Monday, April 5, 2010

Networking or Vanity?

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.


mr.weirdo!! said...

before i start the actual comment let me make it clear am not contradicting ur points. am just going to put forward what came to my mind on reading this post. oh btw sorry for publishing it late - something wrong wid office network.

people use fb or any such social networking site for 2 reason - to show off or just to publish watever thoughts/idea comes to their mind. we are now cultured to tell what comes to our mind to the world. these sites are moving the blogging culture to the next level in that every thought be it silly or intelligent get published to the world and an array of opinions on the opinion fill the space. its like suddenly every1 has an opinion and every1 wants to speak out. i wonder they are practising for GD here. should have a survey on people's performance in GD before and after exposure to this phenomenon - lol. In more lighter vein, where else do we have the leisure or rather luxury to notice that you have corrected your eye brows or your straightened hair and all the pretty factors :D ... and in serious vein (is that a phrase or i just invented 1? ) we as dreamers - dont we love to procrastinate and dawdle by just observing the world - y cant v adapt to looking at pictures - a world in itself :)

i would like to link ur previous topic abt writing and this. we agree expressing watever comes to our mind is not being appreciated and its more of catering to the needs nowadays if some1 in fb uses it for his/her wish in his/her own way by posting things she like can it be deemed wrong? am not sure. but then again like i say maybe the motive justifies it. But again like u pointed out if u dig deeper everything will seem right and everything ll end up being confusing. But we should come to terms that Fb and others are not used for connecting ppl its more of making a statement and wanting to be heard/ viewed. its becoming more of a race as to who gives the best opinion and who posts the best pic and who gives the best comment for that. if you say u are using it to find a person u lost touch 10yrs back - well thats ur motive - but not for others and not for Mark Zuckerberg as he wanted people who know each other to cnnect here and meant it as a forum. so if u find some1 wid an askew look and weird looks then u should know thats how these ppl want them to be seen. i strongly believe these sites bring out tht d real you and place it in front of the world. but will it connect ppl? oh no. it only makes us peep into the person's life .. its up to the people to connect through it... after all this is a tool that can be used by any1 at their please.

u should note here that am just typing wat ever comes in the flow widout bothering if u will like reading it or ur followers ll appreciate of it ... by this i may be catergorized as the "oh i love sunday" ... i think now that these status in fb are used as a cue by people to start a conversation.

abhster said...

one of my mother's less attractive quality is that loves taking photographs of herself ( i.e dubai trip , al ain oasis ) , and then she tends to send it to her relatives . When I say " who will want to open our photos ? " she just says " these are our memories shared with others. " Memories ? yes . Good memories ? no . When I look at one of my family photos , I distinctly remember my mother pulling me by the ear into the seat where the photo was being taken . I have a friend who did college in Abu Dhabi . She said her professors' instructions were to keep profile pictures in which facial features were unclear , yet not blurry so anybody who knows you personally won't have trouble in recognizing you .

Whenever we ( as in my friends and I ) upload profile pics , we usually dont comment on it . We have chat in which we tell each other our opinions . An email isnt too much to ask for , but the chances of anybody reading a comment is much greater than the chances of anybody opening an email .

I've got a cousin in canada. We werent so pleased about being separated , but she told me facebook and networking sites bring ourselves closer . It didnt . It just made me miss her even more .

I agree with you when you talk about lack of proper profile pic . Some of my friends just add skulls for a profile pic . Its kinda weird how people keep skulls and car photos for profile pictures .

What do you think , would make a good facebook status ?

Ash said...

Very true and It actually reminds of me in 7th grade . I used to simply log in and wait for some invites I had only 10 friends or sumthng so i used 2 be vry eager if sum notification pops up when i have sum other important assignment to do ...
I knew that i was addicted but still continued to do the same thing for a year then I got sick and I cancelled my account for sum tym

CHIBI said...

i Disagree..! For example... When someone tells "I went to Paris this summer".. first thing anyone wud probably ask is "where's the pics"..! instead of sending it to everyone privately thro mail and forgetting someone, it makes it much more convenient to make a one time post on FB.. simply simplification ain't it?

I have been self centered putting up my amateur photography as "awesome pics" for some appreciation thro comments. coz i aint that good to do a photography exhibition or auctions.

so i dont find it wrong! after all, Attention is a drug.

Anonymous said...

well said....absolutely spot on..... i guess t last part was a bit then who cares wat people might think....its ur opinion...ur blog...
i have been wanting to tell t same for a long time abt t pictures or photo albums (private) posted....then i thght who t hell am i to ask them to do it....some people jus wanna get noticed.....nd as u said it would b better to have a proper profile pic.....than showing off ones artistic talent....i think t last part was straight from t heart..... :D

siddharth said...

Good article.. But though i tend to agree more with you on this.. i decide to take an opposing stand just to make it interesting!:)

There are few of the million ways it helps..
Listed are the top ten-
1)For a celeb.. it gives that personal touch to fans.. to get instant feedback n reply to comments & keep them happy..

2) If you are an introvert and ppl dont know you well.. all you need to do is somehow get a 1000+ friends and everyone gets the impression that you are quite the opposite and good friends with everyone else but them!

3)Personal one: If I'm going to lalaland and there are 121 friends there.. which is better.. personally informing each by mail.. or putting up a status and see who's interested at all..?

4)To get back with long lost chaddi dosts/childhood friends.. i see no other way but fb.. at least i'd have missed out on a few special people isnt it..?:)

5)If two 'friends' catch up after 100 yrs.. they wouldnt be clueless about what happened.. it'll be the superficial fb talk first.. 'Dude those pics of yours at the zoo were so lovely n so apt!' n so forth to meaningful ones if at all..

6)Talking about animal pics.. dont they too have a right to feature on fb, feel loved n connected too..? Absolutely!

7)You get to sit and judge(if you want)all from home.. 'A yawn' from a girl on a sunday morn would mean a hundred things tht i shall not list here..(out of scope)

8)It helps reduce instances of smoking.. Why? Coz you rarely find one browsing & smoking at home/office or find a guy standing outside with a laptop while smoking on breaks..

9) Gives criminals easier access to info & more data to work on.. if i say 'in dxb for 2 weeks' it means to them ' welcome home'.. if there are pics of home with doors and windows too... ahemm!

10)The last one... it replaces and bharatmatrimony for the future!(arabmatrimony for you)

Not to mention the bonding and healthy rivalry over the various online games(read wars and farming!)..
I think i should write a book on this one! ;)

But tell me one thing in this world that isnt vanity.. Its not just NW sites Sinduja.. sadly this world's all after seeking attention and vanity..

PS: If hope to fall in love with fb someday.. and absolutely not able to do so.. try twitter... its even more useless!!:)