August 25, 2014

Love or lust, for social networking? ~ From a Nomad's Diary

Posted by Narayani Karthik at 9:40 AM
(Below is a fictional conversation)

X: “Hey! Check out my selfie with my fiancée.”
Y: “Really? Shared already? Quite quick you are dear!”
X: “Oh it is…!! After all, it is my new phone and the clicking experiments are so much fun!! It feels awesome!!”
Y:”Wow! Which phone? Your pics are too good! I love your expressions!! So much of love….so much cuteness…..adorable you both are!! Awesome!!”
X: “Thanks!! Can’t believe I already have got so much likes for the pic!”
Y: “Just wait till they flood!! Ok! Got to go!! Ciao….xoxoxo!”

Why do we love the Internet? Why do we love the web? Why is this virtual world like a natural cocaine for us? Why does it feel good to reach out to people you do not know, over photos, groups, books, interests, food etcs? Why does it get more exciting when ‘xoxo’, ‘cheers’ and sweet chocolaty messages flood your timeline or your screen? The answer is so palpable!! Isn’t it?

Much has been written about how our social lives have undergone a paradigm shift and most of us find solace in ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘promotions’, et al. Some of us love our own pictures in different poses so much, that the expectation to get a ‘like’ is more exhilarating than waiting for that much awaited message to flash on the mobile screen on payday! A ‘selfie’ is a must for people no matter which age group one belongs to! And to start with, selfies come in various forms..different outfits and different expressions, same outfit and different expressions and then, different outfits and different apparels!! Do a math and one can calculate how active a person’s social life is in terms of friends, fans and countless unknown admirers. Even when meeting a friend or a relation in person, or maybe pitching in for potlucks and family dinners or going out with friends to a lounge or disc or even going for a long drive with family must necessarily find a mention on one’s timeline.

Is it what the word social means? To show the world that you are important just like the celebrity who does not have anything to own up as his/her. Today, each one of us in the virtual world is a celebrity of sorts, a mini to say so. “Feeling low”, “feeling blessed”, “feeling happy”, “feeling satisfied”, “slurping and burping”, “feeling lonely”, “feeling hungry”, and name the feeling, the emotions are right there on a domain where there is nothing private. The world has to know what you feel. The world has to know when you laugh, cry or get hurt (physically and mentally alike). The world also has to make sure that there are enough agony aunts and sympathetic souls out there to offer you solace, share joy and give an emotional support whenever you need. It is a world that has to essentially know everything about you, with you expecting the same.

And it is here, I am tempted to believe, we are all lonely now, lonelier than before. Be it having a buffet lunch with friends at a star rated restaurant, or dining with family at home, be it shopping in the posh malls of the city, or be it cruising away to exotic holiday destinations, the urge to share it with the virtual world has become a necessity or perhaps, an act propelled by addiction. The world must know, how happy you are. Or perhaps, is it you who wants to desperately convince self, “I am happy, no matter what!”?

But then, if one were to see the flip side of everything, pessimism would overrule all hopes on being better! And, before I sound critical of what social life has become today, let me share my second perspective. At least, I would like to believe there has been some good too. Connecting with like minded people, sharing knowledge and enriching it, picking on new hobbies and experimenting a variety of recipes on untried taste buds, exploring a spiritual side in self, home makers turning into entrepreneurs from home and a lot more, are some encouraging signs in social lives of many today. The hope to learn, the faith to achieve and the gumption to step out and pursue one’s dreams is no less than a feat for many educated home makers for whom, virtual world is surely a blessing. The catch however lies in the reigns that control the addiction to this world. And who holds the reigns, but our minds! The heart is free to feel anything but it is the mind that balances the rationale. Considering the mania that has taken over, how paramount a role shall this world play in our lives? And, for better or for worse? Only time shall tell!


AVY on August 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM said...

I sometimes hate the Internet because it asks me to be happy when I'm not. I want to just disconnect from the world but where would I go then?

/ Avy

Deepa on August 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM said...

SOmetimes I am at someone's wedding. i reaach home, open facebook and see them updated their relation status to "married"
there are people who specially message to say. please LIKE my pic na then I will be it will be 600 and I will be the top in my class.
weird scenario

Abhishek on August 27, 2014 at 12:56 PM said...

Change will be always there. It is bad but it also brings some good. You can't avoid it as it is inevitable..... It has weakened the actual real relationships but has also made connections faster or finding people easier. So we have to accept the change at the end of the day. Nice post btw. I only believe that technology is best when one uses it to a safe limit....

Narayani Karthik on August 27, 2014 at 10:03 PM said...

Rightly put, Abhishek!! Limit is what everything was ever about......

DEE DEE, there are many people such as the one you mentioned, who find themselves prettier or more celebrity type in the timelines and photos of social networking sites, than what the mirror shows :) That is how lonely people have become without even realizing it!! Sad, but true..!!

Ph_ on August 31, 2014 at 10:32 PM said...

Good views on serious matter of social networking!

Unknown on September 3, 2014 at 10:33 PM said...

I just came accross ur blog accidently.. excellent article and very well put. A blog for the keeps.

Keirthana on September 5, 2014 at 11:51 AM said...

Social life has got its meaning changed to virtual life and false impressions. Socializing to me means actually getting to know people and share things. But all it seems to be about is improving one's image in the circle and impressing others by true or fake postings.

What is being posted doesn't matter anymore only how many likes and comments it got are. Sad!

Destination Infinity on October 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM said...

People want to be addicted to something, from tea to alcohol. Why not social networking?

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