I logged into my Facebook account yesterday and got a shock. One of the updates by an acquaintance had me reaching out to my mobile and calling my mother. We talked for a few minutes and I got more frustrated towards the end of the call. That acquaintance had met with a terrible accident while driving down a highway at night last month. The doctors declared her condition to be critical. Till yesterday she did not lift any calls. The rumour was that it would be a long time when she will be thoroughly healed. But yesterday she uploaded a picture on her FB account and managed to update her status with a smiley in the end.
Something like that created a panic in my father's friend circle few months back. One of his friends had died and people were mourning. The next day my father's FB account showed that his dead friend was online and available for chatting. That made a lot of commotion in the house, including making frantic phone calls and racing heart beats. But in the last it was revealed that it was his daughter who had logged into her father's account.
How much havoc do these social networking websites create! And what popularity they have been getting! More fan following than the whole Bollywood put together. A kid of 10 years old even has an FB account. On an average, every person in India is active on FB, WhatsApp and Twitter. Some probably had opened accounts but ceased to be active as time went by, like me. Fed up by uploading photos and commenting on every single status. Bored by the same chatting lines with smileys. But that feeling doesn't last for long. As soon as I travel to a new place and have lots of pictures in my camera, I quickly upload the pics for my friends to see. Time waste, my mind tells. My heart tells it to shut up.
My friends accuse me of not watching their uploaded photos and more on not clicking the 'like' button. I come to know about my brother's current location thanks to his Facebook status. I don't know contact numbers of my long-distance friends. They keep shifting a lot and so they keep changing their SIM cards. I ask them to call from their new contact numbers and keep in touch. Some intelligent folks reply to see their updated number on FB and be online to chat if wish to tell anything. Twitter has its own story. Thanks to it, celebrities, superstars and our beloved cricketers are just a click away. Initially I followed them and re-tweeted my favourites without fail. But now, as time went by, I lost interest and stick to news channels instead. Much simpler. My fingers can rest in peace. My roommate pesters me to download WhatsApp and start using it. But seeing her all through the night, busily typing away till midnight on the site, I changed my mind. I am an early riser. I cannot sleep late at night.
No matter how much I go on blabbering about these sites, they are unavoidable and I know that I am going to log on every account in the evening. They were and will be in use always. They provide an excellent platform for promoting things and target a large audience. But that depends on how many friends you have in your friend list or how many are following you on Twitter. Those for whom these sites help in their work, hats off to Mark Zuckerberk and Evan Williams. Not to leave out LinkedIn, Google+ and hi5. I get their reminder notifications in my mailbox every day. And yes! How did I forget Orkut? Though nobody uses it nowadays, it all first started with it, isn't it? And a big salute to many more such sites and their founders, who will come in future and blow away people's mind and lessen their workload. What all technology can do, right? Charles Babbage could never have predicted it. His computer invention has lead to more breakthroughs and every eye in the world stares and keep staring at monitors for the rest of their lives. A big problem for our eye-sight. But who cares as long as we get lots of comments and likes on our uploads?