I recently read a fabulous blog which concludes in this absolutely true statement.
This led me to reminisce about my days back in college. Our campus was a new one and hence was more like an open slate for us to write upon. We were the second batch and far more explosive than our seniors in terms of raking up controversies, fights and DISCO’s. But this was a phase that I witnessed from 2005-2009 in BPGC as well. All these crackdowns on students in IIT-M becomes national headlines (or atleast regional) whereas we fought our own battles in relative obscurity. Being an established campus has its merits and demerits. Availability of resources is one huge plus but the long list of student traditions sometimes becomes an uphill task to change.
I spent quite sometime in IITM campus as well and the only things that struck me was the freedom they had to roam hostels, their huge labs and their swimming pool (sigh!). Our playground was still swaying between a cricket field and a football field. The badminton court floors were still mosaic (which almost broke my ankle in the second semester) and our shopping complex was mostly barren. Internet was almost non-existent and everything was still sparkly clean or being constructed. Then, we had an incident with a dog and a transformer and boom, our basic electrical supply was non-existent too. We struggled for water and electricity and our demand for decent internet supply was still on-going when I left. Last I recall, we had some sort of shifts to give internet to hostels. Ha!
Now, now I dont need updates on how everything is set, running to perfection and amply supplied to everyone on campus. Our miseries had bonded us like nothing else could. The fun we had standing in lines for the water tanker or the hollering when lights went out in hostels is more memorable than any of the normal days we had. Our mess food was bad, but there was collective joy in criticizing it. No streetlamps paved way for “lovers-lane” or “the boulevard of broken dreams”. When professors decided similar crackdowns on the couples of campus, it was more of sympathy we shared (and of course reams of gossip) for those poor folks caught in the act. DC++ changed the face of student-life. Activity outside rooms was minimal and far more fun. ( I had the best time on DC mainchats!). I made quite a large group of friends too who otherwise would have remained unknown owing to CS and AOE and dota and other things that I was miserable at. Academics was never discussed and no discrimination was ever made based on cgpa. In short, we did not have freedom or the world class amenities, but we were a group of people who lived together in that picturesque, expensive campus and had more fun than many other established ones.
You might ask me what the purpose of this post was.I strongly believe that student interaction or quality of life cannot be hampered by crackdowns or restrictions. If anything, it’ll being them closer as a unified group. Of course the IIT campus is much larger with a much higher enrollment, but I know people are smart enough to find ways to do whatever they want. Ask anyone from BPGC who stayed on campus from 2004-2009. I bet you wont hear a single complaint now!
Disclaimer: This post has no references to a direct comparison of campuses be it Pilani campus or IIT-M. I just am making a point using examples from my experiences.
Also, the smartness of people involved is not being compared at all. I am aware everyone is almost equal in the IQ department. I’m sure everyone’s college life is fun and unique in their own way.
Ps: Damn,I miss campus like crazy now. 😦
Hot on the facebook acquisition of Instagram a brand new question arose all over. How much do you trust facebook? Or for that matter anyone. Skepticism today is through the roof given the access everyone has to everything of everyone. Too many every-s? Precisely my point. I have earlier ranted in detail about how facebook is not exactly the safest place to share personal data. I quit for a year and revived my facebook account. I shall write in detail of why I did what I did. It was not just going back on my words but I was forced to return to publicize an event. I decided to stay anyway. That is a part of another post I shall soon write.
Today, almost every service has an option to login using facebook. People use it anyway (me too for arbit sites) since it is easier than creating a user name and password that is unique. People like me live on the computer and the internet more specifically. Instagram was a smaller community (too bad I signed up for it just last Friday). The users were far smaller than facebook. With facebook taking over, loads of people reportedly deleted their content on instagram. They are suspicious of facebook motives. Of being bombarded with headphone ads because they took a picture of fancy headphones or of some beach vacation deal because of their last picture. Facebook is not alone. Google recently changed its policies and added terms that could track your usage. Now the most frequented sites of mine are google-based. Email, search, reader, youtube everything. Sometimes it might feel like they are reading your mind but when I keep seeing new vacation deals flashing on my screen because I bought flight tickets just yesterday, it makes me mad. Its like the internet version of the telemarketer who you cannot disconnect.
Facebook is turning into the glam version of orkut. People stay on it to track other people. Everyone does it. My new favorite is to frequent gag sites and laugh at those silly comics and memes. (Reddit still rules btw). Privacy is all but non-existent. We can check-in wherever we go, tweet our surroundings and let the world know what we are upto. It seems like a strange obsession. Even I am not immune to it. I wonder why I do it sometimes. Maybe because we get so lured by the happenings in others lives we are compelled to say something about ourselves in order to remain alive in the grand scheme of things? Facebook has turned into this giant which has pages for every company, every brand, every group and practically everything around us. Its almost if our online lives are the main things now and the real stuff we do are just time-fillers.
I fear one day virtual reality would be more dominating than the real world. If on one side technology is so fascinating, with the ability to talk to family and friends, to watch movies anytime anywhere, search for anything anytime, discuss something across timezones and continents,it gets creepy when someone is also watching you do everything. The only solution then remains to switch off your computer and step out and be there for just the people surrounding you. No updates, no tweets, no whatsapps, no photo sharing. Maybe I’ll go read a book and then out of habit read the other versions on fanfiction.net. There, I just told you all my plan.
Clearly, there is no escape.
For further reading:
1. Wall Street Journal on Selling you on Facebook
2. Computer Business Review on how cool is Instagram acquisition?
PS: I watched 3. Yes, the movie with the Kolaveri song. Not bad for a debutante director. Performances are nice. Story is extremely crappy n predictable. Dhanush is slowly turning into the mental-illness educator for the tamil audience. Shruti Hassan cries all through. Kolaveri picturization is horrendous. Good thing everyone forgot about the movie!