The facebook is particularly a peculiar place and never has the human want for need of an 'identity' surfaced more than here. It puzzles me why people post pictures on fb (Am NOT talking of profile pictures). I am extremely sorry if the following lines hurt anyone's sensitivity. I am not perfect either and this is just an offbeat rant of a chaotic mind that tends to complicate things.
'Bangalore trip - awwwsome funnnn' - A photo album is created by X. I dont understand why people would be interested to see X posing with parents, cousins, cars, birds etc etc. I mean, wht is the necessity? Even more inane are status messages of personal feelings. "I love Sunday morninnnnnngsssssss!!!" (Ok, good for you!) You can also be sure that only those pictures in which X looks okay would have been uploaded. Big smiles, pretty clothes, laughing faces - wow! yes, your life is indeed perfect and rocking, I accept. I know many wouldnt agree with me but I seriously cannot phanthom a utility for publishing pictures. I am guilty of all these too. I wonder now though of the deep drive behind the act.
Photographs are where you capture moments that gave you a lot of joy, so that everytime you look at them, you can live the memories again. In short, a photograph is FOR YOU. Why want everyone to see it? Comments, replies - a form of self-indulgement? I can understand if it is a big event of your life and you want to share it. Or perhaps those photos that include in them a lot of other friends on fb. Yet, things like your personal hiking trip to the mountains or your visit to the zoo? I dont understand. Also is this whole phenomenon making stronger the habit of always being interested in others' lives? I see some party photos of a college mate and I click on them and as i go from one picture to another, what am I really thinking? Nothing actually. I just involuntarily stare with no fixation. A blank mind. Perhaps I am unconsciously checking out the 'pretty' factor of the girls on the pic. Perhaps not. Just random gazing... just like we turn to stare at the gorgeous chick on the road or the exquisite house. Impulsive and useless. In fact, it is probably just reinforcing the self's attachment towards the superficial.
Facebook connects but it doesnt CONNECT. As in, imagine a series of scattered dots. Social networking draws a line between all these. Yet, it doesnt bring them closer. I know where you are, where you went, what you ate, what you were wearing etc etc., but it makes no difference to how much I 'liked' you before or how closely bonded we were. I still believe a single mail or chat conversation does more wonders than status messages or comments.
(Conclusion: I dont know. It is true that many of our acts are primal, spurred by a less than perfect cause or justification. Yes, perhaps the root motive was indeed not noble. Yet, I cant get all misanthropic because end of the day, I am a social animal too and I feel good to have received comments. We all need each other, whatever the reason might be. I guess it is no good to dig deeper and deeper into explanations. No matter what the reason why I uploaded that pretty picture, end of the day when I see a lot of comments on it, I feel that there are indeed a lot of people out there for me (illusion though it might be). Yes! that is the base line. Social networking makes us feel that we are indeed still secure and safely surrounded by people who are interested in us and this feeling is what makes life go on and the mind sane. )
Diverging on another point, it troubles me that n the place where there really needs to be a proper picture, the need is overlooked. I mean the profile picture. For heavensake, we know you are artistic. There is no need to show it by posing in weird angles wherein I can only see 1/56th of your face properly or keeping chinese tatoos or Angelina Jolie as your profile picture. If people want to connect with you and search you on fb, which is believe is the main utility of it, there needs to be a proper picture for immediate recognition. You could go for creative photography classes if you want to take 'extraordinary' pictures and probably publish it in an album. Also, I respect your sense of privacy but why the hell cant you fill in that empty profile with some information? I do want to know how you are doing in life now. Stuff like where you are put up, where you are working etc. What is the harm? I am not asking for your complete address (In case you thought you could get kidnapped or worse, I would pay a surprise visit). Atleast update the education and work section. It helps. Do you think just by adding your employer's name, you will be tracked down? Plzzz.