Facing the Facebook

Last Updated 16 March 2013, 13:39 IST

If you don’t have a Facebook account, and if you are not ‘followed’ by thousands on Twitter, then you don’t belong here — go back to Treta Yuga or Dwapara Yuga.

For a person as ancient as ‘yours truly’, who believed ‘tablets’ have to be popped in and ‘memory’ is that which goes away with age, and that only pianos had ‘key boards’, and ‘hard drive’ is a long, hard drive in a vehicle, and that pen and drive are two different words and cannot be combined as ‘pen-drive’, that a ‘program’ is something shown on TV, learning computer skills was a humongous task, for others, my plight provided humorous outlets.

Khalil Gibran’s words always come to my mind — “I am a stranger in this world, I roamed the universe from end to end, but could not find a place to rest my head, nor did I find any human I confronted, neither an individual who would harken my mind.” Anyway, with tremendous effort, I learnt to send and respond to electronic mails. With one-finger typing, it started eating away my time. Nonetheless, by creating an account, I soon became a face on Facebook. Then began my journey of ‘friend-collecting’.

Hollywood Actress Sherley Mclaine said, “There are no strangers in the world. There are only friends whom we have met and friends whom we have not.” Yes, friends, friends, everywhere on the net, not one friend in the real world. My ‘friend’ list began to grow — the chaos and confusion was so great that after I accepted one friend request, I got a message, ‘Who are you?’ from that very friend! I started delving deep into myself to find out ‘who I was’, and failed miserably.

The first time I came to know that I was ‘tagged’, I started shaking, just as I shook while I was getting ‘ragged’ as a young girl. I was stupid and naïve then, not knowing why one gets ‘ragged’ and I felt as stupid now, not comprehending why one gets ‘tagged’.

Because, to my limited knowledge, it was only objects that got ‘tagged’ with prices — price tags! Why should I, first of all, start a FB account and pay this ‘price’ of not knowing what ‘tagged’ meant? It took an hour or more for my children to put ‘some’ idea into my head. Is it an easy job to make a person intelligent suddenly, whose knowledge is restricted and stunted to this extent? I pitied my children.

I got a message recently, ‘So and so has poked you, poke back!’ I asked my son, “Do I poke him back or no?” “Mom, with your silly questions, you are poking hard into my mind. You are impossible,” he pronounced.

‘Play these games with so and so’, the message said one day — for an old timer, grown up with morals like ‘don’t play games’ with others’ feelings, this message sounded ominous. When I mentioned my dilemma, my FB adept friend said, “You won’t be able to face the criticism if you don’t play games on ‘Face’ book. All your fears and doubts are soooo archaic,” she said. I had to remind her that she was a model who was a decade older than I, and that put her mouth to rest. I never, for a minute, thought that one day I would have to ‘face’ such a situation.

So many things have changed, thanks to Facebook, the once upon a time detested rodent, ‘mouse’, has become a favourite. It is constantly, lovingly, hand-held, without which nothing moves, and people are becoming good at cattiness. A great combination of mice and cats.

I read somewhere recently that a husband wrote this message on his wife’s Facebook wall while on his official trip — he merely forgot to add an ‘e’ at the end of one word — “I’m having such a wonderful time! Wish u were her...!” Imagine what followed this post. Thankfully, my husband and I are not friends on FB. With my forgetfulness and intelligence, I too would have come up with such statements.

(Published 16 March 2013, 13:39 IST)

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