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Name: Preeti Jhangiani
Profession: Actress. Remember Mohabbatein?
Logs in: Only when she has lots of free time.
This pretty actress has been hooked onto the Net only because of her elder sister who holds a Masters in System Administration. "We bought a computer and logged on to the Net, but use it only to keep in touch with her now, as she's in the US. Email and sites like dialpad.com, net2phone.com and other call sites help, but I think it's illegal. However, thanks to bad connections and delays, I haven't done that in some time."
She is not addicted to the Net. Surfs when she has a lot of time to click away checking mail or chatting on instant messengers. Though, if she had not become a model, she would have found herself in front of the screen trying to be a computer graphics designer.
"I think there are two kinds of people. People who are hooked to computers and the Internet intuitively, and those who are not. I am not really the Net savvy computer type. I am forced into it because of my sister, who will spend hours in front of the screen. She is the one who really keeps the email thread running. So, I am a forced Net junkie."
Like everybody else, Preeti has good and bad days online. "There are days when it takes hours to connect and days when you can log on almost instantaneously. And the less said about line speeds, the better." Currently, though, she's waiting to get connected through her cable. "That would be great…"
She uses MSN regularly, but finds the experience very impersonal. "Though cheaper, I think nothing can be a substitute to someone on the phone."
What she does like is the fact that this has given her a way of connecting with fans. "I find that there are a lot of people who have watched trailers of my music videos or read about Mohabbatein and my other films in the South, online. In fact, when I went to Austria, there were fans who told me they had kept a watch for snippets about me at different sites.
I also get a lot of fan mail from outside India, which is quite a thrill. It is unbelievable that they spend so much time and effort writing such long letters and emails, asking for autographed pictures, my email address, or messenger IDs."
She also finds the prospect of chatting with strangers quite frightening. "You don't know the kind of person at the other end. He could be a stalker or pretend to be someone else. I have never chatted with a complete stranger before, and probably never will!"
Has she ever been ego surfing? "Yes, once or twice," she confesses, "because my sister egged me on to do so. According to her there was a lot of information about me, but it's weird. To find that I have been quoted saying something I don't ever remember saying. But I take it with a pinch of salt. Even finding old pictures of my modelling days makes me want to hide…"
Also, to suddenly have screensavers, ecards and pictures of yourself downloaded, is a prospect Preeti is getting used to. "Initially it was a thrill, but it sometimes makes me wonder whether I really deserve the adulation…"
Her fans would assure her that she does.
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