"Communication is essential in all relationships"
The means of communication have been changing rapidly. And as they changed, I tried to keep up with that. The following is just a collection of different things that I saw and used... and stopped using as well. Arranged chronologically. Out of them, see how many you have used and not used, and also add some that you have used but I have not...
The first landline phone that came to our house was a cream coloured phone, that we could actually punch in numbers and make calls. It was a great day - We finally had our names in the telephone directory. Ooooh!! Aaahh!
Dial up Internet
The modem that made weird noises just before connecting - My dad had always warned me to keep the usage within limits. Very expensive. But I was impressed with the way he showed how to access information and take print outs of images that were downloaded.
Yahoo! Mail was THE mail service. I still remember how we took pics at home, and mailed it to friends' IDs, and then came to school and accessed it and found the images there! Wow!
I could walk anywhere within the house. And talk. With two phones, two people could talk (or one could listen to the conversation secretly :P). The next cordless phone had an intercom with speaker phone on the base unit and I could use the handset from up to 200 metres.
I had heard a lot about chatting, but never had done it. One day, while sifting through some programs my cousin had given there, I installed mIRC, and found it was a chat software. I experimented and found a lot of people on the internet. This was where I learnt terminologies like ASL (Age Sex Location) which was the first statement someone made, LOL, ROFL, ROFLMAO, and so on. This was also the first place where I played Trivia, an insanely addictive game
I didn't get to use mIRC for some reasons, and later found that Opera had a built in IRC chat capability and then I started using that, and found that Trivia was there too!
This was when I realised chatting is talking to your friends (people you actually know in real life) The emoticons were the best (and still are) and no other IM client matched up to it.
One of my friends sent me an invitation to Gmail that I accepted just to see what it was - It was a very plain looking service. I used it just to store forwards, keeping my Yahoo! mail account as a primary mail box.
The speed of internet quadrupled, and cost dropped greatly. Broadband with its initial 1GB download limit was a boon. BSNL was excellent and continues to be the service of choice to me. They have been very competitive, and offer the cheapest and best services (at least, I have felt this). Internet took a radical change for me after broadband, and I was able to access enormous amounts of information and it became my primary source of learning.
A useless tool - Nothing matched to Yahoo! Messenger. Used it briefly and then discontinued it. Nobody was there on Google Talk, everyone hung out in YM.
Orkut - Something drove us all crazy! Sending friend requests to connect with old friends, making new friends with friends of friends, rushing to post scraps - hundreds at a time, just to go and write in weird colours "500th scrap another milestone" - "Thanks" "Welcome :)". Later, after facebook arrived and gained popularity, Orkut became the primary source of "Birthday reminders". Now nothing! It's extinct.
After getting a fit looking at the enormous telephone bills, I got myself a small Motorola flip phone - Nothing fancy, it did what it was meant to do best - make phone calls and message. And had two games as well. And 3 themes! With time, the phones evolved... And communication changed with ability to access internet on the go.
This is the one that revolutionised it all - pretty soon, only me and two other people were on YM, while everyone else on Gmail Chat, the chat cum mail box - everything in your browser, and no need to install another application! Now, nobody uses YM nor Google Talk.
When it started, it was not very appealing. It was too darn complex to use in the sense that it was very cluttered. After writing scraps, seeing "The Wall" was a little weird. But after they changed the layout, it has gained popularity and has beaten Orkut hands down. In fact, Facebook to Orkut is like Gmail to Yahoo! This continues to be one of our favourite addictions :-)
Something that was supposed to be revolutionary, I didn't find it useful at all! After all the hype they created, I was finally excited to get an invitation... I still remember using it with my colleague at work to figure it out. After disposing it off as useless, I finally did find its uses it editing documents collaboratively. But hell, others stuck to it being useless, and Google chucked it out of the window.
When people were talking about Twitter in the beginning, I failed to understand what the big fuss was about. I mean, it was just equivalent to posting status messages of facebook (or subsequently Orkut). But subsequently I found twitter to be quite entertaining, and I found that it served as a great news feed - Similar to the BBC news in your firefox toolbar. Entertaining...
And thus concludes most of the communication means I have used to stay in touch with people.