Tuesday, August 12, 2008

E-Conquest @E-Earth.com

Published in the Times of India dated November 11, 1999 as a “Middle” on the Edit Page

E-Conquest @E-Earth.com

By Gopinath M. Mavinkurve

Gone are the days when you could boast of a Malabar Hill or a Proctor Road address. The test of today is: “What’s your email address?” You better have one. “Geography is now history’, as one ad says.

The other day, my neighbours came over and mentioned that they no longer get any regular greetings from their grand children - they get e-greetings. The regular mail, now called ‘Snail-mail’, is becoming exceptional and rare, just to remind us of the way things used to be in those days gone by. E-mails are handy to keep in touch with children who have settled in various parts of the world.

The elderly coulple did wonder why a copied email is called a ‘cc’ (a carbon copy). “Why don’t they call a copy of an email ‘ec’ – electronic copy of the mail", they ask. In the electronic age, where does carbon fit in?

Some lucky grandparents have received photographs, video films, digital sounds of infants or songs sung or poems recited by their grandchildren on e-mail. One day, they may even have their grandchildren come down for a vacation as an attachment file, you never know!

Their investments, they say, have become e-shares. They expect their bonds and Fixed Deposits to become e-bonds and e-FDs. May be they will. Soon, cash (be in paper or plastic) might be replaced with e-cash.

The common man today accepts change in his stride. A long-distance call would mean a call to your near and dear ones in another city or country. But now, it could mean talking to your near and dear ones in space. The politicians wouldn’t be left behind – they would be sitting and plotting how they go about their e-scams (leaving the e-frauds for the smaller players as before).

Corporate citizens, of course, would be busy setting up their e-commerce in place. But some people at work continue to print out their emails on paper, for reasons best known to themselves. We hope our e-statesmen continue to address our e-social and e-conomic problems. Legal matters may now be e-legal matters. Doctors may prescribe e-medicine or perform e-surgeries over the net. That does not mean you will be safe from being e-infected (virus protection software will get a boost in the arm besides getting a new dimension).

This is the electronic age, where gadgets and now the Internet, have revolutionaised our lives by cutting communication time, to a matter of seconds. From e-school to e-commerce the e-word has conquered the art of connecting – bringing the world to our finger tips.