I always make it a point to wish all my friends on facebook, on their birthday. It's thoughtful and beautiful to add a pinch of sunshine to someone's life, especially on a day like their birthday. A one-liner of a birthday wish can cheer up a person which is the best we can do to keep in touch with people we know and also our acquaintances. On a social media platform like facebook, a birthday or anniversary wish sent once in a year according to me is the only and best route of communication once can maintain with their facebook friends. To add to this can be the occasional chatter on issues that are burning down the world or a discussion about personal problems that we so often talk of on platforms like facebook.
There was a time when I had 1700 friends on facebook. The idea of logging into facebook where 1700 people were keeping a watch on me, on different occasions or at the same time under the rare circumstance of everyone logging in at the same moment was making me restless. To add to this awkwardness was the hard perverted stare from a few strangers who kept a check on my pictures. Then there were a few friends who loved to pick on me when I started a thread of discussion about gender. A no-holds barred talk on gender shakes the confidence of men with fragile egos. These friends were subsequently driven away from my facebook profile. Technology didn't destroy friendships here, it exposed the real faces behind the masks some of these men were wearing. Imagine a world, an educated civilized world where thoughts about gender inequality still threaten men who do not understand the root cause of the problem, to begin with. Recently I bid adieu to my best friend who had on countless occasions towed the line and made a joke of me on facebook, in full public view, earning the ire and criticism of many female friends who thought that the guy didn't deserve to be my friend in the first place. I wonder had facebook never existed, this discourse on gender benders might have never taken place, although I do not regret letting him go. Facebook acted as a mirror in this case I guess.
But yes the flip side is, Facebook has given birth to a generation of people who find it difficult to hit on conversations with a individual in person, but will engage in lofty discussions on Facebook or WhatsApp.
People have started to lay bare their intimate personal life on Facebook, right from the big fight with the mil to the lack of communication with the husband, we have opened the door to a paradise that was ours before the arrival of Facebook or WhatsApp. Amusingly we can't tread the barriers that are preventing us from talking to the people we are having a difficult relationship with, but exposing it on our Facebook walls is a must which we believe will give us a quick solution to our problem.Narcissism has taken over us and most of us suffer from attention deficit disorder. Many people look for acceptance and applause on facebook. But the truth is, the people stalking us will only add fuel to the fire, and we become a butt of jokes.
It's the same case with WhatsApp which allows us to stay connected with each other all through the day. From sharing pics to videos to jokes that make fun of others, an instant messaging service like WhatsApp has intruded our privacy.
It's high time that we take a stock of how our life is breaking into pieces because of platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook.
I recently went on a sabbatical from Facebook for four months and for three months before that. The urge to tell the world about how my life is shaping up is not there anymore. I have made peace with how others are living which has helped me to keep negativity at bay. The next goal in my mind is to get off WhatsApp. It takes patience and diligence but if you try you can make it happen.
Social media platforms have been a boon for mankind, if used with caution. However if we can't keep a tab on our usage, it can lead to depression and anxiety. Many psychological studies have proved this fact and if you try and stay away from platforms like Facebook, you'll notice the difference in your behaviour.
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More than the relationships with others, let us first concentrate on the relationship with our own self, which is going for a toss all thanks to the long hours we spend on social media platforms. We'd rather stay logged in on Facebook or WhatsApp than go out for an evening walk or a coffee date with a friend.
Let us ask ourself are we doing justice to our personality and mind by being Facebook or WhatsApp addicts? Will staying logged in on these platforms give a solution to our problems that we have created by neglecting our relationships with our loved ones? Aren't we slowly becoming narcissistic and vying for attention by being on such websites? Time for introspection.