The Other Side Of Social Networking
edited: Monday, October 05, 2009
By Ruhi Sonal
Rated "R" by the Author.
Posted: Monday, October 05, 2009
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Hooked to social networking? think again!
I tried to look for a place to hide. But I couldn't find one where I wouldn't be seen. By them. By you. By everyone. I thought it was a route to escape- that I could do what I liked, talk to people I liked without being watched over. But they fooled me. They have been tracking my every move. It is not secrets that I wish to keep from them, but my life. After all, it is MY LIFE, and I should have an exclusive right over it. I never understood how nice it was to be unknown till the day I joined a social networking site and became well known. No, I am not a star. Nobody is a star in our world today, but everybody is known. We ordinary beings- scattered over the continents linked by a single thread that we had unknowingly hung on to, hoping it would give us the freedom to express ourselves- a freedom that we all desired. Sick of being nobodys, we have all evolved into somebodys. It is only when we look back to our anonymous pasts, the days when we could get away from our troubling lives by switching to our virtual avatars that we realise what we have lost. We have ourselves surrendered to our dismal, myriad realities. Everywhere I go, I am now being followed. The people at the workplace give me knowing smiles. They are all informed of the headache I had yesterday, of the pasta I made for dinner, and of the movie I watched but didn't like. They know it all. And I know everything about them too. The boss who had, in a drunken state updated us about how much he dislikes his wife, has been shame facedly avoiding talking to us. I can see defeat on his face too. He too wants his life back. Away from the ever peering clicks of colleagues whom we are not exactly fond of, of people with whom we were friends with at some point in life but no longer wish to remain specifically in touch (but how can we say no to a friend request from them?), of relatives about whom we used to bitch about with buddies, but can no longer do so as they are all out there, watching. We have forced ourselves to stay in touch with everybody. We have bartered away our personal lives, our privacy in return of a ringside view of the lives of others. We have tied ourselves to a single image, leaving no scope to explore newer sides of our personality.
As I desperately look for a place where I can't be seen, where every action of mine isn't subjected to scrutiny and comments, where I needn't guard my words for fear that the wrong people might be listening, I spot the tiny blue text at the far right end of the screen. I heave a sigh of relief. Finally, I'll have my life back, I think as I click on LOG OUT.