As far as I could remember, it was during summers. We had just finished the last lecture of the day. I and some of my friends were walking, under the parking shade to avoid the scorching sun, towards the local eatery to grab some evening snacks. Couple of them were talking about social networking site, Facebook or was it Orkut, I can’t remember now. Anyways, the discussion got me intrigued and I jumped in between to ask, “What’s that you guys are talking about?” My friend, almost awestruck as if I belonged to a bygone age, replied… “Haven’t you heard about it?” I felt so down and out of touch with what was happening around me. That very evening I went to my college’s computer lab and created my account on that site. I spent some time understanding the purpose and features of the site. Since then, I have been a member of most of the social networking sites, largely popular around the world.
Years later, I wanted some details and was searching my username, which I was sure I had stored somewhere on my laptop, but couldn’t find it for some time. All I could do was to skim across folders and files, only to find username for every other site than the one I was looking for. Overwhelmed with the data I ran down, I asked myself “Why did I join all those sites?”
The prompt answer which I could think of was, “It was a fad during those days” And I didn’t want to be the odd one out amongst my friends. Naturally now, I have a lot of friends in my friend list. But, does that mean I am in contact with each and every one of them on regular basis? I suppose not! The networking site have merely served as a contact book to locate and add (long lost) people to a list which I can refer when needed, perhaps rarely or never. Not to forget the meaningless, well sometimes useful, updates which we share. The number of people commenting of liking the post became an obsession, to level where people started posting status updates varying from “I Just woke up”, to “Going for bath now”, to numerous obnoxious shares.
Nonetheless…The charm, which ones got me hooked to these site for hours together, was fading now. I was starting to realize… the difference between fad and fade was of ‘e’. You must be thinking, “What a fool! He must be really bad in English.” Well… It’s not the grammatical error I’m pointing to, it the mental closure which we have attained due to “e” or “electronic” or the virtual lives we live. We all have loads of friends in our list, but we never speak. We send out smileys over chats, but we have a straight face while doing it. A success or a birthday surprise visit to friend’s house to wish him well has been replaced with a text or picture message, let alone calling up. To peak it all, sitting over dining table people usually communicate with one another over phone (thanks to chat apps) or are busy tapping and swiping (mobile) screen.
So is this “e” thing a bad one?
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