Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Social Networking Brouhaha

Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and now the new Buzz!! Yes social networking is here to stay. It has revolutionized our way of keeping in touch with friends, or letting friends know of an important news in one's life. These sites also help us remember our friends' birthdays, yes everyone is just a scrap or a wall post away. The act of really keeping in touch however has somehow faded with the advent of the Internet. While these sites have ushered in a new era of networking, somewhere in this social networking world, it has also made us too open, too public leading to a loss of our own privacy.
Image Courtesy :
What is the first thing you check out or the first site you open when you put your computer/laptop on? Do you login to Facebook/Orkut/Twitter and see if you have a comment on your wall post or if someone has dropped you a scrap or rather what Barkha Dutt whom who are following on twitter has tweeted. Why this urge for staying connected?? Why this frenzy to keep posting updates of whether you are committed or whether you are getting married. Why is our privacy becoming more and more public?? And it is we ourselves committing the sin of self-intrusion of privacy! Sometimes I just find it as a filler in our otherwise usual humdrum of life, at other times its more of a distraction.

While one can say its a blessing owing to the ease of maintaining touch with anyone in this world, nevertheless on the other hand its an incessant addiction to which we have fallen prey.Its like "The Truman where "Truman Burbank lives a happy life. However, what he doesn't know is that his life is actually the focus of a reality TV show aired since his birth, that he's the star, his hometown is a giant set piece, and everyone around him is an actor going by a script." The only difference is here we know and knowingly we keep tweeting or updating our so-called walls with personal updates.

The need to stay connected in this networked high tech world is not hard to comprehend. When the whole world is tweeting, yes even Shashi Tharoor, you do not want to be left behind. You want to know what a famous celebrity is doing at any single minute or hour of the day. We all want some news and gossip in our lives. But hell why post personal/suggestive photos/snaps!! Ridiculous photos like the decorated bride sitting on the bed on our first night, gosh gimme a break :X @###$% I want to request an enhancement in the features when it comes to such photos. The onlooker should be able to change privacy settings so as not to see them :D Google/Picassa/Facebook/Orkut are you listening?? :P

While Facebook and Twitter are some years old, Google entered too late with buzz and had to undergo its share of hiccups in this arena. I personally found Buzz very buzzing (read bugging :D) and was thankful that the off button was provided. Nobody needed too keen an observation to say that Buzz failed to create any buzz. Plus it has security concerns. See here Also the auto-follow feature was a MAJOR glitch "The controversy is around the “auto-follow” feature that automatically links those who you email frequently with in your Gmail account to Buzz. When posting something onto Buzz everyone can see who is following you. Basically this allows strangers to see who you email with frequently." An excerpt I took from here Strangers being allowed to see whom you email frequently! Waaaaa :(

When I searched for Buzz I saw the following buzzes, these speak for themselves
"Officially ditching Google Buzz, so if you are trying to get a hold of me, don't do it there."
"Decided to turn off Google Buzz. I couldn't see any point in it. I have all I need in gmail and google chat." (I totally agree with this one)

However, the scarier part is what I stumbled on on why the user is going to stop using Google. Also went through some comments here and agreed with some that it was useless hullabaloo considering the fact that "Privacy is dead" in the social networking world. Its more at the user discretion actually.

What is your take on Social Networking? Is it a necessary evil? or Is it overkill?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

5 Reasons not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

1) With all the heart shaped balloons and everything, anyone can get fed up. Teddy holding a red heart with an I love you written on it, seriously do you need that???. Heart shaped pillows, heart shaped chocolates, for Gods sake heart shaped lollipops :D Phew!! Can't digest so many hearts around :D Archies and other gift shops must have a gala time, with their sales sky high on this day! 

All these mushy mushy thoughts are so short-lived! Oh yes, we all have gifted our friends some show pieces and other stuff. But now I am more of a believer of gifting useful gifts or accessories :)

2) Love is in the air, in the parks, in the restaurants, even in public places. PDA = Public Display of Affection percentage rises on this particular day which can be very annoying for the non-valentine believers. Oww so many Romeos and Juliets moving around, you would feel like becoming a villian (Sure would make you feel better becoming a Prem Chopra that day :P)

3) Yeah now comes the Red Roses, "bhaiya zara ek red rose dena!" kitne ka hai??? 20 Rs :O :O Double the price, kya bhaiya?? Well, sure is a business day for florists, this V-Day. And what happens to the roses after you gift them. They wilt away :( Poor flowers, as they were meant to serve this purpose only. Reminds me of Pushp ki Abhilasha, the hindi kavita by Makhanlaal Chaturvedi.

4) God forbid if you are in Mumbai, better be alert on the lookout for any hungama from Shiv Sena or MNS. I am pretty scared of them myself :| Bechara SRK!

5) And I would like to end with the reason that one of my friends stated, there can be a day to celebrate Ganesh Pooja but there can be no day to "celebrate love" How true..

I bet you can jot down some more reasons for not celebrating V-day! do you have any?

Her Diary, Her Best Friend

There was a time when Naina felt she needed friends to talk to, to share her innermost feelings with, to confide in, to be able to express her fears or joys. Buddies to whom she could reveal her true self without fearing them to be judgmental or thinking otherwise. She could bare her soul in front of that one person or maybe a couple. Alas, that person never came along..The search was in vain.

Many a times she felt close to someone, but her feelings weren't reciprocated, so that was the end of it. Because, for Naina, reciprocation held a great deal of significance. In this worldly world, she wasn't a selfish or a self-centered person, she could be a selfless friend but only if she was reciprocated. Her definition of reciprocation was that the person she felt close to or the person for whom she could go out of her way to do anything should feel the same for her. But somewhere always, the feeling was missing.

It was true that “Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.”  

There were times when she felt so lost, so depressed. At such junctures, she found no one who would lend her a ear or who would comfort her and say its okay and that this will pass. Disheartened that she was she found solace in writing. Yes she saw a lot of blogs on the Internet. But what she always wondered was how could some people have online diaries, how could a person be so open so as to write things so personal. On the contrary, she preferred to write in a diary. By diary, I mean a real diary, not an online one.

She bought a nice handmade paper diary, the cover was real attractive and a nice pen to go with it. From now on, she decided, the diary would be her best friend. She wrote in it when she felt sad, she penned down her thoughts when she was elated. She even noted down quotes in her diary which made her feel good. It was the diary was her mute buddy, one who was always there to give her space to write on, she could always take the support of the bare blank empty pages, she felt healed and pacified after having written anything in her dear diary. One who would not expect anything in return, and yet reciprocate. One who wouldn't have any say and yet always be there.

The action of writing on real paper had a magical quality to it, thoughts transformed into words and put down on paper strangely composed the mind.

Naina found it so much easier to befriend a diary, after all making friends was a tough task. Then it was all the more difficult to keep a friendship. And so, she found happiness with her only best friend, her diary, her friend for life.