I use social networking sites like almost anyone else. But slowly I’ve come to realise how much it has changed me as a person.
I can no longer talk about my feelings to anyone. It is my profile status. I actually revel in the joy of the number of comments I get for each status update. And I am depressed when no one cares about my state of mind.
Why is it necessary to announce to the whole world that I had dinner at a long lost relative’s place yesterday? I complain about this, yet I find myself asking whether my friend enjoyed the dinner.
If I am depressed, I want everyone to know. Everyone consoles me and asks what happened. I pour my heart out into another status update.
It is easier for me to message a friend Happy Birthday or write on her/his wall. Just for being so impersonal, I get my thank you as a status update on her/his behalf – ‘So and so: Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes.’ Of course, if that is how much you care about me, this is how much I care about you.
A friend of someone I know passes away. His status update reads: ‘Still in shock. May your soul rest in peace.’
I gauge my popularity by the number of photographs and notes I am tagged in. It matters more when someone comments about me in the photograph. It hurts me when I haven’t been mentioned.
I hate what it has done to me. I have lost feeling and emotion for people. I cannot look anyone in the eye and tell them about my feelings. I find it so much easier to write in on their wall.
The point is, social networking sites have made my life most impersonal and inhuman. I feel like I am connected to the world only by means of these. I feel like I don’t have a life beyond it. But what I don’t realise is that I have destroyed all of my life beyond this. It is only my doing. I didn’t know where to stop. I went on ahead, wearing my emotions, not on my sleeve, but on my profile status. Everyone knows what’s happening in my life, and no one cares.
I want to give it up. I want to maintain relations with only people who matter. I don’t want to make new friends online. I want to make real friends out in the real world. I want to expand my network by being myself. I want to meet new people through me. I want to be the reason for my happiness and unhappiness. I don’t want to credit the same to some website online.
Ironically, I am complaining about the internet to the internet. I really am trapped in this world wide web. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it…
[Editor’s Note: This article is submitted by Puja Lalwani. She is interior designer by profession and new to blogging. This is her first blog post.