Facebook has now become such an essential part of our daily existence that sometimes I wonder if our virtual lives have truly become inseparable from our real ones. And then I do not really find this existentialism monologue about the virtual self and real self very interesting so I move on to more pressing issues- that of our mothers on Facebook. Dear God, what a disaster! I do believe that the poor bloke who launched Friendster, and the equally sympathy-deserving blokes at Google who have yet again tried the “invite only” magic with Google+ (only this time I believe it is failing miserably; at least I deleted my account a week after my curiosity was satiated; but I digress) and ones at the more unfamiliar sites- MySpace, Ninig, hi5 (remember??!!) and Bebo do stand a chance at comebacks, market-share snatchings and popularity boosts. All because the young and younger alike are suddenly finding the lengthening relatives’ list on Facebook rather unacceptable.
See, the average young woman or man in India is always in a bit of a tussle, what with being pulled on the one side by traditional expectations of the family who ironically were supposed to love you unconditionally, and on the other side by the equally compelling, though much less emotionally-taxing glitter of the “Western” influence. More than a decade after we globalized and liberalized, we are still in that transitional phase, which owing to its longevity can safely be said to have outgrown its name. There is constant turmoil around the said average youth who has now been forced to embrace dual-personality lifestyle of sorts in the bid to claim the free-spirited existence while appeasing the previous generations.
WithFacebook now being firmly implanted as an essential part of the “growing up”, “has grown up”, “has aged”, and “has retired” years, the turmoil between the family personality of an individual and the other personality of the same individual finds space in the virtual world too. I say “other personality” because I do not really believe that the true, natural self is embedded deep within every person, sometimes never to be unearthed from amidst the influences of television and peer-pressure.
But coming back to our subject, while in the good old days when the Internet was still in its nascent stage and when the oldies did not know what TTYL and ROFL meant, one could fearlessly cuss, remember funny drinking and smoking incidents and plans for rave parties online. But with the advent of not only the family adults but also the family juniors, the average youth cannot be her/his usual self or proudly proclaim the current relationship status for fear that s/he will face censure from the home front on not just the content of a given post on Facebook but also on the count of corrupting the impressionable minds of the little ones who have suddenly started swarming the social networking arena too.
And the Mark Zuckerbergs of the MITs and Harvards can all come together but they cannot develop privacy-controloptions clever enough to keep our mothersout of our walls andposts