Friday, February 27, 2009

Networking... Social networking

There were days when ‘orkut’ was the new buzzword. Suddenly people started asking whether i was in orkut or not. When i said i was not, they would make it a point to convince me that i am missing something important in life. After hearing this time and again i gave in to the temptation of finding out what this word had for me (initially i felt it was taken from mandarin). Although i was bogged down till then by the countless arguments of elders that internet is a haven of ‘dirt’.

When i made my account on orkut, i was under the able guidance of one of my happy go lucky friend, prabuddh , who scared the wits out of me when, in order to screw me, he added one of the girls from my coaching class as ‘friend’ in my account. I was really worried about the prospective consequences of declaring a girl(whom i never talked to) as a friend on web.
Then there was a phase of juvenile enthusiasm, of making a community, meant just for me and my friends. It was the birth of the bad boyz (hail all you Bad Boys!!!!).We, monkeys... running in a rat race... really got overboard with our community... and most of our recess discussions in school were dedicated to this... the teenage blood was at work and the innocence and fun that i derived from such trivial things really makes me miss my teenage.

I remember when one of my ‘interactions’ ( :P) with a junior, i figured out that people can have ‘networking’ as their hobby(initially i was impressed, thinking he was talking about computer networking, to be dawned about my ignorance of the usage of a term). It really amazed me how a thing so unproductive can feature in that list.
I agree that it is really a nice medium of keeping in touch with people and i myself have benefitted a lot by finding long lost friends on net. The thing is, these sites are social networking sites and not keep-in-touch sites. And so these come with value added services which can keep you occupied for hours together, only for you to find yourself growing grey and dumb.

A very significant important social/cultural shift that has happened lately, is that people are given an option of living two lives at the same time. One in which they are what they are and they cant change how people look at them. Then there is this virtual world, where one can manipulate their own image. Where everybody becomes the cool dude they always wanted to become. Those cool funky names that people keep on orkut.... or sudden escalation of interest in photography specially in the art of self portrait... or people using the ‘about me’ column to write in length about how complicated a creature they all are and use that space to display their command over English language . Hypocrisy has mutated from the time of jews to social networking sites.
And well i am no exception to this hypocrisy and myself have gone through all that i have criticised. But at times my conscience does prick me. Living virtual can never bring a real peace. It has now become a necessary evil. But then i guess i have bigger evils to deal with and this doesn’t need my efforts :P.
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