When Mark Zuckerberg created this wonder, little did he know that he was about to change the lives of many a college student in more ways than one — a total boon for a few and an infliction for many. Facebook has come a long way from the crude status updates to The Timeline to the Graph Search. Every facebooker has a deep, dark past called Orkut—facebook with just its “comment” and “like” features, toppled the once-super-successful social networking site.
Inspite of the fact that today people from all generations boast of an account on fb, it still holds more relevance to youngsters than to adults. Gone are the days when college celebs were known only by their batchmates. Today a person’s popularity is not only visible to his entire college but also to his distant relatives (often even the irrelevant ones), his colony friends and even his parents (parents have probably got one more number in the form of photo-likes, apart from your class rank to compare you to Sharmaji’s son).This is new—totally new. Never before has the popularity of a person been quantified publicly as it is being done now in terms of fb likes and comments.
From friendly declarations: XYZ, you are my best friend. Happy Bday, to actual fights over ludicrous issues like how-did-her-dp-get-more-likes-than-mine (modern version of uski kameez meri kameez se safed kaise? :P); from Richa’s oh-so-awesome “birthday party pics” (I’m quite sure nobody knew Richa before the party but now everybody wants to know her thanks to the “Page 3 pictures” and the publicity they have engendered) to check-ins at foreign locations or next to a famous stadium or monument—we do it all. Changing rooms of apparel stores have found alternate uses.
Over half a century back, famous American writer Dale Carnegie pointed out: Each one of us has a deep-rooted psychological desire for self-importance. Can this ever-growing trend on facebook of ostentatious public display of what-I’ve-got or what-I’ve-done or What-a-stud-I-am be attributed to this psychological desire? Maybe.
Gaffes are no longer the prerogative of the rich and the famous. Any statement you make could generate a chain of unwanted comments forcing you to retract it. Social insult has found a new name in f-rape (or simply frape) where unattended and password-unprotected cellphones and laptops are used as media to avenge personal grudges. (Ummm…wicked :P)
Facebook allows you to feel meh, bored, excited and to let others know about it—the way celebs tweet about their mood. Facebook has become the “twitter of the laymen”.
Life is unfair and so is facebook. The fairer sex dominates here. Where female self-clicks easily score double centuries, for a guy, even the most beautiful of God’s creations should be contented with a 100+. Reversal of trends ? You also have that what-the-fudge moment when the shy and meek-looking distant cousin comes up with self-clicks wearing weird expressions—Peer pressure.
So what? You’ve got another website that keeps you socially connected and visible. That is the case even with Orkut, Google+, Twitter etc. But one very effective feature of facebook is The Timeline. It means that your kids, 25 years from now, will be able to (more than) clearly see how you were in school and college. You may have given up using “ma” for “my” (as in “ma friends”) but your timeline will have it all even then. So, in future, be careful before brandishing that cane at your child for using the F-word—he might show you one of your instances from the past. Kalyug aane waala hai bhai !! :P