Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Let's Face It...

Facebook is a social network, where friends and family can connect with each other no matter what the distance is between them. One can chat live or write contents off line. Leave comments that are clear and explicable to the profile owner or leave them stunned or baffled with sardonic remarks. Though I was aware of this social network, I didn’t advocate on becoming a member until a few months ago when I was invited to see some family photographs that left me with no option but to join the network. I joined this network with the sole purpose of meeting with family and friends, to get to know their well being and maybe see some of them digitally.

Now we have the opportunity to meet with friends and family whom we have not met for decades and or living poles apart. Social networking has become a fashion icon amongst the younger generation and an analgesic to us the Forty something….Once you get on Facebook, there is no way you are going out of it, even if you wanted to and that is why, I termed it as an ‘analgesic’ because you get hooked to it one way or the other. For many it’s not only as regards to the social contact and communications that draws them toward Facebook but also because of the countless games that entice them . Nonetheless it has become a popular leisure pursuit on cyberspace.

Getting to know new people is a wonderful idea, but we got to be careful with whom we befriend on Facebook. Some add unknown people just to increase their number on their friends list, some for fun and yet some to stalk people and scare the hell out of them. There are many positive and negative aspects of being connected on a social network like Facebook. Advantages are the user gets to be In touch with friends and family on a daily basis - gets to know what friends are up to and where they are. In addition, to this, the comments written on a friends wall post could make or break their day, either with a smile , a blush or leave them wondering “what the hell !".

As much as the many positive attributes of social networking , there’s the malevolence side too. Users soak up so much into it, that they tend to write their personal issues and squabbles, thus create a mockery within the group of people .Then there are some who are likely to get irritated or agitated with the comments that is writen on their wall posts or cast lewd remarks on the photographs that are displayed which subsequently cause a rift between the people concerned .Sometimes the comments are irrelevant. The mode of commenting shows the attitude in us, so let’s employ kindness in our writing and cheer up the person on the other end of the line.

Every now and then we are put into uncomfortable circumstances when someone we didn’t know sends us a friend request, If we actually didn’t know the person , we must not feel bad about ignoring that request, after all we have to be careful and on the look out with whom we communicate on the network. I say this ,because there are malicious people using fake profiles who would lure us under the pretext of friendship., So let us always be on the alert.

Face book is also used in a nonsensical manner, a medium to vent out the frustration on friends, family and others, an easy way of expressing ones anger and hatred towards one other. It may be used as a platform to criticize, ridicule and abuse others.
Let’s not put anyone in an embarrassing or awkward situation, if we wish to criticize another user, utilize the message box instead. Many youngsters I have observed ,when they wanted to be expressive cynically or otherwise , become a fan of one of the many love – hate groups available , pick up a related -subject matter and thus make their opinion known publicly on the Home News Feed .Another discovery I made on Face book is the badge/ button/ or emblem ( call it whatever you may) which says ‘See who is viewing your profile’? I wonder who else view our pages besides the friends we have on our friend list? Cats..dogs ..kangaroos??

As for me while lazing on a quiet, hot mid-morning here in the Middle Eastern desert land, I get contentment in cyber space not only from communicating with family/ friends ,but also at the prospect of embracing the different seasons on the other side of the globe .Not surprising though, I get the opportunity ( all in one go- without even boarding a flight) to vividly, view the picturesque lush greenery and the sweet Spring blossoms in Europe, the snowy white caps in the mountainous Pacific or to feel the warmth of Asia that rekindle sweet memories of yesteryear. Even if those visuals are only virtual - who cares? That's facebooking !