Face Off

Well, the pitch and velocity of the generation Z seems to be bugged by a disorder. No, it’s not swine flu. It’s the new trend, the voice of the so-called youngistaan. Yes friends it is the ‘orkut’ fever, or in biological terminology the ‘Facebook’ disorder.

Call it a miracle, destiny or anything that niches the excuse, I belong to this Z tribe since I am just 18. Imagine a ‘loner’ in a world of self proclaimed socially active teens. But that’s how I am even at the cost of survival; I hate the doctrines of social networking. In my city, Agra, people of my race, started with Hi5, moved on to Orkut and are finally living on Facebook. Nothing to worry about, Twitter will not be left out. They will soon discover it as well. It’s like fashion for them, which I personally proclaim ugly, even though being the eldest tech freaks in the city. (This is not self-proclaimed).

Anyhow, if I happen to meet any old acquaintance from my schools, forget other things, I am enquired for the first and the last time whether I am on Facebook or not. If I am there, it’s a signal that we will meet again and if I am not, then it’s just a nice meeting. I have got habitual of saying no and giving a dumb expression depicting ‘I-don’t-wish-seeing-you-again’ (even if it is a beautiful gal). I know that’s a sacrifice but one question, why should I join a social networking website? My answer, “Mommy, I have enough friends in real life”. I would prefer to call each one of them every week at my place for a cup of mocha and have lively chat, rather than posting silly scraps and messages on their, HTML coded profiles every minute of my life.

If you feel, you are socially active by increasing the number next to your ‘My friends’ column, then get a reality check. It’s an addiction, where each and every profile features the best of its owner’s life, epitomizing a happy-go-lucky world. In other words, you get disconnected from the real world and enter a virtual world, where you design things for yourself accordingly. And these people desire to be your friends.

Where the hell are the real human communication and interactions? You might be scrapping many people in one instant but you are losing the skill of face to face communication. Here’s another reason, what about others doing a peek-a-boo in every instant of your life. Well, I am against the thought of people infringing my privacy. But I guess, as long as I remember, kids who were plump, had no friends, and flaunted a running nose, liked to depict about whatever they are doing, what they will do, all announcements in public so that they may get a pal. But I guess this disorder has sting each and ever member of Orkut and Facebook (atleast all the kids in my city). For instance, they’d like to post a status message, ‘exams over’, ‘boozing in Delhi’, flying in Mumbai’, ‘lazy in love’……..and many others. I don’t find it cool; rather I call it social impotence. You are so desperate to share your life, that you are updating your profile almost twice a day with your pictures and interest, which are no more your property but of the site administrators (as per the terms and conditions laid at the time of registration, which we bye pass and move the arrow to “I accept” ) .

The question which most of my well wishers put up is, “Don’t you have any friends, boy” and I answer esthetically in a sour fashion, “No sir, I don’t have friends. I have nothing to loose”………knowing the fact that the question is just to endorse the thought that they searched for me on orkut, Facebook, hi5 but couldn’t find a trace.

I do have a knack for connecting with different kinds of people; I get the greatest high in this act. But my procedure and methods are far away from just scrapping all day on such so called social networking websites. Perhaps, I am more frustrated because I see my colleagues, scrapping and announcing their relationship status (which surely is altered every week) and then deriving an unexplained pleasure out of it. As if the non-orkuteers and non-Facebookees don’t have girlfriends or boy friends. Precisely, we all are growing to be of voyeuristic conduct. We enjoy looking into the lives of other people and measuring bliss out of it.

In the specific case of teenagers being the most active users of orkut and Facebook in India, I firmly believe that the cause behind it is the desire to be known and recognized. I wish to be recognized by my thoughts and works and not by the number of friends on my social home page. Well I guess that is the reason, the most unpopular boy and the imposter girl from my class are the coolest people there. That’s true; I am not popular as much they are. But the grounds of popularity are distinct for me and them. They are about to enter college and are still aiming to be popular in their high school batch. For me, on the contrary, I have found a new niche to get popular, i.e. arts.

I had heard of anti-Facebook groups on Facebook itself. I have a question if you are debarring that, why the hell you are endorsing it on Facebook? God knows, but I am waiting for the day each member of these sites will get an email to pay 10$ every month in order to continue their accounts. I hope everyone remembers the story of Yahoo Geocities which is shutting down very soon this year.

So friends, if you feel you are convinced by my thoughts even by .01%, then do tell me. I’ll start claiming to cure one patient!!!!

Mayank Bhayana