Timeless vs Real Time

If I were a book, you will put me in a bookshelf after you’ve read me. Later, I’ll probably lie in an attic and find my way to a library. My life would span a few decades, or even more. If I’m exceptionally good, I’ll be a timeless classic.

If I were your personal diary, I will probably last your lifetime, even if you stop using me after a while. You’ll keep me under lock and key, and no one else will read it. You will always treasure me.

If I were a real greeting card, you must have looked at me fondly, caressed me as if I were precious. You may not look at me again for many years, but I’ll be stashed away in some drawer of “memories”. Some day, you will enjoy nostalgia going through that drawer.

If I were a photo from your childhood, I will be stuck in some family album. This family album will be a great source of joy during holidays when the whole family is together.


If I were a blog post, I will live for a few years at best. That is, unless my blog is hacked or accidentally wiped out. I will be happy if your children know the name of my blog.

If I were a JPEG, I’d be one among the millions on Facebook or Flickr. Some people you’ve never met in real life may look at me and write comments. If I offend the sensibilities or political opinions of the owners of such social networks, I may be deleted.

If I were an email, my life in your inbox will be a few hours. After you’ve read me, I will be deleted or archived, and forgotten forever.

If I were a status update on a social network, I’ll be real-time, one among many that flow like fallen leaves in your friends river of feeds. If I’m good, I might be “liked”, extending my life by a few more minutes.

If I were an IM or chat conversation, I am real-time. I exist for a few fleeting minutes. I am usually used just to say Hi, or pass a link. Nobody ever looks at me again, as I vanish from this universe usually without leaving a trace.

If I were a tweet, my value usually lasts a few minutes. I may be short, but I am real-time. If I am any good, I will be passed around, shared among people who don’t know much about each other beyond their 140 character bios.

[Cross-posted from Skeptic Geek]

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  • I really like this post, I had never thought about the time-value of a journal vs. a blog, or the status-updates that we so often do on our social networking sites. All of a sudden it is ever so clairvoyant why I keep my paper journals 🙂

  • Thanks, Havah!

    I posted this on my other blog originally, and I find it has gained a particular liking and following among the French. Interesting! 🙂

  • How very true!

    In fact this is my gripe with a Twitter. Tweets are so short lived and will be read virtually only by people who are logged in at that very instant, as against a blog post which has a life of its own.

  • Thank you, Amreekandesi!

  • priyan

    nice post and creativity !

  • If I were a comment, I’d touch someone’s life momentarily, give something to them, take something valuable in return, and move one. Or, not.

    Nice one Mahendra 🙂


    • Gauri, comments touch more than blog posts. Thank you! 🙂