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Sunday, 25 July 2010

Face-Off the Book

Every person I meet asks me the same question. They want to know if I am on facebook and if I am then would I accept their friend request. Yes! I will but only after I know them cause facebook, like my little private world, is dotted by the friends I trust.

Facebook had made our world into a narrow space where we get each day connected with our friends, visiting their thoughts on their walls, seeing their pictures, reading their notes, exploring their private space. Did you say private? What private? Who wants privacy? It is more fun to be open about your views. That’s the reason why we are so choosy in the first place and confirm only those friends whom we know.

Sometimes I think about my life during those pre-facebook days. Oh! I did many different things then. Read books, painted in oils, made many handicraft items, made stuff toys, knitted, crocheted, cooked and visited my relatives without any reason, I led a very busy life until this facebook ruined me.

Three years ago, during a private meeting, I heard two of my friends discuss Facebook and they spoke about the fun they were having at this network. I had received many invitations/tags from different people asking me to join this network, but I was reluctant to join yet another social network. I was quite active on Ryze and would read my people’s work on the forums and the extra time that I had, I would spend it surfing the net and maintaining my blogs. I didn’t feel the need to join any more of those social networks. But after listening to my friends discuss their Facebook activities, I was tempted to give it a try. As soon as I logged in, I was surprised to see so many friends lined up, all welcoming me, it was like I was entering a party zone.

During those earlier days, I would visit various groups and read discussions on their board and play many virtual games. I had even written a poem for one of the contests on FB during those days, where we had to start a poem with word ‘Face’ and end it with the word ‘Book’. I had written about my experience on FB then…

Face is potholed by too many pokes
Of friends and families in every nook
Vampires fights, somersaulting werewolf
Frightening shadows of their crazy look

Playing Scrabulous, and other virtual games,
Enjoying cold coffee by the brook
Many summers ago, on a rainy day like this
All I would do, was to just gape at a book

I had attempted six short poems, my favorite was

Face above sand
caught in a blizzard
unprotected, helpless
trapped like a lizard
A joke turned sour
his friends, all gone
if by miracle , he survives
he may write a book

Of course I did not win then, because I couldn’t compete with the talented poets who wrote such beautiful lines.

The first prize for this contest had gone to Tolu Ogunlesi from (Nigeria) for his winning entry called

Face the future.
Pick the moon off
the dark, cold floor
of night. Slot it gently
into the earth, and wait.
Nothing might happen.
Just like in an empty book.

I was quite fascinated with different groups and would take part in many such discussions where there would be different interactive word games. I remember making a story with my set of six friends by adding just three words. Each one of us would write just three words in one turn and a long story thus created was really good.

I got addicted to facebook

For many months after that I interacted with my friends (On FB, I had very few friends, I could count them on my fingers and toes) and would envy those who had 700 friend. “700 friends?” I had asked my friend when I saw his friends’ list on Facebook, “Do you really have 700 friends?” and he boasted that all those 700 friends were not mere numbers, they were all real friend. It’s been three years now but I still have not managed to collect 700 friends.

Over the years the popularity of this network has grown. As reported in HT -
If Facebook were a country, it would have a larger population than, say South Africa. This week, the social networking site crossed 500 million users. This means that one out of every 14 people on earth is on Facebook. India’s share is 12 million users, three times the population of Hyderabad, the city where Facebook will open its first Asia office soon.
Who would have thought in 2004, when it was first launched, that it would become so popular? When Mark Zuckerberg started this social network, it was just to share notes with his friends and other students. He and his roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes founded this website whose membership was limited to few students but was later expanded to other colleges in Boston.

The original concept for Facebook was borrowed from a product produced by Zuckerberg's prep school Phillips Exeter Academy, which for decades published and distributed a printed manual of all students and faculty, unofficially called the "face book". (source-Wiki)
Facebook has travelled a long way so have I.

I have more friends now with whom I can communicate and share my notes and my travel albums. I like the comments that are made regularly on my wall and like to interact with everybody. In the real world too, I have become friendlier, although of course, I am still shy of strangers and still never make the first move, I never start a dialogue with strangers. I never talk to my co-passenger while travelling, preferring to read my book, generally, I don’t make friends easily. I talk to only those who will talk to me, and am reserved by nature, but with those whom I have become friendly on FB, I seem to have fun.

Many of my offline friends still remain away from Facebook unless they are writers. Some of them have refused to learn. They wean me away from the internet, insist on meeting me regularly, want to go for long walks with me by the sea-shore or watch a movie, sit together at a coffee shop and have good time. They don’t understand my addiction on net and think I am wasting my time reading the personal views and making unnecessary friendship with people whom I may never meet.

I too am not sure if I will ever meet those online friends.

What does it matter? It’s the happiness that counts and if an unknown face can give us happiness by their expression of their sweet words, we have nothing to lose.

On a rainy day like this, none of my offline friend will visit me. I am stranded in my house in the self imposed curfew, I cook for a me a nice meal, and even enjoy a hot cup of coffee but cooped up in my dingy room only a FB friend can cheer me.

I am participating in the WeBlog's Sleepy Sunday contest! You may read other participating posts HERE


  1. I can relate to this FB addiction!!Rather I am addicted to the internet...Earlier,there were so many things that we could do in free time but now logging onto the internet seems to be the only option left.we know that we are wasting time still...

  2. Addiction to the net and FB seems to be widespread :)

  3. its an epidemic gr8er than swine flu !
    nice post...all te best....

  4. This is a well written post about the addiction and Facebook.. Great..

    I wish you a good luck for WeBlog Sleepy Sunday Contest - I

    Saravana Kumar - Last Wish

    Yours Frendly,
    Saravana Kumar M

  5. Ah Pushpee! You do hit the nail on the head! All the very best for the contest!
    Cheers n Hugs

  6. Goodness Gracious! How much of R&D has gone into that post! Phew! Someone from the FB fraternity should see this! You perhaps know FB statistics better than Mark Zuckerberg himself :P! That's a lot of effort! Phew! Applaud your patience! I've noticed prior to this the way you make poetry look as easy as a Sunday morning ;) Now that's not everyone's cup of tea! Cheers to that! Good luck! :)

  7. Right! FB, the way it has just taken over from ORKUT.
    Nice read, pushpee

  8. I'm a recent FB convert with a measly 148 friends. The funny thing is that it has evolved for me as a tool for finding blogs and for promoting my own. I find more depth in blog posts than in little Facebook updates. For the moment, I still manage to have a life off of the internet. But it can be hard to tear myself away.

  9. A bit lengthy post but still one can't surmise their rantings in just a few words right? ! :P
    Facebook has ruined us all.. & reading ur post I can very well rleate to it..
    Goodluck fr d contest!

  10. @Jaspeet ...No, actually we are not wasting time..there are lotsa information on thei channel if used correctly....

    @Shail It sure does :))

    @Just a pen in my hand...its greater than Swine flu...the only way to cure is by timing ourselves and not get too addicted to it

    Thank you all for your thoughts

  11. @someone is special..Thank you for your kind words

    @Sravana Kumar..Thank you for leaving your footsteps on my page, now I am heading towards ur blog..:))

    @Hiyaa...Thank you so much for your encouraging words Hugz :))

  12. @Raksha..Thank you so much..I like to do research sometimes while blogging for sharing what I have learnt...thanks for appreciaitng my poems too :))

    @Tuppence I was never on Orkut...actually dont like to be involved in too many social networks, like I wrote FB hppened out of curiousity..thanks for your visit :))

  13. @Paul Quantity of friends don't matter, it is the qaulity, how many of our friends visit and interact on the FB is what really is interesting to go to various groups on Fb and take part in the various discussions..thanks for your visit. :))

    @Rinay..yeah u r right..somethings have to be elaborated to convey the meaning..happy that u read my lenghty post..I had enjoyed writing it it is compliment if ppl care to visit and read..thank you so much!! :))

  14. Pushpa, I am too small to comment on such a well written/post-research blog post.

    Kudos to you!!

    Best Wishes,
    Renjith P Sarada

  15. Thank you Renjith for taking time to read my post :))


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