Thursday, February 7, 2013

Of Virtual And Real Identities

Facebook has lately become like a lice,  that crawls over the head. It itches, scratches the skin on the surface of a world we carry inside us. Status updates are confessions we make to a hundred or more mediators. The more, the merrier. Depression is a catapult that is set free as the burden we carry through such a communion of secrets escaped into the blue. The syllables are a war of words when it gets typed into the box that asks me with a pause “What’s happening Rinzu?”

It is a bourgeois concept to fill that empty space every day when I log into my facebook account but often I’ve felt that rants and especially those against the destructive demurrals of the society make a way into that white space often. And many times it talks of the boredom I encounter, but not for long. Once the wall appears in front of me I am treated to a Pandora’s box that I feel opened the world’s woes in front of me.

Well most of the times I am a silent spectator to what my friends and acquaintances have to utter, with many registering their most trivial of triumphs on their wall, as a record or in a vain vaunting of vanity. While for me staying honest is a must, since I haven’t mastered the art of creating tales about me or my family. And so am I too shy to ruffle the feathers that I wear in my cap.

Facebook is more of a cloistering compulsion to market my writing. Somewhere still I am struggling to set my feet firmly in this world of words. This free marketing tool allows me to connect to poets and writers and even editors, who haggle me with what they have to say in an attempt to sell their alphabets. Often I have watched from behind this screen, people becoming self confessed best selling authors within months of the release of their book or just an anthology in which they might be a contributing author, jostling for space with many authors.

Facebook is also a labour of love for the nameless authors in this planet of pen and paper. Any and every publication even that in an ordinary collection is the talk of the town for them. Once on the wall, it reaches every nook and corner of the facebook world by the word of the mouth. Congratulatory messages and comments keep popping up on your wall, if the tags on your profile have been opened to every Tom, Nick and Harry . I wish becoming famous was easy a cake walk as these people make it to seem. Yes, I have ten and hundreds of such self proclaimed best sellers on my profile, while the request to buy their book is still being made via a message or e-mail.

Then the laymen and women who do not write have usually been spotted harping about the latest car they bought or the last luxurious trip they undertook.

At what cost I usually wonder? The pictures paint my wall in gold, and it gets difficult to stand up to the fablery each of them write on their walls. Narcissism is nettled in every nook and corner of  the social networking world, and to be alive amid this attention deficit disorder, egoistic gratification is a necessity. 

Such is this world of social networking. Everyone is a page 3 celebrity here. A single status update or tweet can make or break friendships. Air kisses are blown, hugs are given with everything written in capital, love is usually a red heart smiley that is laid for visual display.
The same is the story with the microblogging site Twitter. More number of followers make you a star and retweets are like one liner interviews that get circulated. I’ve seen faceless figures becoming celebrities overnight with fame blinding their vision and virtues.

Life in this web of social butterflies has often spliced me to smithereens. That might be one of the reason that facebook is not my second home anymore. Having taken  a time out I was visiting people and places. Reading is also an interest I have developed lately. For all the time that is saved without facebook at my disposal has made  me more of a voracious reader. I know I’ll have to go back on facebook someday to sell my writing but for the compulsive obligation that the social networking world looks for, I am no match.    Sorry I do not wear a mask. My life is not an open book for everyone to read, but yes whatever is lettered on my facebook profile is what I try to say in real life too.



Hrishikesh Bawa said...

Think of Facebook as a cafe. Some people come alone, some with friends. Some come to drink coffee or eat, some come to have a good time with friends. But everyone can have a different intent of using the said facility

KayEm said...

You are right. If we aren't careful, social networking could easily take up a lot of our time. It is like food - we know too much isn't good for us and it is up to us how much we consume.