July 13, 2011

There is nothing social about Social Networking anymore !

I have realized that if i keep writing about women empowerment and inclusive growth most of my friends will empower themselves to include me in the non-inclusive list (block list) very soon. And to be frank i am not so much in favour of these topics either. So i have decided to write something on a lighter note.

When i got back to Facebook after the self-imposed exile of six months, i realized nothing has changed. For starters i had to run through all the friend requests i had ignored off late. Sort out my friends, add my acquaintances to the friends list, add more people because you have common friends with them. Facebook has become paranoid about increasing my friend list it keeps suggesting friends with 1/2/3//10 common friends, i came across someone with whom i had a hundred common friends yet had no clue who it is.

All the silly game requests remains for a change all the farmers have left and new urban settlers have started popping their heads. Nothing has changed with respect to status updates and video link sharing. It’s funny to see someone sharing their anger and pain on their updates and people queuing up to Like it. I wish Facebook could include Unlike button or even an option of Disgusting which could be the only response to some posts.

I just realised i have 450 + people on my friend list and it’s a big number when i hardly know many of them. This list includes my school mates, college mates, colleagues of earlier jobs, teachers, uncles, aunts, sisters, cousins, neighbours, people whom i have no clue about etc. It’s a big puddle of senseless relationships. And i start to think when i put up something, who all are going to read this, what will they think about me. And being the quintessential hypocrite i fear to shed the masks i wear in different occasions and venues. Iam sure my long lost schoolmate who has migrated to north America and my friendly neighbour who idles away his time will have nothing in common, they don’t get the same jokes, neither do they comprehend the same languages.

Then there is the part where some idiotic friend with an old grudge will upload an old photograph in which i might have resembled a Precambrian primitive and start commenting about how stupid i looked then (nothing much has changed till now though) and the people i work with in front of whom i act polished and put up a fake accent catches me on the wrong foot. Iam sure iam not the only one who have had weird photos uploaded and teased about. Then there are the set of friends who pass comments and share thoughts in the local language which is as good as Greek or Latin or worse for some of my other friends, which makes me the translator in waiting. It is hard to convince my Hindi speaking friend about what my friend talks about (the salt mango tree syndrome).

Facebook developers have to urgently do something to segregate friends into as many possible sets to maintain the divide. Maybe something like an additional tab provision in new generation browsers that will cascade the friend list into different segments. So that my manager need not know that iam looking for ideas to give reasons to bunk office, or my family need not know about the secret road trip plan. If this continues there will be nothing social about social networking anymore.

And add to this the problem of envying friends holidaying in exotic locales, with their inverted photographs. It’s actually annoying to see that when you are slogging your ass you see your idiotic batch mate sun bathing and idling away. Add to all this new websites soliciting your presence in their new unique network, it’s like the snobbish hero in all his new movie interviews brags about the story being different and ends upto be the same stale dish.

In-spite of all this there is nothing as addictive or compulsive as social networking, a good friend put it up well, Facebook is like a fridge you keep opening to see if there is any new goodies. I have decided to take another exit from social networking maybe soon, but this is for sure, ill really miss all the senseless hype and action.


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