Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3 years on,Facebook to me becomes both a Boon and a Bane

It was the year 2006, I was still getting used to the so called social networking sites in those days,we probably just had 2 or 3 in India, Orkut,Hi5 and Facebook. Orkut was something new to me in my bachelors.My friend recommended that I start using it in the hope that I will find my childhood friends in the longterm. I did find many of them already discussing our schooling  days and sending out "scraps" on to each other accounts..

"Orkuting" was the new  trend and was considered to be a must amongst over selves. Where ever I used to go - to the Internet cafes or to  my friend's place, Orkut was the talk of the town.Every youngster of my age were glued to it. Or so it seemed. When many of my friends  went  to the United States to pursue their masters, there was a paradigm shift.Since Orkut was unknown territory , people shifted to Facebook,I was forced to adapt it was well.  There was a choice I had to make,I could not say no to something new  at the cost of loosing  the connection with my friends.

I must admit that although I use Orkut less frequently now since most of my buddies are into Facebook,I cannot deny the fact that Orkut's  Interface is Very even and things are pretty neatly distributed across the board.
Older version of Orkut circa 2006

Orkut was pretty straight forward to use,your friends would send a scrap in your scrap-book or probably ping you within the built-in gtalk and you would reply back.Facebook for me on the other hand was like a labyrinth system which I had to wade through in order to  get what I really wanted.The continous flow of new feeds from your friends and their "friends" was something which I was not at all expecting. Getting updates amongst my friends was a melee, and it looked as if the information flowing  on the wall was never going to end. Why should I even give a damn for something which is not even related to me? If  my friend liked or commented  something on his "friend"s wall,I get an update !Makes no sense to me! This kind of  implementation forces me to block my friend's updates from my wall .what other choice do I have?

As if this was not enough,FB asks me all the time to share my phone number to increase my "security",what kind of security only almighty knowns!.With 500 Million users they must be looking at the commercial angle of  "sharing" user's info with their partner firms or perhaps big brother himself  ;)

I realized of late that Facebook has become so pervasive that I accidentally bump in into many friends, some of them from my early childhood while at school.This is only one of the reprieving things I had for some time now.Some of them have not been in touch for the past 14 years and all of a sudden they are conversing with me! Apart from this positive outcome everything else just casts a shadow.I must admit that I have become addicted to this drug called Facebook which is eating my valuable time,although I tend to analyze my online activities, of late some of them are simply going out of my hand. Facebook being one of them. I think its time I should listen to my mother again and probably spend less on the internet to an extent only when I need it. Some times I feel she is probably right when she says  how I  am isolating my self  by sticking to the PC and the internet all the time . May be I should just stick to some constructive things and leave the rest.I must read more books...

I am waiting for the newer version of Orkut to come out. While I can't deny that  Facebook is  bridging  the digital divide among my friends and family,the question remains...  but at what cost?