Hey, we met on the last college fest, you looked like a cool dude, add me on FB would you? Yeah we work in the same office, and were in training together, add me to your circle. I am that girl you saw across the street, follow me on twitter. Share this 500 long blabbering about a boy in Africa, and he is gonna get a Mercedes. RT my tweet, and make the politicians quake in their feet. Like my photos, +1 my post, favorite my tweets. And why haven’t you shared my Instagram pic of a burger in Sepia, don’t you love the mayo just flowing over the patty? Sounds familiar? I thought so.
What happened to the internet. It was a cold and dark place, where people with cool (fake) names who knew the difference between a router and modem used to converge wearing dark and long hoods, to discuss things like Superman’s death, and Age of Empires cheat codes. When did it become so shiny and glossy, that your eyes bleed just by looking at it. For almost all its life internet has kept a low profile, and suddenly its the one thing everyone is talking about, or should I say, talking on.
I don’t have anything against social media, I really don’t. In fact, I am one of the founding members of Gmail, Skype, and Facebook (I was in their closed betas, when they worked on invites). But its suffering from the same problems, because of which people opted for virtual socializing in the first place.
Back in the days, when I created my profile. I named it ‘Punkeshwar’ or ‘Kabel’ or ‘Scoobydooo’ or ‘Satan’s second son’, because I thought it was bloody cool. This profile was something behind which I can hide and let my alter ego take over. On the internet I was this super-cool spike haired dude, who spoke in C++, and was a ‘REAL BATMAN FAN’. Now it’s all pictures of you, and your dog, and your house, and your shoes; it’s you all over again, with your jobs, and movies. It’s just plain boring.
On the internet I could rant about my boss, I could bad-mouth my best friend, I could even lament on my parents (never did this though), and they would be none the wiser. You see those confession pages, which are so popular these days, that’s how the whole internet was, before Justin Timberlake advised that skinny guy to drop the ‘THE’. Internet was a place where insults flew freely, and you had to be hard skinned before you could write your first comment, but it was inconsequential. Try tweeting something radical today, and not get a lawsuit slapped across your pretty red face.
So you have been mates since grade 1, and he is moving to Wisconsin, don’t worry Facebook keeps you in touch. That ‘one that got away’, you just found him on twitter. Your old flame, she now has you in your circle, ‘wait what?’ Try refusing your boss’s friend request, or explaining to your father why he doesn’t see your updates in his stream (much easier than explaining why your pic shows you in a beach when your said you were in office, believe me).
The truth is; as more and more people start using the internet, they mimic what they do in the real world. Social media has all the pros and cons of a real society. You can keep in touch with your best friends, but you have to maintain appearances with most. They get hurt when your reply rudely, they get worried when you don’t reply, they get obsessive when you reply to someone else, and need their space when you reply too much. You have to accept request, because it would be rude not to, you have to say hi to every chat, because its bad manners, and you have to like your girlfriend’s status or god save your soul.
I would have asked you to save the internet, but I am afraid a lot of people are already on it. I even think there is a page for it. The fact is things change, and I am okay with that, just don’t expect me to add you as a friend so soon.
P.S. The author has 185 friends on FB, 66 followers on Twitter, and 69 people have him in his circle on Google+
P.P.S. The author likes to create and add details to his profiles on various portals when bored.