Let’s rewind back a little. This is the year of 2007. I was in the Xth standard that time and with no Sibbal to mess up with the education system, was anxious of the upcoming board exam. Orkut was just catching up with the users, there was a hot wave of services like Y! Messenger, Rediff Messenger and MSN messengers. Sify was still alive and so were sites like indiatimes, in.com etc. The scope of social networking was very limited till then. There was no facebook, myspace or twitter in the picture then, at least in my friend group.
The boom of social networking in India can be easily accredited to Orkut.com. It was the first site which many people got addicted to. It was first of its kind. A personal space to make friends and express opinions. So many of my friends’ love stories started and ended on orkut. I remember I was in Kota that time and mere teenagers in the age group of 16-18 would flock the cyber cafes to ‘do’ orkut for hours. Yes, it was the first addiction.
I guess it was around 2008 that came the wave of facebook in India. People were reluctant to change, but eventually they gave in, and facebook opened doors to a new age of social networking. The privacy of a user became negligible as compared to orkut. It was all about openness. It gave rise to an ugly side of social networking. It became more than an addiction. It entered our system and became a necessity. And before we even realised, the blue giant had engulfed us with the promise of a happy world. Such was the power of facebook that it killed bigger players like Google, Myspace and what not?
So, why are we so addicted to facebook? Why facebook became so popular? Facebook gave rise to an alter-ego of us. Everyone is nice on facebook and everyone is happy. It is the ‘fake’ side of us which we want to cherish. What facebook has done to us is beyond explanations. It has intensified the desperation for appreciation among us. In today’s era, or in fact it’s a common thing that we are more interested in other’s life more than ours. Facebook has provided a medium for that, which has made it this popular. What we fail to realise is it is this medium which has made our ‘fake’ self suppress the ‘real’ one. People act nicer and seem happier on a social networking site. Everything is ‘sunny’ and ‘rocking’. It has given rise to fake appreciation and a fake way of life.
I am not against facebook. In fact I am an active facebook user. I just hope, this way of life doesn’t continue for long. If one day the facebook servers crash, I am afraid that it will end a part of life of each one of the billion users fb boasts about. Maybe, then it will make way for the real way of living, because for now even the homepage tag line gives a fake vibe.