"Mamma can I have a facebook account ?" my 12 year old daughter asked me when she came back from school one day. I had no idea what she meant. I asked her whether it was some kind of a book shop? Or it was something on the net that gives you beauty tips ? It sounded more like some bank account to me. She gave me a look as if I was not meant to be living in this world at that current moment . She looked at me sarcastically as if I belonged to the pre-historic age. Since I happened to be her mom she couldn't shake me to nothing. I have to admit that my computer knowledge was limited to browsing and checking my hotmail account. I was totally alien to the world of Facebook till my girl explained to me. Then I did some ground work to know how safe it was for her to have an account. Since I didn't find it secure enough for her, I told her that I would create an account for myself and that she could use it. This way I could track what she was doing too ( but she was smart enough to just look into her friends' account and not send any messages.). This is how I entered into the world of Face Book.
After I signed up in Facebook my life took a different turn. It took me few months to first figure out how to use the facebook. Till today I am not aware of many of the facebook usages. I can't imagine people having a virtual farm in "farmville". I forget to water my real plants in midst of my daily chores. How do people religiously take care of such farms? Those bumper stickers too confuse me a lot. My friends' list is very limited. I wonder how some people, that too kids of 12 , 13 years could have 500 to 600 friends. In my whole life time till today I don't think I have made friends with so many people. Does this mean I am not friendly??? or may be I am very choosy while choosing my friends. When I ask people, who have umteen number of friends in their list, how they manage so many friends? all they say is that " it is all networking". Most of such FB friendships are shallow relationships I feel. The current fashion is to have as many friends as possible in your list. I personally don't agree with this though.
Coming to the point, I also fell into the FB web even before I realized about it. As soon as everyone leaves the house in the morning I sign- in the face book account to find out what has happened during the hours I slept . Before, I used to read through the newspaper in the morning--a habit cultivated by my dad, which I have been following for the past 30years. But now world news doesn't carry any waitage. All I want to know is about my friends' world. I sit in front of the computer and read all the notifications and messages. Then I reply for those which I feel like. I update my status without knowing in what way it is useful to others. I write about what I cooked, where I went, what I bought, whom I met, what I ate, etc.etc. It is more like a diary where you write the whole day's happenings. Only difference is that a diary is personal and no one gets to read it other than yourself. Here it is accessible to the whole wide world.Things which have been going on as a routine have become things to be noted and shared. Does this mean I have no other job? Or does this mean I have no one around me to share my thoughts and feelings in person? I use facebook even to interact with my next door friend. Am I so busy that I don't have time to pay a five minutes visit to her house? I no longer complain that I am bored. Whenever I have nothing to do I start looking at the pictures posted by my friends and their friends, whom I don't even know. I am so inquisitive to know about other's holiday, how they celebrate the functions and festivals. By looking at various pictures I get to know the uptodate fashion. This doesn't mean I am a fashion queen or anything. Just to feel that I am aware of what is in vogue. I enjoy watching the shared videos and notes. Be it anything , whatever your friends share or their friends' share I get tempted to have a look at those clippings or postings.
Sometimes I wonder why I want to know who all my friends' friends are? and from there I take a diversion and I go through their friends' list also. It is always "take diversion". I sit and look at the profile and pictures of people , with whom I am no way connected with. It is like a chain reaction. If one of my friend has commented for someone , eventhough I don't know the other person I go and look at the history of their conversation . Is this because I like to know to whom all my friend is connected with or is it out of a small hidden jealousy? I spent long hours looking at the albums of unknown people.. When I go out sometimes I feel I am familiar with some people's faces because knowingly or unknowingly I have come across their pictures in facebook. In total I have become a curious cat..One thing I still don't understand is that why unknown friend requests are always from an unknown male and never from an unknown female.
FB changed a lot in me. The best thing that ever happened to me through FB was that I tracked down my best friend after soo many years. Before using FB I used to call and speak to my friends. But now,Whatever I wish to share with my friends is all updated on my wall. I once read that "facebook is the only place where nobody sees you differently when you talk to the wall." Through each one's wall I can know what is happening around . It is like those walls where you see notices and posters stuck . It reaches one and all the same time. It is also used as a propoganda tool-- to share my scribblings, my children's achievements ,naughtiness, etc etc. My wall has become a board to display my moodswings. Is anybody going to benefit from these information about me?? SMS is outdated now. Phone bills have come down. Once in two hours I check to find out whether anybody has replied or commented on anything. I am always looking out for something new to happen every minute in my pages of FB. I am always excited to refresh the page . I started seeing the world through others eyes. I waste my time "liking" so many things. At the same time I wonder why isn't there a "dislike" ? May be FB is to show your best side to the world I guess. I doubt whether there is always a beauty contest going on in FB because I see people changing their profile pictures quite often. No more long personal mails to friends. It is all cut short into messages in FB. I am more like a science student now--answering to the point. This is my transition from being a Literature student.
The other day I went for a movie with my family. A newly married couple was sitting in the row front of us. Instead of talking to each other I saw the man checking his FB account on his mobile. I see friends going out for dinner and each one checking the FB account in his or her mobile. When you have your friends and family around you what is the need to know what is happening around in your FB account. Everyone seems to be in their own world of choice. Personal interaction is becoming lesser and lesser day by day. In future we all can interact only with virtual beings I guess. We don't want to talk to each other to express ourselves. We only want to type our feelings, emotions and thoughts. We find ourselves more expressive this way. . FB helps me to know about the personal interest of others. Even if I keep quiet FB tempts me to "find my friends using FB". It keeps reminding me to "get connected" with my friends.
Personal always carries the meaning something close to your heart. After signing up in FB I find a lot of things which had a personal touch have become 'things in common". Each relationship is different and each carries a different value. Through FB these days I find I started to weigh all relationship with a same scale unvoluntarily. But trust me all my friends have a special place in my heart. Only when the number of friends is within the limit you have a track of things. When it is uncountable there is no personal touch to anything said. Whenever I want to know what is happening in my friends' side I just go to their profile and find out. I have become so lazy to even call them and talk. Since every activity is recorded in the fb even when I call my friends there is not much to share over the phone other than hear the voice of each other. Actions and reactions are all recorded in words in FB. After a certain period of time it is just an adress book I feel. If I happen to take a spelling test along with a 7 year old kid surely I will fail the test. Language has become more for just communicating . If you stick on to the correct grammar and correct spelling that shows you are outdated in the FB world. To assume myself to be part of the youthful FB world I have to follow all the shortcuts in spelling and grammar. Whatever said and done FB is also a kind of addiction. I want to come out of this web and once again build my relationships on "Personal touch".