March 4, 2013

WWW: Web world of women

Men give love to get sex and women give sex to get love.
This to me is the most fundamental difference between men & women. I know we are stereotyping here and the fundamental flaw in stereotyping is generalisation. Having said this, stereotypes are always true enough to explain larger skews & inclinations. Thus this fundamental difference between men & women explains a lot of their behavioural & emotional differences. It also contextualizes the difference in the relationship that men & women have with digital; their online time. Men are skewed to seek utility or performance whereas women online experiences are more emotionally satisfying. This is not to say women are not performance driven. They are biggest multi-taskers & digital does bring efficiency in their lives, but alongside it satisfies their emotional needs in new ways.

Digital has enabled 5 key things for women:

1)      Empowerment
Digital is a medium where everyone has a view about everything. From socio-political issues to an incident in friend’s life, one has a say. Because if you don’t, then how will you be part of the most ‘liked-shared’ circle. While this may be just a medium for expression, for women it is empowerment. It is freedom to voice your thoughts & opinion in everything that interests you. It is where you can find your audience much easily than in the offline world. For stay at home women, it is where their opinion matters even in issues beyond the home. The number of women bloggers is much more than men because of this and not merely because women have more free time. (that’s how some men would like to see it).
Digital has opened up opportunities to work from home. It has brought like-minded women together to share, express, sometime revolt against commonly felt issues. This is empowerment for women.

2)      Escapism
Often the woman that I am is different from the woman that I had wished to be. Digital bridges this gap. It is a means to reconnect with all my passions, hobbies, quirks, fantasies that I had left behind.
‘I lost my chance to be an interior designer & ended up being an HR manager but I still keep a Pinterest board on home décor & guess what, it gets many repins’.
‘I had to quit my travelling job at the time of my son’s birth, but now I travel the world through my blog’.
Digital transports them to different places, different experiences, different worlds where their online self lives life with arms wide open. It is window shopping the world.

3)      Inspiration
We don’t always wake up with ideas or creativity, we often need inspiration. Be it fashion, beauty, décor, food, paintings, there are ideas & inspirations for everything here. How celeb & experts do it or how your friend is doing it, motivation can come from anywhere. On the lighter side, please note it is ‘inspiration or motivation’ & not stealing of ideas. At least that’s how we would like to believe it. It is anyway a two way traffic, if you get inspired by someone, you also have something of your own to inspire some others. This is one of the key insights behind the success of many platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr etc.

4)      Sisterhood
Whether it is Sex & the City circles of New York, the kitty parties of India or the ‘only women’ parties of middle east, women time & bonding has always meant a lot to women. Thanks to social platforms, this sisterhood is now easily accessible & on-demand. You can tune in & out as per your convenience. It is an always on ‘women’s ghetto’ with your own social circle of friends. Like every ‘girls night out’ it is competitive. No wonder an average number of times a woman changes profile picture is much more than men.  And paradoxically, like every ‘girls night out’ it also is a mutual admiration society where everyone compliments everyone else. It is where you share your secrets, console others & gossip about ones not present.

5)      Efficiency
Like I mentioned in the very beginning, digital has also enabled efficiency for women. From job hunting to recipes to how to’s, the answer to many of her problems is usually just a click away. Skype helps working moms connect with kids when out of town. A gadget is the new baby sitter. Wardrobe management apps, online shopping, day planner apps, homework apps, online magazines, digital has brought efficiency in different ways. For her, this is comfort, a bit more of ‘me time’, lesser guilt for being away & thus priceless.

This is why I say, that for women digital is more than just a medium or performance driven utility, it is an emotional connection where a different sentiment gets unlocked with every log in.

If my thoughts trigger a thought of your own, do leave a comment. I love reading your thoughts.


The Narcissist said...

Haha its not just women's life that has been transformed by the internet.

Ekta said...

@The Narcissist, Thanks for reading my post. Am not saying it is only the woman's life that has got effected. All am saying is the way a woman connects with digital is more emotional as it satisfies many of her emotional needs with just a click. It has made life enriching in new & different ways.

Rahul Bhatia said...

Wow Ekta, what a pleasent surprize to see you back on the blogosphere with a post which hits the nail on the head! I tend to agree with your observations about women being better multitaskers and performance oriented at the same time:)

anusia said...

I am a feminist and I love your post.It was full of fun and entertaining. Keep posting more.

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John F said...

Here is a blast from the past Ekta. Its been about 6 years since we commented on each other;s posts. I accidentally wandered through a wormhole tonight, traveled back in time and ended here. Hope time has been kind and you have been well.