Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Social Networking Sites

While updating the status on one of the social networking site, I realized how much our lives are centered around them. Few years back, I remember how much one of my office friend in Gurgaon pestered me to open an account on Orkut, which I found completely chirkut (not sure if there is any such word).. But yes, I found a lot of long lost friends through that site and I couldnt be more thankful for it.. Writing scraps, instead of emails, uploading our latest pictures, giving latest information about ourselves is the norm, which also made it quite interesting.

At the same time, people could find other like-minded people through the site and make friends with them. There were communities which anyone could join, depending on their interest. People also get alerts about your birthday... This meant even if who didnt know about your birthday gets a chance to wish you.. I found this quite amusing.. There are a lot of people with whom you dont talk for the whole year.. Rather you never talk to them.. They are in your friend's list since you knew them at some point of time - may be through school, college, friend of friend, work place, hometown, it could be any reason..

I also realized that how these sites have become an important part of everyone in today's life.. Whatever is happening in your life, you dont have to tell everyone separately or call them or drop a mail.. Just update your status and the whole world knows about it... And then people may comment and like your status.. Infact that becomes a point of discussion sometimes. You can write what and how are you feeling, where are you going, what did you eat, what do you want to eat, what are you wearing, what do you want to buy.. Just about anything that you can think of.. No questions asked..

While social networking sites are a great way to connect with people, sometimes I feel that personal human touch is lost somewhere. We dont write letters anymore.. We dont wish people either through cards or phone.. There are just a few scraps, comments, like, super like, games on everyone's profile page- especially if it is facebook. Then there is Twitter where you give updates about every second of your life - right from waking up in the morning to going to the washroom, to breaking up, dating, and then sleeping... So if you want to know about whats happening in someone's life or how they are, you dont have to call them or write to them.. Just go through their profile page and you will know everything. I understand that technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. It has certainly given us a way to find people, be in their friend's list, write to them whenever you want to, but I miss that warmth.. I am the kind who likes to call people, send birthday wishes through cards, write letters.. I do wish people on these sites but only those with whom I am connected through internet. And there are a few, whom I may not wish, since I know they would not respond. I am like that...

I am not sure if its good to have these sites.. Sometimes there is too much information floating on the net.. It does makes us vulnerable to identity thefts, with the information being misused.. Like I said, there are pros and cons in it, still we use them including myself. Still I miss that hand written letters era, of shopping for greeting cards, making cards, posting them and get a thank you in return.. Thats a different smile and feeling altogether.

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