Thursday, March 15, 2007

Restoring my E-Chi - Part 2: The Brain Hijacking Squad

I realize that each time I am working on my desktop AND using an instant messenger like Windows Live Messenger, I am splitting myself in to. Add to that parallel conversations. Just when I am getting in touch with the brother studying abroad, I have to deal with a business proposition. Then interferes a comment or an email where a person who never used their brains wants to pick mine. I do feel like many people pick the entire brain up, and I have to
regenerate a new one to keep up with the family banter with my brother. Meanwhile, one part of my ego has to split to consider a novel business
proposition that came my way.

And then there are friends who demand I join facebook, hi5, and some zzazza gazzazza dazza. The automated invitation messages that come from them when they sign up at new sites make me feel like I'll be their pal no more if I don't converge with them on gzzazza plaza.

All these people were on Orkut, the first social network of its type that I joined right then in 2004. And now they are hopping all over the place - taking my email address with them, passing it on to God-Omnicient alone knows what kind of companies. I don't like it, pals. I never got to trust that pzzazza lazza thing I was invited to.

But this docile network hopping is nothing compared to what really gets me: Requests for "help." Asking for help in Pakistan as as unique as Pakistani truck art, and you have to come here to see what it really is. Basically - and I hate to say it - but most Pakistanis are subjected to not using their brains in early age. So we learn very early on not to use our minds, and ask everyone the what, how, when, where, why, and whom of everything. The curiosity-killed kittens grow up physically, but sadly, most keep their minds right where they were: in a tomb-shaped skull and not showing any sign of projecting out of it. Mentally, I meant.

I am in the business of - by choice - media, and social enterprise. Some equate "business for good" with free work. It gives my shy self pain to point out that neither do I do it for free, nor does my life's worth of work reduced to helping people plug in a few words in so that they can find the link to

No. They'll ask. On trivial matters - and them some important ones. Classical attempts to pick my brain with a pitchfork, dislodge it, walk away with it, and then blame me for somehow not having things worked out go something like this. "Hey, I have thought of a dream project. It's about how to increase Pakistan's productivity by 69% and irrigate 90% of the land. It's very important to me. How can you help?"

Translation: "Do a lot of research on *my* project; consider this your three-liner brief."


I can't decide if I do despise these strangers more than those who take an interview on my life and work only to reply with, "I don't agree with it." Reason: they "think" so. No logic, no facts, nothing is required. Not in Pakistan - and I am afraid I've been all over the Net but only seen these anomalies in Pakistan.

I have several good friends with whom I share a lot of ideas - and we give and take right back. This illustrations above apply to complete strangers, who come across me through my blogs, communities, and mentoring. Well.

So. Well. Enough!

I have decided to drastically cut out on the splitting of my virtual soul. And I have taken some steps on tackling the biggest Time-Wasters.

What are these steps? Watch this space!

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