It wasn’t a long time ago when I was being introduced to facebook. For me it was just another portal of social media as I was already on orkut; yes long forgotten orkut. I have seen and in fact experienced the evolution of social online interaction through eras of IRC chat clients, messengers, which were the popular choices back in 90s to early 2000s. The person who introduced me to facebook during my masters in 2008 was not a big fan of orkut or perhaps he was a visionary, who could read the consistent failure of google when it came to social media platforms.
I am not sure about everyone but majority of us who had the privilege and Pentium power in same time span (i.e. late 90s to early 2000s) were almost running a parallel life. They had unfamiliar online friends and also the known ones from whereabouts of real life which of course had its own pros and cons. One of the biggest charms of facebook was that one could find the old acquaintances and long lost friends. And believe me finding the old mates from childhood/school was an experience similar to finding a lost treasure. It was indeed rejoicing.
I won’t write about the negatives that had been the part of social media but would focus on a different aspect of negativity amongst us here in this very blog. Social networking became stronger with time aided by smart phone revolution; whatsapp, tango, skype; you name it and you can have it with as many features as you can dream of and as many emoticons as you can have the moods by themselves. To be honest, interacting online at times is more pleasant than the in-person meetings as some people are more gifted with their expressions when it comes to writing. But the sad truth is that people can also hurt you, much bitterly with their written arsenal than they actually can in their real lives. Written variants of speech can also be very confusing, you take a smiley out of the message and it changes the entire intent of the message, same is the case with putting it at the end of the rude message.
We are humans and we do perceive events and ideas differently. Everyone has a different take on different events. Difference of opinion, if leading to better ideas, is indeed good but unfortunately it has been bringing out the evil inside us; the bitterness, and the acrimony that has been soaked in for quite long through several phases of life. There always had been a debate about how good it is not to impose your ideas on others and respect other’s point of view but Facebook comments however are a dangerous threat to that. Even the most moderate and patient individuals can lose it and start getting tenacious over their stand, for what they are saying is nothing but utterly correct.
We socialize and make ‘de facto’ groups based on motives even if they are not intentional. Some of you might disagree but one definitely needs a common interest for friendships/relationships to prevail and flourish unless you are arranged married to one. Gamers would understand this more than anyone as they do make friends in huge quantities playing a common on-liner like Mafia Wars or Criminal Case etc. What I heard long ago and recently experienced is that mutual interest is even surpassed by mutual hatred. Common enemy surely can bring you more closer than having a common friend/interest.
Most of this year has been wasted in political non sense and sit-ins. At one hand we have a flag bearer of change who is against the systems being in the system while outside the system for the system to continue by changing the system and replacing the system through renewal of system etc. Yes, he is as confused and twisted as my statement here. On the other hand we a have a businessman prime minister who has a reputation of building mega projects so that he can bribe the people with their own money and continue to increase his family wealth through nepotism.
Regardless of who likes whom and what political awareness it has blessed us with, my point is at what cost and in what way on social media it has affected us? To me politics has turned into a game of likes and dislikes more completely than ever before. Political rivalries are as severe as religious contentions and difference of opinion is synonymous to personal animosities therefore should be avoided as much as possible in public. Some of you would again disagree here that debate for difference of opinion is a good way to handle matters but social media and social interaction can worsen it or one should say that social relationships/friendships can easily be ruined (and are ruined) these days over the very same social platforms.
In my perspective, Facebook and social media was supposed to make me happy as I was spending my personal time for my leisure, entertainment or awareness. Why should it turn into a battle ground just because someone out there has a fragile ego or poor temperament and he happens to disagree with my perspective? You will find a wide variety of people who consider their utmost responsibility to comment on everything as if they are auditor general of facebook and they have nothing to do except to ensure everything is going as per their way of thinking and they have the sole responsibility to enlighten people with their self-proclaimed intellect. I am also guilty of sharing content which may hurt many, so it is not totally the fault of others to come and comment on that post. But wait! Where is that chant of respect the difference of opinion?
Platforms like facebook combine several type of social contacts like family, school fellows, college mates, university buddies, work colleagues, friends, relatives and acquaintances. So they mostly watch the same content shared by you. The comment of one of them may offend you on platform (just like in public) which may appear unharmful in person. These differences may lead to a point where good friendships may turn into bad rivalries.
A fight over facebook which may be a free entertainment to many of viewers can really dry you out of your positive energy. Most of us may have gone through this torture for once at least that we had an argument (treated like a war no matter what you claim it to be or how peaceful you try to pretend) and had to cancel their important work/assignments just to carry out on that fight. Initially I thought unfollowing that (different opinionated) friend was good enough but some people don’t stop. Despite of their ethical claims they don’t even know when to draw the line and when to stop. They almost cross every limit of indecency and misbehave. Calling people with fragile egos or fat egos and declaring them biased just because they don’t like the way you think are common traits of modern times. To make matters worse they even start tagging you in posts which you literally hate.
As a conclusion I saw some people unfriending me and I lost many acquaintances and even with regret of losing them life certainly became better. And I admit that I have unfriended many and I don’t think it’s a bad cost to pay for regaining the peace of your mind. This is your time, you spend it on facebook or any other social media platforms. You are spending your precious time for joy, not to make it a blood boiling experience and causing contentions in friendships. When facebook wasn’t there, what did we use to do? Meeting an old acquaintance or friend somewhere out was always a pleasant surprise. I believe that when you unfriend the ones who don’t know when to stop or when to draw the line; it gets better. It is indeed a better choice to have a probability of meeting them somewhere out of the blue in a decent way than to keep them on facebook and keep accumulating the grudge. It’s your time so cherish it with joy, you dislike something, unfollow it and if they mess with you by tagging or poking nose in every post, just eliminate them from facebook lineup with no hard feelings.
Blaming the tools like facebook is not the way; just like you can’t blame life for the choices you made. Life gives a chance to everyone at least once in your lives so make maximum out of it. Stay happy and spread happiness 🙂