Sunday, July 17, 2011

Social Networking - the good, the bad and the ugly!


"It's not what you know but who you know that makes the difference" 

                                                       -Anonymous

I am a self-confessed social networkoholic! I wouldn't go to the extent of calling myself an addict because I'm confident that I can bear the trauma of all my connections to the world of social networking being severed! Although I must admit that on occasion, I do have to keep myself in check to prevent myself crossing the fine line into addiction. I used to be a member of several social networking sites but when it started eating away my free time (which was not much to begin with), I restricted myself to Facebook. I often wonder how I used to spend the time that I now spend on FB  before I got sucked into it. I think that my life must have been far more productive back then. The worst phase of it was when I was hooked onto a motley assortment of games at the same time. I used to fervently go about tending my make-believe crops, fish and restaurants on a daily or sometimes even hourly basis! But after a while the whole ritual started to tire me out. Not to mention the annoyance at seeing all the invitations and news feeds by similar idle people. I decided from then onwards that I would not waste my time on such pointless applications. For a while after that I began to play more mentally stimulating games like Word Challenge and Geo Challenge but that slowly lost steam as well. On the upside, they did contribute significantly to my vocabulary and geographical knowledge. Hey, I can correctly identify the flag of Lesotho you know....hahahahaha. Anyway, if games weren't enough to distract people from their "real" lives, absurd and trivial status updates are considered useful tools to provide an alternative route of escape. Hey, I'm guilty of that too! I remember that I actually used to call my friends more often and e-mail them from time to time. Nowadays it is just so convenient to just write on someone's wall or send them a message on FB. I often even wish my friends and family for birthdays or anniversaries on FB and then feel guilty about not making a greater effort. After all, its not as if you need to do to jog your memory cells with remembering a friends birthday.....FB will even do that for you! Seriously, it is so tempting to become lazy since the advent of these social networking sites.

The good thing is that I know  what is going on with my friends and family through status messages and photo updates so I feel like I'm involved in their lives. But then again, that element of personal touch just goes missing. You just become one among the crowd of people that are "liking" or commenting on a person's updates. Well, at least something is better than nothing, right?. Another good thing is that through FB, I have re-connected with so many of my old school friends and distant family members. It feels great to see their latest pictures and to get to know what they are doing. It also makes you realize that the world is such a small place because everyone seems to know everyone else! I often find so many mutual friends that I didn't know of before I was a part of FB. Generally, my mom is my main source of information on the latest happenings/news on people we know but I almost always seem to know before she tells me in spite of living abroad! She is quite amazed with how up to date I am on the information front. I guess cyber news travels only slightly slower than the speed of light!

One of the biggest shocks that I recently received was when my Dad sent me a friend request on FB. My Dad is a very busy man and someone who really has never been interested in anything to do with computers. He got acquainted with e-mail only a few years ago and only because it was a professional requirement! I would have guessed him to be the last person on the earth to join a social network. I was highly amused when my news feed indicated that my husband and Dad "are now friends". I though it would be a temporary thing and within no time his FB account would be a thing of the past. Much to my surprise, he stuck with it and sometimes comments on my photos and likes my status messages! Such is the power of social network. Mark Zuckerberg.....you sure know how to get to people!

Sometimes I wish I could go back to an era where people used to write letters to each other and when phone calls were a luxury. At least the anticipation of hearing from someone would be unquestionable. I guess being a little private and inaccessible is always more mysterious and exciting to others. Makes them wonder what you are up to. Nowadays with all these different social networking mediums like FB, Twitter, Myspace and Google+, its like privacy has gone on a holiday! And it is not even unintentional. People want you to know exactly what they are doing, who they are with and where they are going. I am guilty of the same too! I don't think I could slip into oblivion even if I wanted to. Sigh!

With that I'm signing off. Its good to be socially active but then again, too much of anything seldom is a good thing! It would be such a pity if virtual relationships taking precedence over real life relationships, don't you agree?

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think of this post? You can leave a message to let me know. Thanks!

Please note that I reserve the right to delete any comments that I deem inappropriate, offensive, spam or self-advertising. I appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...