I have been wanting to write about this for a while now. Social networking. And it’s not really working. For me at least. I can see the benefit in that it’s a way of keeping in touch with friends from India spread across the globe and a quick way of communicating with people who don’t seem to have much time to actually chat or make phone calls.
But I am also having problems with it.
Firstly, I have a stalker. Okay, stalker is a bit exaggerated. But there was this girl I went to college with back in India for about 3 years. Let’s call her A. A was one of those ‘friends’ made because our parents met first. Sigh. If it hadn’t been for that, I probably would never have been friends with her. She was never a close friend and I was just cordial towards her. But we sat together for most classes in Year 11. After first year bachelors, she changed colleges and that was it. I occasionally bumped into her since we lived in the same suburb but never went out of my way to meet her. And back then, she was never online. She didn’t have an email address or msn. So it was great.
I was in fact a tad scared of A. Why, you ask. Well, just to give an example: she would borrow my notes and not treat them well…I would find the papers crumpled or stained, and being a neat freak and a perfectionist about my work, I didn’t like it. So this one time, given that I was not assertive, I lent my notes to another friend to avoid giving A my notes. And her response to me was “Next time give me your notes first or I will scratch your face“. She had really long nails. And she wasn’t laughing when she said this. Plus there were several lies she had told others about her life which freaked me out since I knew the truth. So you can see why I wanted to keep my distance. And of course, we didn’t have much in common.
I moved to Australia in 2005 and around that time, Orkut was the big social networking thing. A year later, who should add me on Orkut but A. I ignored the request. Then she asked another friend why I wasn’t adding her and I told this friend in confidence that I was scared of A. This friend, for some reason, thought it was smart to let A know the reason!!! And then I get a message on orkut from A about she doesn’t know what she did etc etc and I felt guilty and added her. And the same continued on Facebook. Two months ago I began culling some of my facebook ‘friends’ and she was one. And again a couple of weeks ago, I got an invite from her to add her. I’m this close to deleting my facebook account now!!!
Apart from that, I have recently had people on facebook adding me from my primary school days back in Oman. People who I never kept in touch with and who didn’t keep in touch with me. And mind you, some who I don’t even recognise! I kept in touch with one person from those days who I added and then through her, I have had others add me. The last time I spoke to them was when I was 9 years old!!! Again, another reason for me coming this close to deleting my account! I don’t understand the need to add someone you haven’t kept in touch with for 17 years. And you probably didn’t have a strong friendship prior to that anyway.
I have people from my high school days and my college days and my uni days…but not all of them are close friends. I think some people add others to vicariously perve into their lives. Others just want to show off their own lives. Like there’s one person from my high school days whose status is always about how successful their career is and how much their spouse loves them and buys them flowers and I wonder, why do you need to tell the whole world that? Yes, it’s great that your spouse is nice but do we all need to know that??? No!! Despite not having their status updates on my homepage, the fact that others comment on it inevitably mean they appear on my page.
Then there’s the problem of being added by relatives. Some of whom I have never even met! And while I am not keen on adding them, I just know what will go around…how stuck up I am since coming to Australia, how I’ve changed in my values and all that bull. Why do you want to add me when I have never met you? Or maybe seen you when I was a baby? Again, this close to deleting my account!!!
If it didn’t help me keep in touch with the few friends that no longer feel the need to send emails, I probably would delete the damn thing! So supposedly, the websites are meant to connect you with others but for me it’s reaching a stage where it’s connecting me with people I don’t want to be connected with! And why don’t people ever get the hint if you have ignored their invite to add? Why do they persist by sending you invites over and over?
I will never understand some people.
Do share your escapades with these sites…are they social networking sites for you or social notworking sites??
Until next time,