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! 🙂