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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Indians ‘cyber-socialise’ to connect with family back home

By PMA RASHEED 
17 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

EID Al Adha turned out to be an auspicious occasion for many Indian expatriates living in the UAE to meet, greet and improve their relationship with their near and dear ones scattered across the country.
Happy holidaymakers were seen taking group photographs using small cameras and mobile devices after offering special Eid prayers early morning.
Several people were busy making friendly visits to places of their dear ones, while many expatriates were seen attached to their cell-phones making a round of calls to their kin back home and vice versa. Eid falls on Wednesday in India.
A lot of expatriate bachelors and the younger generation were hooked on to their laptops or PCs chatting with their friends.
Cyber-geeks were bombarding social networking sites with Eid messages and details with pictures about their outdoor activities and line-up of celebrations during the day.
The others simply sent out bulk Eid texts or colourful graphic cards to friends and all those who were in the mailing-list. Smart-phone users were also found flying high with multi-communication functions on their devices.
“Cyber socialising or chatting has become immensely popular due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness. Many people have converted from their traditional communication modes to the cyber socialising tools,” observed Nisar Sayed, an Indian media personality and managing director of Asia Vision Advertising agency in Dubai.
“But, the latest communication modes and options on social networking sites lack the spirit of intimacy and power of verbal communication or joy of a face-to-face greeting,” he pointed out.
“I always prefer to wish Eid greetings on the phone and pay visit to my relatives and friends’ homes,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Yasmeen Ul Mulk, a tele-imaging expert and managing partner of the Global Hawk Tele Medicine Services, said, “The greetings on the Eid day cannot be limited to the traditional methods of communication, as many people are unable to follow that due to their busy schedules even on holidays.”
“The warmth of maintaining your friendship can be attained through the cyber world too, if you sincerely make your efforts to catch them up online in the middle of your work,” she opined.
“I managed to say hello and share Eid feelings through my emails, chatting and posting messages on Facebook and Twitter, even though I was busy with my project to be completed soon,” added Dr Yasmeen.
According to Salahudheen Vazhakkad, an insurance network professional who constantly travels across the Gulf countries, a synthesis of modern and traditional methods is the better solution when it comes to Eid greeting of the expatriates in this part of the world.
“It’s obvious that many people will be unable to have face-to-face or verbal greetings. I used to ring up a list of close people, send out texts or emails to those in my professional circle and post Eid greetings online for buddies on my social networking circle,” he concluded.

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