Friday, May 7, 2010

Social and Unsocial networking!

I have often wondered if all the buzz about social networking sites mean that we are really becoming more social! Are we sort of bonding more with one another! May be across the boundaries of cities/countries/religion/age! Is it kind of the way John Lennon says "Imagine there is no country/it's not hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for/and no religion too/Imagine all the people/living life in peace".

How I wish that was true. But well, I don't think so. I think somehow somewhere, "social networking" has the potential to make us more unsocial! For many of us, who do not like to face reality and like to live in a virtual world, these places give a perfect hide out! Its a make believe situation, a place where you can fool yourself! For example, you have a lot of friends in your list, but how many of them are really your friends! How many of them will turn up in the middle of the night if you call them in the middle of a crisis. With how many of them you will even want to share your tears! Not many, I guess. So what is the point! "Society"/"friends" are supposed to be a kind of support system isn't it?

In this age of consumerism, thanks to our highly fashionable hi-tech cell phones or the laptops and palm tops etc it seems that "we are connected to our friends all the time". But I fear in the midst of all this, we are actually losing the connection with the real people. The real 'friends' you know, the people who matter! People like your mom, dad or may be your husband or wife or may be your siblings/cousins or may be even your neighbours! Well, they wont post a comment on your latest snazzy snap or wont even "poke/scrap" you but aren't they the ones who are supposed to matter!

I have even seen young couples who after coming back from a hard day's work from office, instead of talking to each other, spend the rest of the evening in social networking sites! It relaxes them! Call me old fashioned, but aren't they wasting precious time which they could have used to bond with each other- in a meaningful way perhaps! After all, Life is finite. Kya pata kal ho na ho!

I have heard often times that keeping "relation with relatives" is really challenging. They tend to judge you, not care for you, are prone to jealousy etc etc. Which unfortunately is all true! But well, that is how we human beings are! Our virtual friends if happen to become "real" somehow will also show exactly the same colours. It is difficult to generalize. There are good people and there are bad people- whether they are virtual or real! It is your luck I guess as to whom you come across. But unless you are ready to invest your time, take a bit of risk and come out of your insecurities how will you ever find out!

Don't get me wrong, I am not at all against of any of the social networking sites. I myself have found many of my old friends through them, which otherwise would have been impossible. The social networking in the form of my blog helps me share my thoughts with many people (people who matter though:-)) I also quite admire the fact that you can actually come across so many people who perhaps share the same interest and that gives a platform to share your thoughts with them. It is amazing how it can help you when you feel lonely too! But I am also certain that like everything else, if we do not know how to use it, it will actually make us more unsocial, more isolated and perhaps sometimes even lonelier!
What do you think!


  1. First of all, a very well thought write-up, indeed ! Thanks for provoking thoughts even in others.

    For our generation and the genartions younger, its a way to escape from reality, to escape from the everyday boredom of the same old relationships, same old life....probably its also a way to look for a little praise of our inner thoughts, appreciation for any creativity which probably goes unrecognized with the people we are sorrounded by in real world.

    In search of true happiness, we get confused and tend to depend on this virtual world which boosts our ego in some way or the other.

    Life goes in cycle, we will also come out of this sooner or later. Hope, it is not too late by then !

  2. There is lot of truth in your ramblings - shift from the real to a more virtual world to combat lonliness or find friends.
    Social networking sites are short term solutions not a long or permanent.

  3. Your post poses many pertinent questions...
    social networking is now a common fad and most of us get hooked on to it without often being very rational in our approach.
    However, I do not endorse the view that the 'social networking phenomenon' makes us unsocial, as might seem evident in many of us actually losing touch with our 'real' friends/loved ones. It is just a pastime obsession for the majority, not a major cause of concern.
    As most virtual obsessions (like texting jokes and inane forwarded messages, or playing cyber-games), this too shall soon wear thin. As far as losing out on real opportunities with the ones who matter, or should matter, the blame should lie on the inherent dysfunctional parameters in the individuals themselves or in their prevailing 'realities'; a tool or a gadget can at best fill up a pre-existing vacuum, nothing else.