. Yahoo! would be used to chat/talk with folks who were geographically far, in the sense that i would need to travel at least few hours to talk to them personally. Adding to that i had an account on Orkut (Rest in Peace), Hi-5! (Don't even know why i had that), Hotmail Messenger ( I guess it was called that earlier) and other sidey sites whose names i don't even remember now.

And then i got engaged. Yahoo recovered its money.

We used Yahoo! Messenger (YM) to chat. Initially, Once a day, then multiple times a day. Oh Yeah, I should give credit to Gmail, for that was used to 'correspond' first. Gtalk was used rarely too. But Yahoo! Messenger takes the trophy. Firstly chats, then video chats. The emoticons were soooo cool and we would have so much fun using them in our chats. Aaah, what a beautiful phase that was. I always tell the 'Engaged-madly-in-love-couples' to enjoy the time from their engagement to the wedding, because that is seriously the best time of one's lives! Trust me on that! So yeah, there we were enjoying that phase and taking full advantage of the virtual messenger, Yahoo! The offline messages feature was used to its full capacity too, thanks to the distance between NY and India.

We got married. Enjoyed one month together until Darling Hubby (DH) was back in NY. And then Yahoo! was back in action too on our comps & smartphones. We were very happy with YM. The video quality was not that great but we were happy. Truly, Love is blind! LOL! 10 months passed by, i was finally in NY. Alhumdulillah! Yahoo! was again being used but to a different audience now. Audience, because now i added  family, friends, neighbors and everyone else whom i missed. Until one day Skype was downloaded.

A lot of my family/friends used to always tell me to use Skype but i was kinda loyal to YM and so i would say i'm happy with YM and don't see the need for Skype. But Alas! Kisi ki nazar lag gayi ( I actually think it was done by one of Skype's employee, Hmmn) that my YM was hacked and i couldn't log in. I was sad, i was furious. And i downloaded Skype. I guess it was the 'Let's-try-it-once' thing that made me do it.

Since that day to this, i have been using Skype. I asked my family to download it as well and they loved it too. Video quality was much better and i realized later as to how bad YM video quality was! LOL! No offence YM, i still have a soft corner for you, after all you were the one who was with me in the most beautiful phase. (i guess that's the reason i am still logged in to it through my phone, tablet and comp though i hardly ever use it).. So now we started 'skyping' daily.

And then came the mother of all. Whatsapp! Amazing, mind blowing app, which i know everyone who uses it ,will join me in giving three cheers to it. Hip hip hurray.. Hip hip hurray.. Hip hip Hurray! That changed so many things. Of course there was Facebook to be in touch with my friends but WA was so cool, so easy and so very convenient! Best part, i didn't have to search for anyone on it because the people who mattered to me were in my phone's contact list and so automatically i saw them on WA if they were on it too. I was so excited to be using WA. No one in my house back in India, had WA on their cells back then and so i told my younger brother to install it since he had a smartphone. And he did.

Voila! That began the series of sending pictures and videos of Zidaan, which wasn't so convenient earlier. Now, it was just click, Whatsapp and send. So very cool! Best part he would check it instantly and show it to my parents and other siblings. We started loving it so much. I would chat with my other contacts too and my love for WA grew every day. One day a friend of mine created a group on WA. Our BBM batch group. That brought in so much of fun!! Initially we were just a couple of us and now we are 27. Imagine the fun we all have together. The 27 of us are in different countries, different time zones  all living different lifestyles but one thing common is Whatsapp! It has made us close friends even closer now. The chat is on almost the whole day with someone or the other posting something. Of course we all have kept our notifications on mute, otherwise our phones would be buzzing the entire day and night! But believe me, this is the best way i have ever been connected to my friends.

Whatsapp has made us do things which we would have otherwise never done. The biggest of all, it made my dad change his phone!!!!!! My mom who was so fascinated by WA, started pestering my dad to get a smartphone too so that she could get access to her grand kid's pics and videos more often, sine my brother would be away most of the day at the office. And he did oblige! LOL! My dad was so loyal to his phone but   he didn't think twice when he had to change it. All because of Whatsapp! Now my dad, my bro and my sister all have WA enabled phones. Yes, i gifted my sister a smartphone last month while i was in India for her birthday! I couldn't have given a better gift as nothing beats the fun of having conversation with your sister ;)

As of now i have 86 contacts on Whatsapp who are all dear to me and with whom i chat regularly. I am part of 4 groups too ;) The fun we had on BBM group inspired me to start two other groups. Both close to my heart. It's the MBA group where i have my best buddies from my MBA class together sharing happiness and creating fun and the AAA group, which stands for Andaz Apna Apna. People who know me very well know my craziness for the movie AAA and i have my friends who are equally crazy about AAA in that group. Actually i met these friends on a AAA forum on orkut and we have been such awesome friends since then.
( I have a post due from so long about AAA, will write about it soon Insha'Allah) ;)

Whatsapp has made me close to so many friends and family like i have never been before. Of course being together personally, talking, having fun is the best, but this is no less! It's all thanks to technology which has made the world so small and life so much fun and easy. Being away from family makes one feel lonely at times but these app's and sites help us in living a happy life, keeping us close with our loved ones. I never imagined being so close to so many people in spite of me living so far away, but it has happened. And it is awesome.

From this day until the next, when some other masterminds create even more unimaginable app's that will make our world tiny, Let's all create happiness and spread love & peace around.

1 comment:

  1. We must be related lol. Since back in 1998 ive been using vanyrious messengers etc to meet friends online, to talk with family etc etc. By far whatsapp and instgram just blow my mind. Yahoo messenger was fab back when i was a new muslima, i met older sisters online who taught me the basics i needed to know and then spoke to a mixed group of people of all ages in the islam chat rooms. Old times were fun. Whatsapp gets my votes the tick of a pic.