At my study place, I have no friends. I identify myself with no particular hobbies or interests, and my birthday never comes. Quite simply, I do not exist. While these statements are thankfully untrue, they might easily be inferred from my one great social failing: I remain absent from Facebook.


Facebook has become an essential part of our every day lives. It is now as important as using cell phones, e-mails and any other sort of technological advancement used for communication between two students or as a matter of fact, anyone who has any social circle at all! Facebook has set a new standard for itself in being the one and true governing body for the youth. At a certain age, people tend to enjoy the face-booking a lot. “Poke” or “hug” are your new best friends and maintain the standard of being akin to physical action. The information is considered definitive. When accepting a friend request, bear in mind that this is to corroborate a real-life friendship. Indeed, to sign up for Facebook is to index one’s existence.


As I know firsthand, unofficial survival as a university student can be a demanding endeavour. Finding out a classmate’s birthday might require an actual tête-à-tête, and arrangement of an event entails individual e-mails or (God forbid) phone calls to invitees. And in the concise few years since “Facebook” connected with the ranks of “Google” as a grammatically confused verb, each meeting with an amiable new acquaintance has inevitably concluded with, “Hey, I’ll Facebook you.” Forced to explain that I am un-Facebook-able, I usually defend my abstinence by saying, “I like my freedom.”


To my naive eyes, it looks as though Facebook can be as much of a trouble as a redeemer. Visualize the penalty of leaving one’s Facebook unattended for a week: You could overlook a friend’s birthday. You could roughly (though inadvertently) take no notice of a friend request from a fresh real-life friend. You may be the joke of the century and be deprived of the right to defend yourself. You might be the centre of attraction for a picture and you might not know. So there is a lot you are risking when you choose not to log on for an entire week! “Sometimes people might have a party or an event and alert people through Facebook invitations,” says a Facebook devotee friend, “and then people don’t hear about it until much later, if they don’t check.” Keeping and nurturing a Facebook profile has become a rising fad now. A typical teen life includes the responsibility of checking the Facebook and making sure that everybody knows that you still exist!


Like the cell phone and computer, Facebook has already achieved the status of “incomplete without it”. If this remains the case for even further times then stubborn activists and holdouts will have to contemplate. Joining the bandwagon and letting go off all the suicidal grudges will be the only option left. If eventually I do decide to let go the dark ages that surround me and join the million teenagers and the aged to pronounce my existence, I will always be influenced by an indelible memory. If I do choose to pull myself out of the Dark Ages and join the legions of teen Facebook dwellers, my decision will be influenced by one indelible memory. On the last day of my friends’ departure to Australia on a study trip, I saw his family say goodbye to him. In a teary embrace, one whispered to the other, “Get a Facebook.”


Arooj Fatima

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