The Facebook Fever

Let’s talk about addictions. What used to be limited to sex, alcohol, tobacco and drugs now also encompasses the social networking site. I have friends on FB who feel compelled to share every single thing they do or think about doing their entire day…7:23 a.m: Going on treadmill…8:05: had a nice workout…8:15: I need a shower…9:00: what’s for breakfast…well, you get the gist. And lets not forget the ones that are fans of everything from “I need more sleep” to “I hate cigarettes” from “I love texting” to “I can’t live without my iphone” and everything in between. What could be more inspiring than idolizing the need for more sleep! I want to say just one thing to them, “Really??” And, how about “Farmville”, “Café world” and “Mafia wars”, these apps have no less than a cult following! It must be an addiction because I have friends that made grand proclamations on their status about quitting Facebook forever and fell off the wagon in less than a week.

Have you seen some of the teenagers’ status updates, they make me go red in the face with embarrassment. I wonder what their parents think of it. As an example, I read one of my younger FB friends write to one his buddies that he loves him and would like to get in his pants. The dude is 14 years old. And I know it is supposed to be a joke because it had ‘lol’s all over it, but what part of it is supposed to be funny? I seriously don’t get the youth today, I must be getting old. And, what’s with all the ‘lol’s, I have seen more ‘lol’s in my couple years on FB than I have seen real laughs in my entire life! Can you imagine a person sitting at his computer by himself laughing out loud all the time!

Then there are apps like “Lover of the day!” Some idiot thought that it would be fun for people to see on their wall  each day a random friend, male or female, assigned as their ‘Lover of the day.” Well, what do you know, the idiot wasn’t a complete idiot after all, because apparently there are plenty of people (even married ones) who find that fun. Am I the only one who finds it sick? Apparently, all it takes is one ‘lol’ comment to make it seem not so!

Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook, I mean where else do you get to show off your new haircut to your school friends, college friends, work friends, current friends, extended family and the random people on your FB that you don’t really know, all at the same time. And, where else would I have found my long lost friends anyways. Now years later and despite living continents away, I feel connected in a way I had not imagined before FB. I get to find out what the school nerd, the college jock and my next door neighbor have been upto. I find out about local events, shopping deals and food raves because of timely posts by friends. And, I know whose advice to seek when traveling to new places, courtesy shared pics. Moreover, I get to partake in community awareness programs such as mentioning the color of my bra to spread cancer awareness, send pink chaddi for women’s liberation and other made up teaser games, well, just for ‘lol’.  FB also helps me keep abreast with the pop culture and the psyche of the youth, which will come in handy someday (I think)!

So, all said and done, I am indebted to my FB friends for lifting my spirits when I am down, validating my shared links, pics and creations and indulging all my narcisstic status updates. I’m indebted for the sense of belonging to a community that cuts across borders, race and religion. I’m indebted for the 24/7 availability; no matter what time it is, there is always someone sharing or someone to share with. So if a vice it is, so be it, my 197 FB friends and counting will see me through it!

Last 5 posts by Neelam Kamdar Bhamani



6 Comments

  1. Chandana

    U stole all my thoughts Neelam. This is exactly the way I feel about it.

  2. Khushi

    Thats a great topic. Do you think we are becoming more of a society inclined to ‘waste time’? I end up not logging in to FB for days just to avoid wasting time when I do.
    The other thing I dont like about Facebook is that I got pulled into becoming friends with people I wanted to forget. My fault for accepting them as friends, but I never knew what a constant reminder FB can be.
    My worst status update : Its a nice day.

  3. rajvi

    Neelam – You mentioned all the things that make me feel conflicted about FB. It is a great tool but demands lots of time. I have been away from it for a while now. Need to start going back on it.

  4. Tana

    Neelam, Perhaps I am even more of an extremist than your conflicted state: I DO NOT DO FACEBOOK, period. Many of my friends give me a hard time about it, and expect that now having written a book, I must get on it (we’ll see how long I can hold out). I believe that Facebook is giving us the illusion of being connected, while in reality we’re becoming a loneliner lot, incapable of connecting, conversing, and cultivating true, meaningful relationships. Why not invest more in my 50 good friendships rather than spend time running into random old acquaintances (with whom there’s probably good reason I’m not in touch) and encourage addictive, voyeuristic tendencies?

  5. Tanvi

    Well said Neelam. I feel the same ..gone are the days when we liked people ,movies,cities , now its all about liking photos, webpages, videos & status updates !!!

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