March 6, 2014

Why I might say goodbye to Facebook..

As a self-proclaimed social media addict, Facebook was indeed a part of me. Like rest of the world, I was excited to post pictures, share my thoughts, updates and life events.  Facebooking was like the happy-hour at the end of the day. I used to look forward to open Facebook and see my friend’s walls, their pictures, fun videos they post, find long lost friends, read movie reviews, recipes and what not.  I even get to know world events even before I get a chance to read the news.
But like phase after the honeymoon, the bitter reality strikes.  I remember my mother telling me not to pay attention to certain things people post on the walls (I mean the actual walls and hoards back home). I guess it’s time for me to be prudent and filter out what I need and what I don’t want to read in the virtual walls of Facebook. With the entire generation on Facebook, friends ranging from your 8 year old niece to your 80 year old grandmother, it is difficult for me as a person to post something universally acceptable. I have to screen and sensor and even think about the consequences of the wide range of friends seeing what I have to say or what I promote. There is too much information to process. From a social media its now like being in a public chat.
This thought struck me after I started seeing a lot of political/ religious/ cult postings in Facebook.  The so called ‘Friends’ promoting their religious beliefs on their wall, feeding these posts on the ‘trend’, ‘Friends’ promoting their political beliefs, fighting on the ’walls’ in support of their individual political beliefs.  A very unhealthy religious promotion is happening in this virtual world of FB. A competitive and dangerous tone is seen in many posts and people who share it fails to understand that simply by clicking a ‘share’ they are being judged and assessed by people like on their interests, beliefs and even their outlook in life.  I was shocked to see this ‘other’ side of people. I even wanted to remove a few from my list not to come across certain foolish postings on my FEED.
Interestingly, if you take my FEED for this week, the most discussed things among my friends are
•         Aravind Kejriwal – AAP People promoting this, people tarnishing them.
•         Narendra Modi- Modi Fans, Modi Haters
•         Amritanandamayi – Exposers and supporters
•         Film Gossips-Celebrity Private lives, divorces, breakups
To all those people who are in this heated discussion on Indian politics, be it be AAP Fans, BJP Fans, Congress Fans or the ‘X’ party Fans, How many of you have actually voted even once? How many of you are planning to vote for these upcoming UPA elections. When I took a survey of my friends who regularly post promoting their political ideology, I realized that most of them live outside India. I myself has never casted a vote in my home country.   Can they really get their feet dirty and go to India and promote what they believe rather than sitting at the comfort of their homes and posting stuff on Facebook at the cost of their Wi-Fi connection? You can have a political opinion, freedom of expression, but can’t we just confine it to separate groups for such discussions?
Coming to religious beliefs - I really don’t know where to start. From atheists to extremists to moderates, everyone is fighting hard to mock at each other.  All the religions teach us acceptance, patience and tolerance. I am disappointed to see people my age bluntly post such derogatory comments without a proper understanding or research on their own belief.
If you really want to have a good laugh, you should read how common people advice the celebrities on their personal choices. I have been following this Actress who is believed to be separated from her husband. I was ashamed to read the comments of certain male chauvinist. People advising her to do with her life, how to be a good wife and even cursing her decision to come back to films just because there is a rumor she is separated from her husband.  I was so curious to know what people comment on her husband’s Fan page. Surprisingly except for a few comments, his page doesn’t have anybody advising him on his decision to separate. I found this very interesting. How much ever we consider us to be educated, there is always a stigma for the woman when a separation happens, but not for the man. Having said that do people really think, these celebrities are going to read these comments and take advice from you? Seriously?
I think it’s time for a transition. I am still in Facebook for my own reasons. I want to know where my friends are, see the happy things they do in life, share their happiness. But I doubt I will be able to filter what I want to see and what I don’t want to see. May be I should just remain a silent spectator. See the world go by and even see the demise of this giant empire of social media.