Thursday, November 25, 2010

The world of FB

FB has become an inseparable part of every one's life. Even next door neighbors who never meet otherwise meet in FB, siblings who don't get time to call put up messages on each other's wall. That's really nice. Just yesterday someone, who stayed in our para, locality, in Calcutta, with whom I went to the same school for two years in early eighties and whom I don't think I've met ever since 96, found me out from FB and contacted me. I hear people getting back to old crushes after twenty or twenty five years, find long lost neighbours after thirty years, find out a best friend from kindergarten. No doubt all these won't have been possible had there not been this small piece of application that has revolutionized socialization.

But thinking deeper don't you feel that people have stopped talking to near and dear ones because you see bits and pieces of everyone in their walls. Actually you talk less and scrap more. That regular calls to find out how your brother celebrated the durga puja in that isolated place in US where the nearest Indian store is some fifty miles or how much your sister missed you during the bhai phota are no longer needed. Your brother will post hundred snaps of the durga puja that he attended after driving some eighty miles along with status updates like, 'missing Calcutta', or 'I want to go back home'. That charm in asking him about his yearning to be at home is lost in a public post in the wall - after all a wall is a wall, it divides - has any one heard of a wall that unites? There's a fun in knowing something that the whole world doesn't know. There lies the exclusiveness of a relationship. If my sister feels bad during bhai phota it should be only me who should know about it - why the whole world should know that.

Then there are those old friends or relatives whom you used to call to UK or US or Middle east from time to time to get the latest updates of their kids. But now do you really feel like calling someone when you know even this piece of information that the cake she cut in her younger kid's second birthday was a big two kilo one with nuts and chocolates stuffed into it and that thirty kids from the neighborhood blew off hundred balloons and ate home made cookies? What's there left for me to know. I'll surely miss that call when she would have told me over the phone about how much the thirty kids enjoyed running around in her new house and how much pain she'd taken preparing all the cookies. I'll miss the excitement in her voice - the detailed updates in her walls are no doubt informative but the sentiments are buried somewhere deep under.

Funnier are posts like, 'I've prepared a yummy cake today' by a girl or woman and then updates that three people have liked it and ten people, mainly guys, posting on her wall almost similar things like, 'Wow, so when are we getting a slice of it?' The same girl may then acknowledge all the wows by writing, '@ Sumit, Puneet, Navneet, Vineet, Manjeet, Kamaljeet, Premjit: thanks!' Well, I wonder what was that thanks for - for the wow for her yummy cake that she ate alone at her home or for the fact that there are ten guys who still show interest in her! At any point of time these yummy cakes with three pictures taken from three sides posted on the wall may constitute close to a quarter of the posts you get every day!

In Calcutta we have these ever inquisitive parar boudi, the house wives of the young guys of the locality, who, given a chance, won't mind peeping into every one's house to get the harir khabor - well I can't translate the term harir khabor which literally means the news of the pitcher but actually means the inside information. I somehow have a feeling that these Bong parar boudi syndrome is not a localized affair - in general everyone around the world is interested in others' harir khabor and FB has somehow exploited this human behavior in a very sophisticated way. When I post the picture of a cake I actually want to know what my neighbor or friend is doing his or her kid's birthday!

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be a very hated person in the FB brotherhood for this blog.

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