Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Social Networking Menace

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not from the old school who are against Facebook and say that it is invading our privacy. Infact I love Facebook, I am a regular visitor (which is once in a week). I post status updates, pictures and comments and totally love the concept.
However there are some issues I have with it.
People you knew in kindergarten suddenly look you up and want to catch up with you. People you went to school/ college with but didn’t really know, some you didn’t want to know and some you avoided for good reason are now in your friends list and acting like your bosom pals. Most of them did not even know your first name in school. And some were your sworn enemies. Ofcourse you have the option of not including them in your list. But sometimes it’s embarrassing as they will keep showing up on the pages of common friends asking why you have not added them as yet.
They will be commenting on your pictures about how you have changed when they don’t remember how you looked in the first place. Some will insist on sending you invites or gifts from various games such as Farmville, Treasure Isles and similar sounding names which you don’t really plan to ever play. And some will be commenting on your status updates on how your sense of humour is the same. Though they never spoke to you before.
Another phenomenon is the new form of Public Display of Affection. It’s really great you are in love with your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ fiancée/ spouse but do you want to put up lovey dovey messages as your status update for the entire world to read. Isn’t it personal and something your partner might not like plastered over your profile. Personally it looks like an attention seeking gimmick.
The same is true with pictures. Some pictures should not be put on public platform. They were clicked to capture a special moment not to be put up to get maximum coverage. Also there is way to maintain privacy settings of your albums. You don’t know what kinds of creatures are present online these days. Why give them easy access to you and your friend’s/ baby’s/ relative’s photos?
And lastly circulate photos and videos of someone else’s embarrassing moments. It was ok till it was some baby dancing or cats falling. However recently I saw a video of the Delhi (New Years) molestation case doing the rounds on Facebook. What’s worse is the person shooting is not concerned about getting the culprits faces but is trying to capture the girl who is hiding from the cameras. Hasn’t she suffered enough without subjecting her to this indignity? If the person shooting actually wanted to help he could have shot the people responsible for this heinous crime.
Facebook is a great medium to get in touch with long lost friends. Especially for people like us who left schools in the age of landline phones and had that 5 digit number as the sole contact point. I have actually managed to find all my school friends and college pals. But as I said, I hope some had not found me.

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