A former classmate of mine who is on the verge of completing her Journalism degree (that I too had joined but later left, as regulars to my blog might know) recently uploaded a questionnaire to her Facebook account and requested everyone to take time off and fill it up. All for research purposes. Well, this is exactly the kind of thing I love doing.. filling up forms and all that! So I quickly clicked a few buttons and reached the questionnaire. All about social networking sites, how much time I spend online, what I do online etc. Pretty interesting, eh?
Now after answering sixty odd questions, my mind was buzzing with Facebook, Blogger and Youtube. My mind went back to the times when internet was more like a distant reality. Then I thought about the day I got my first computer (class III), the day that computer got an internet connection (class V), the day I created my first email address (again in class V, not to mention the long hours I took to cook up a funky name so that I could appear ten times cooler in front of my friends that I actually was!), the day I joined my first social networking site (Hi5) and so on and so forth. Since then, I have come a long way and so has the internet.
From Hi5, I graduated to Orkut. Hi5 became a thing of the past and it started being looked upon as a site for bacchas. Now, I kinda felt sorry for it. I would imagine a tiny person with "Hi5" instead of a head, sulking away in a corner, sniffing and shedding tears (I have this thing of feeling very sorry for inanimate things. When I was little, I would pick up a spoon to eat with and feel really sorry for the rest, imagining that they would become sad and lonely, and thinking, "Sorry guys, I'll definitely pick you up next time.").
Orkut became all the rage for quite some time. Soon, everybody was battling a silent war, an unspoken war. Everyone wanted more "fans" than their friends, people were obsessed with who visited their profiles, there was competition to be the proud owner of thirty thousand scraps. Of course, I too was taken in by this madness. Luckily, I regained composure quite soon and quit the site the moment reality hit me. Orkut drove many people to their virtual nervous breakdowns.
Life was beautiful after that. I could bask in the sunshine once more and smell the fragrant flowers. The world appeared to be much more pleasant with much less pretence. But BAM! Good things don't last forever! Requests from friends filled my mailbox, asking me to join this "Facebook". I got tired of deleting these godforsaken mails and finally decided to check out the site. A few awkward moments of signing in later (the site was at that time too full of itself, asking totally pointless questions and giving too much importance to all kinds of years like year of birth, year of graduation blah blah..), I was in! Well, I didn't really use the so called "book" for a long time, not until it was amended to become more friendly, warm and approachable (words that were till now used only to describe people!). What do I say now? I am hooked! Yes, I took to "farming" for a while, but then my "plants" died and I started getting withdrawal symptoms (for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, all I can say is you're better off not knowing!). But now I think I have finally found my grey cells and learnt to maintain a delicate balance between real and virtual.
But hey, there are times when the scale tips just a little...