Am I telling you to run away from people who are eager to greet you? Don’t we love to hear good words from people we care? Unfortunately, the evolving greeting culture may confer a different meaning than what it used to be in the past.
There was a time when we called and met our friends and families on holidays like puja, eid, christmas, etc. In the absence of mobile phones, we tried our best to get a dial-up connection to our near and dear ones despite the fact that most of the times the land-phone lines were faulty. After repeated dialing, staring at the phone-set with a mixed emotion of frustration and love, just to say hello to the other end, you might end-up having a connection that was full of noise and interference (cross-connection). The upside of this repeated act of frustration and hard work meant that the other party is “important” to us, referring a great value of meaning to the receiver of the message. In other cases, we used to buy greeting cards, put stamps on it, and post it through snail mails. Personalized and hand-written greeting cards also brought smiles to our friends as we made them feel “important” to us.
Now, with the advent of social media and mobile phones, fortunately, we are at ease to expand the base of our acquaintances to a great level. This is a good thing indeed. You can have thousands of followers and contacts in your smart phone through facebook, linkedin, xing, twitter— what not? You can have thousands of email addresses at your finger-tips just to retrieve and send messages as you want. Businesses are using this opportunity to send greetings and other messages on special occasions. So, what is wrong if we can cherish the age-old greeting culture through digital means? You tell me.
Just as you have access to thousands of emails and phone numbers, so do I. With all the good intentions in our minds, we will just try to make everybody happy and send them greetings with a touch on our phones. Voila, you have 500 greetings in your inbox, so do I. Who is reading what? The good-old-day’s hard work and conveying the meaning of “importance” in the receivers’ minds are no more there. It is, as if, people are greeting each other not because they are important, but because they can easily do it from their ends. Sorry, we are just increasing the number of messages in each other’s inbox.
Before we start cleaning the message box, we need to think how we can make it rather meaningful. We should not stop greeting people just because sometimes it seems to be annoying, rather a more personalized and meaningful way need to be innovated.