Logon to Internet to meet your neighbors

IndiaPRWire reports that a website is being launched in Bangalore that would allow users to "... know each other in a better way and expand their network. On your CommonFloor, you can celebrate festivals, organize parties, meet people who share your interests, make your interaction more open and friendly and make your real life as vibrant as you can imagine."

I love the business model. After all I have been advocating all my life that social networks focussed around common interests and activities are far better and are expected to be more successful than "friendship" networks.

But the point is not the success or failure of this particular website. The issue at hand is larger and deeper. Portals like this simply imply that as some places (like Bangalore) we have reached a point where I need an Internet portal to speak with my neighbors.

We as Indians have our roots in things like choupals, community kitchens and joint families. Entire families, clans and villages loved personal connections and spent time with each other. They would care for each other, spend time for each other and if need be die for each other.

And now we have evolved to a society where we have to logon to Internet to speak with our neighbors. People dont have the time to know their own neighbors. How many of us know the names of our next door neighbors? At least I dont.

I am not against the advancement of culture and society but this is totally unacceptable. We have reached a point where the sense of community and belonging is loosing out fast. And moment people loose out on this sense of belongingness, the home stops being a home. It becomes a house with four walls. Everyone seems to be in a constant state of flux. People are just drifting from one city to another and eventually end up with lots of addresses and no homes.

I know I cant force anyone to go meet their neighbors or get involved in the community but in the end everyone losses out. And without realizing everyone becomes the part of the rat race.

Thoughts anyone?

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