I was on leave this friday , thanks to the wonderful virus for showering its love over me by making my body temperature go high. One of my friends called me up on Sat and asked“Heard you are not well? Really?”
I was completely dumbstruck with this question as I expected a ‘how are you?’
instead… After the initial shock I went on to reply sarcastically“Guess somebody needs a medical certificate there”
She didn’t know how to react, she gave a sheepish reply “You never updated it in FB yaar… So thought it must be a rumour.”
I was completely bowled out… When am not well, how will I be expected to post a status saying “Down with fever “
(The number of gloomies that follow your status decides how serious you are) . The number of ‘get well soon’ comments / messages decide the number of people who ‘care’ for you.
Last week one of my aunts called my mom and while talking, has casually asked my mom whether she wished somebody’s someone’s daughter on her b’day… My mom immediately answered without any second thought “Aishu would have wished her in FB”
I giggled and mumbled “Aishu knows and wishes every Tom Dick and Harry in FB… So much so that, even Obama was waiting for her FB wish upon winning the elections.”
When I was in my schooling, till my fifth class, I used to get very excited a week before my b’day. I used to get greeting cards and gifts in courier from my relatives living all over the country as well as outside too. I used to be thrilled to open each packet. I still have that collection of greeting cards very safe and it still brings a smile. But after wishes have become just wall posts, I really don’t remember going back in my timeline to re read the wishes that I got last year or the year before that
My dad as well as mom, though both are not FB users promptly ask me to show the pics of their cousins who are my ‘friends’
. The best part is even a fifty year old aunty becomes your ‘friend’
One aunty next door was showing me the pics of her grand daughter posted in FB by her daughter. She was passing comments like ‘Look how big she has become’
and stuffs… After seeing all the pics , I asked “Aunty, where is your daughter staying?”
I expected her to say some foreign country, on the contrary, she replied ‘She stays at Besant Nagar’
… I thought I misheard Banglore/Bankok and asked her again… Now she explained the address along with even the street address
I am not against these social networking sites, as they say ‘we bring dear ones who are far, near’. Very true, no denial to it. It pulls away the people who are near, make them go far and then connects them virtually… Of course, getting them near.
BS (Before social network) : A mom, dad and son assemble for dinner where the son would have come to the table after playing out and would be scolded by the dad to wash his hands before he eats.
Now A.S. (After Social networks): The same family, dad, mom and son. Mom in kitchen, son in one room and dad in another… Mom invites for a group chat “@hubby & @son: Dinner ready”. Son updates his status as ‘off to dinner’ and dad changes his status from‘available’ to ‘busy’. Each reach dining room, nobody talks a word, dad keeps checking his blackberry, son with his Tab and mom seeing both of them. After dinner son updates status ‘Phew! Heavy dinner… Thanks mom’ Mom likes the post and dad comments ‘The rotis could have been better’ followed by a LOL
This could completely be an exaggeration but this is what we are heading to. There was a period when these social networking sites were used to connect the parents to their son in abroad. I remember that ad, where the son shows his new born through the web cam to his mom and dad. In turn, the old parents bless their grandson and the grandma is seen wiping her eyes with the pallu. It was so touching, but now the same scenario happening with son and parents who just stay 4 streets away is not really touching. The real socializing have become near zero with the entry of ‘social’ networks.
The news that a man was arrested when he was clicking pics at our Union minister, Chidambaram made me raise an eyebrow and when read more, it was found that he has this passion… you call it passion… errr… I don’t know… passion for taking pics with celebrities and updating the same as his profile pic just because he was ‘encouraged’ by the likes and comments he got when he did it for the first time. Another news that a lady divorced her husband as he refused to change his status from ‘single’ to ‘married’ brought more giggles from me but at the same time made me ponder too.
My cousin who is doing her 3rd year was online for long… when asked, she told me that she was waiting for her semester timetable to be put up. I was
She went on to explain, her professors will update the timetable and syllabus in a community in FB. In fact, while studying if she has doubts, she’ll update the question in the group . Either the professors or classmates will answer her query immediately. I could just reply ‘What an idea Sirji! India has developed so much’
Everything remains good till we overdo it. Same is the case with social networking sites. Saturation point has been reached. So, its upto us now to ensure that we are treating social networks as a part of ‘virtual’ world and that we are not making them an integral part of‘real world’ and our ‘real lives’.
PS: No social network was harmed or injured in the process of writing this post