Q: Why are you on Social Networking sites?
A: Social networking is cool. it’s hip. It’s ‘with the times’.
Q: Those are its characteristics; good. But, why are you on these sites?
A: It let’s me stay in touch with people. I can tell my friends about my life. Plus, everyone on it, dude!!!
If you ever have/had this conversation with your conscience/or someone, read on…If you are not moved, definitely read on!
That’s what everybody around me says when I ask them – why did you join this? Because, everyone is on it! Worse, I asked myself, and got the same answer!
I have had it. I have made peace with ‘Active’ Social Networking. I define ‘Active’ social networking as something in which I post intimate details of my life on a periodic/intermittent, but frequent basis (ex. Facebook, twitter etc.). I will continue with ‘passive forms’ of networking like linkedin, blogging etc., where neither I expose my life to ‘virtual unknowns’ nor get exposed to things like “IPL weekend photos”, “Honeymoon pics”, “Crazy Status Messages and tweets” and long comment chains!!
Why I did so?
#1 Disillusioned with looking at pictures people post/status message/chain of comments or update and open their life to a stranger like me. Same goes for them.
#2 Amount of time I spend on these sites in office, and in home.
#3 Intrusion of privacy (I do) by checking individual profiles often visibly/invisibly (I felt ashamed!).
#4 Too much Unnecessary Information…overload actually!
#5 Out of 300 odd friends I have/had (?), I follow not more than 5 of them…
#6 Looking at amazing pictures people post, I am tempted to spend my money on expensive SLRs and exotic travel..moerover, all these m.xxx.com sites and ‘forever’, ’24X7 online’ and ‘on-the-go’ social networking means buying an expensive phone and service…(for me 2G is good enough)
#7 Birthday wishes from random people. People who used to phone, now do it on my wall/via tweet/scrap me. I hate ‘just-for-the-sake’ wishes and double hate people who need to be reminded of my birthday via calendar programs in Facebook.
#8 ‘so-called’ cool apps (like forecast, astrology, tag etc.)/ stupid communities, groups and causes I joined/became a fan off…After which my profiles were spammed with all junk info!!!
# 9 I became lazy (all the time on laptop).. on second thoughts, I still am lazy…:)
#10 Most important – Too little time with ‘real’ people in my life…
I was an addict and I didn’t go to ‘AA‘ to get rid of my addiction. I just gave it a thought. And I was clear! Enough is enough. If I want a ‘social’ tag, I will keep in contact with core set of people that I would like to talk to, in any manner possible. I have a good plan on my mobile, which is cheap. I am also powered by the Email and Indian Post.
I am happy, peaceful, talking to and spending time with people, reading books and thinking these days. There is no sudden urge or need to connect, belong, communicate, exhibit, entertain, intrude, watch, spy, sell, promote, follow or simply waste time. I think of writing more often. I feel good in office and in home.
I am not a social activist fighting for ‘save the snail mail’ or ‘down-with-technology’ campaigns. Nor I suggest you to do the same. I would just request you to give a good, deep thought to being ‘virtual’ly social or socially virtual’…
P.S> Those of you thinking about thoughts like ‘do-in-moderation’ and ‘do-a-balancing-act’ etc., contact me at once! I would like to be your disciple and learn the dying art. Who knows, I may walk the alleys of Facebook again…