Life lessons

Social NOTworking

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??Β 

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Sam Liu
    August 14, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Indeed, social networking can be very dangerous and tricky at times. I make sure I only add people on Facebook who I know, properly know. Your tale of A is certainly unnerving, and it is a clear example of the troubles of social networking sites. I only really use these types of things for convenience and to keep in contact with people. But you are very right, many use them for narcissistic reasons.

  • Reply
    Titaxy
    August 14, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Sigh, that is some scary store you have written πŸ˜€ What a popular girl you are…stalker and all that πŸ˜›

    I opened an orkut acct during Uni days, but deleted it within a few weeks because I was wasting way too much time on it. I didn’t want it getting in the way of my studies. Then I created facebook (only after I got a job, though). I am on facebook for one important reason and that’s it. I don’t care for anyone adding me there or deleting me there. I am in touch with close friends (at least the ones I chose to be in touch with) through email / ph…so I don’t do any other networking sites πŸ™‚ Life is simpler that way πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 14, 2010 at 2:58 am

    I have been adding acquaintances but now regret it….should stick with the friends. And yes, A was scary…it’s sensible of you to stick to adding people you know properly…

  • Reply
    Rumya
    August 14, 2010 at 3:01 am

    Good write PB and it has set my mind thinking too, in a similar fashion….

    “Next time give me your notes first or I will scratch your face” – That was REALLY scary!! :O Bordering on Blackmail…

    Social Networking can be good or traumatic.
    But this was surely an eye-opener…
    Thank you PB!! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 14, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Lol…popular! I don’t think it’s that. I think A has issues…I was addicted to fb during uni…good procrastination tool! =P But yeah, you are sensible. I started off by adding only the people I wanted but then slowly and steadily through those people other school mates add you and you end up adding and it just continues…. =P

  • Reply
    ItsNu
    August 14, 2010 at 4:06 am

    I did just the same PB and you know that…just being under the obligation to add people because they are your parents’ friends’ son/daughter or your long time ago school mate or even a colony mate | hmmpf !

    I guess it’s very personal whether to add someone or not ! Hence I deleted my FB and Orkut account and now I’m pretty much in peace…Those who are my friends-really-we’re in touch through emails and calls so no need for the networking site and those who are not my friends-no need for them to be on my friends’ list on the networking site πŸ™‚

    It feels much better,I’m telling you πŸ™‚ First hand experience πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    ItsNu
    August 14, 2010 at 4:08 am

    oh and that friend of yours..A ! My god..she sure sounds a scary person !!! Just chuck her…

  • Reply
    BlueMist
    August 14, 2010 at 6:38 am

    I did a whole post on it πŸ˜›
    and guess what I have a dormant FB account and “invite only” type. :lol

  • Reply
    Pesto Sauce
    August 14, 2010 at 8:14 am

    You did your schooling from Oman?? Cool, was it Muscat or Salalah? Iam finding Muscat to be a good city to live in

    I agree that these sites are at times a real apin, some people never understand and would stalk you like hell. In my office a fight ensued sometime back coz someone had unfriended his colleague on FB

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Yeah, I have so many pending invites Nu. I’ve deleted my orkut account but not FB yet. I know you deleted yours…and maybe eventually I may follow you =)

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Wasn’t exactly a friend! =P But yeah…a forced person to hang out with….I chucked her a long time ago…just wish she would stop stalking me… =P

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I think I read that…have been reading others’ posts about FB and social networking…and it inspired me along with my own recent experience with A….

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Yes Pesto…I was in Salalah for 5 years. I quite liked it. Lol @ the incident at your office!

  • Reply
    bluntedges
    August 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Hahaha…I don’t have any “stalkers” per se. (Sigh! I lead such an interesting life!)

    For someone like me, FB has been a huge blessing, all my college friends whom I would never meet in person or just wont mail or call up, stay in touch and interact just coz of FB πŸ™‚

    Its great to be back here and find that the posts are just as entertaining as always πŸ™‚
    PS: Just out of curiosity, what’s your FB status message at the moment? πŸ˜›

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 14, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I reckon that’s how FB started off with me too…it was good to keep in touch with people I wouldn’t meet or call…but now I’ve gotten to a stage in my life (I sound so old!!!) where I wonder if there’s any point in keeping in touch with people you don’t really care about all that much…and that the ones I do care about, I email or text anyway!!! Glad to see you back! =)

    And my current FB status message…which by the way doesn’t get updated too often anymore…is about the upcoming elections: thinks it would be very scary if Tony Abbott became PM…anyone else think we’ll go the way America did with Bush? Or is that just me?

  • Reply
    upasana
    August 15, 2010 at 6:02 am

    There was a survey which said even a very social person will have around 150 friends who he/she would know in person, rest all will be random requests or just hi and hellos or like the people in your case. So you see people keep on adding people just to show off their list or god knows what. I make sure I know every person before adding them. I might not have a huge friend following but hey atleast I don’t have random people. Wink! Nice post. Exactly what’s happening these days. Good job done:)

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Welcome Upasana! 150! That’s a lot…I guess though it means friends in a very loose way…I definitely don’t have people I don’t know. I do think some people have 400 odd people on their lists to just show-off though god knows why. Keep visiting!

  • Reply
    Avada Kedavra
    August 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Oh that girl is too much eh?! And agree completely about such statuses put just to show off.. Have seen some friends of mine who want to show how much they have been enjoying but putting even honeymoon pics on FB.. Such pics are not meant to be seen by everyone, are they?! I have added many classmates because I want to stay in touch with it.. they are some people who for the sake of it, keep sending you friend requests but when you ask them how are you?, they dont even reply.. Why do they add then, if not to keep in touch with you?!

  • Reply
    Celestialrays
    August 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I had my relatives send me friend requests on FB and I totally hate it! I know there are permission settings and all to let them see only what they want to, but the bottomline is ‘you are not my friend, why send me a friend request?’

    I was extremely uncomfortable adding them, so I ignored it only to be confronted by them when I went to India. Irritating people! I said I hardly log in to FB, and they can email me if they want πŸ˜›

  • Reply
    astatine
    August 16, 2010 at 6:24 am

    80 percent of my high school classmates are on my facebook list. And surprisingly I have discovered new facets to them now. Girls who were just passing acquaintences then now seem to have so much in common with me that I regret not being closer to them back then.
    But then again, there are some whom I hated, who keep popping up as suggestions, and that ego still prevents me from getting back in touch even after 17 years.
    I have also experienced jealousy ( both ways) when one of us seems better off than the other, bitchy satisfaction when someone’s husband is bald πŸ™‚ and other immature feelings.
    But on the whole, it is fun to get back in touch with someone you went to kindergarten with.
    Anyway, social networking is not to be taen too seriously.

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 16, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Yeah Ava…doesn’t get the hint. I agree…I get annoyed with all the honeymoon pics and stuff…and wonder myself, shouldn’t that be private??? I think some people add you just to see what you are up to…to either be able to gloat or think you are a bitch…I doubt some people have actual intentions of keeping in touch…but that’s my cynical view!

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 16, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Lol! That’s exactly why I didn’t like teh relatives thing. But your excuse is great and I will keep it in mind and most likely steal it if asked… πŸ˜›

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Welcome Astatine! I guess that is one good thing…I have become good friends too with some of the guys from my year whereas at school we wouldn’t talk to them for fear of being teased. (Yes, we were that juvenile!) I guess as you say, it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But I still am contemplating deleting it! =) Do keep visiting!

  • Reply
    BlueMist
    August 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Where did my comment go ? πŸ™

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

    It’s right there!! Isn’t it??

  • Reply
    BlueMist
    August 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I mean I wrote another one and i can not see it now πŸ™ Can you ?

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 19, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I thought the comment you made was on the other post. But now I remember…you had commented on the social notworking post as well…you said you had done a similar one and I remember replying to it and thereby approving it! Dunno what’s happened…I’ll look… =S

  • Reply
    BlueMist
    August 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Yeah I am talking about the comment on this post. Most of the times ; the comments don’t load. I can see the comments in side bar but when I click on the post; they just don’t appear. Don’t know what’s the issue. 😐

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    August 19, 2010 at 10:13 am

    It shows on disqus that it’s been approved…not sure what else to do. Hmm…maybe I need to check out another commenting system…

  • Reply
    star gazer
    August 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Well i thought i was the only one who thought facebook was getting more of a medium to exhibit nuisance and defying its ultimete purpose of networking. And if this wasn’t enough, all the distant uncle- aunts have now accounts on facebook..and they just want to examine all your friends and keep a watch on you… Does it get any worse than this..i wonder
    For now i have deactivated my account …i am glad that the option is available πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Celestialrays
    September 16, 2010 at 2:01 am

    I had my relatives send me friend requests on FB and I totally hate it! I know there are permission settings and all to let them see only what they want to, but the bottomline is ‘you are not my friend, why send me a friend request?’

    I was extremely uncomfortable adding them, so I ignored it only to be confronted by them when I went to India. Irritating people! I said I hardly log in to FB, and they can email me if they want πŸ˜›

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    September 16, 2010 at 2:01 am

    I reckon that’s how FB started off with me too…it was good to keep in touch with people I wouldn’t meet or call…but now I’ve gotten to a stage in my life (I sound so old!!!) where I wonder if there’s any point in keeping in touch with people you don’t really care about all that much…and that the ones I do care about, I email or text anyway!!! Glad to see you back! =)

    And my current FB status message…which by the way doesn’t get updated too often anymore…is about the upcoming elections: thinks it would be very scary if Tony Abbott became PM…anyone else think we’ll go the way America did with Bush? Or is that just me?

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