Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Social Networking syndrome

I call it syndrome because it has gripped the nation's pulse even more than H1N1 virus could fathom. And then someone asks me, how can you be called even remotely social if you are not on at least one of the current breed of "social networks"? Point. And then there were some who took a step further to define/score you on your "social quotient"(IQ, EQ, HQs are passe) depending on how strong your presence is on those sites. Well, so much for being a part of the increasingly tech-enabled world. You socialize technically, not physically.

Personally, I was averse to these sites until some months back. I believed they do no better than to consume a sizable portion of one's real life and transform his existence into a virtual one, literally. I was missing out something they said. What it is, let me find out and so I networked my way into the Web world. And lo, what I behold!! Someone's getting a makeover, someone a car. Someone acquires new found freedom, someone relinquishes his. Someone changes his source of livelihood, someone's got into parenthood. Nothing's personal anymore but everything's public now. "Social" is the new buzz word. Celebrate your "socialhood"!!

This Zuckerberg's one clever man, I say. He excels in the art of getting the cat out of your bag while successfully managing to hide his own skeletons in his well-guarded personal cupboard. He tricks you into believing that he has given you a platform to express yourself, to bond with some faceless "virtual" friend or even express solidarity with a cause. If you could nurture friendships over networks or fight a cause by clicking "like", life would have so much easier and simpler for all of us. A nation could have been salvaged. No? But none the easier. Didn't you socialize before they existed? What good does telling others "I love my Mom" do, if you can't say those words to her yourself? Or have you been tricked already into believing that your social existence has found a new meaning or credence because you have oh, so many followers who indiscriminately click "like" on your posts/photos? Facebook anyone, oops..thoughts anyone?

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed here are explicitly of the author.


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