March 8, 2011

An Addiction Named Facebook

 First there was Orkut, the undisputed pioneer and leader among social networking sites. It dominated the college life of our generation,  to such an extent that everyone was literally obsessed with it. Sending requests to friends and unknown people (especially if of opposite sex :P) and increasing the count so as to have more friends than your best friend :P. Scrapping (unusual word :P) with all sort of crap. All this hoopla made the creators of Orkut to think that they were invincible, but a dark horse was brooding somewhere, making itself stronger in places where Orkut was weak and just when Orkut was contemplating what hit them they were pushed to oblivion , soon to be forgotten by everyone.

 From the ashes emerged the new face of social networking, "Facebook" the pet project of Mark Zuckerberg. It matched the craze that orkut generated if not more, and within a few months most of the Orkuters had switched camps to Facebook. This is one of the prime example how even the undisputed market leader can be easily dethroned by capitalizing on a single idea. It has come to a situation where people who dont have an FB account are ridiculed and they have no option but to jump on the bandwagon, as it happened to one of my friends. You literally are an outcast if you are not in FB and we thought society pressure and social networking are worlds apart. As on January 2011 there are a staggering 600 million facebook users, nearly 1/10th of the entire human population making it probably the most powerful tool in the entire human history.

Sometimes the term "social networking" used seems like a misnomer, with some people having the friend count in excess of the thousand mark. But the basic question is does a person interact with everyone in that list or is it just a number. Well technically speaking most of our facebook accounts go against the "Dunbar's Number" which limits the social relationships a person can have to a number 150. Theoretically that means in my case I don't interact with 25 of my friends in facebook(present count is 175), but practically speaking it is the inverse of that, I interact on a regular basis a max of 25 people and the remaining fall in group with whom we exchange occasional birthday wishes and nothing more , call me socially demented :P. Thankfully  "Dunbars Number" doesn't restrict the number of photos or video posted by others which we can checkout, else would surely miss the daily dose of laughs I get from them  :P. All these attractions makes FB the undisputed time killer especially if you have nothing better to do, an addiction of sorts, already given a scientific name "Facebook Addiction Disorder" and quite soon there might be clubs like "Facebook Anonymous" and irony will be when they use Facebook to interact with each other :D :D. Like this one. As goes the saying " Everything in excess is opposed to nature" it would be quite wise to keep the FB usage under control.

In recent times Facebook has not just been a means to expand our social circle but also a tool to bring revolutions in middle east countries ruled by brutal dictators since eternity. As it is known, the now immensely effective and famous "Jasmine Revolution" has its roots tracing back to this networking site. One after the other governments began to fall, while others shuddered in their cozy palatial homes. Even the shock waves were felt in countries as far as China, which famously crushed a similar revolution in the 80's. Soon school kids will start reading these stuff in their curriculum and facebook(along with other networking sites) will be written into the pages of history, to be remembered by generations to come after this.

To capitalize on this craze and to ride the wave, a different set of smart people decided to make the "unofficial" biography of "Facebook" , a largely fictionalized account and look how it turned out to be , a super hit movie and an Oscar nomination , would the same happened if a movie on Orkut is released now ????!!!!!. An idea and its timing are like pillars of a bridge , if we get one thing wrong the entire structure collapses.

On the other hand there has been lot of reports that people have started to use "Facebook" instead of blogging. Of course the exposure is considerably more in Facebook, but will it really enchant people like me who like to write lengthy articles and take considerable time in  doing so, and the answer is 'not even in my dreams'. The best option (as I do ;) ) would be to employ the services of both, giving exposure to the blog articles using facebook , an ultimate symbiosis :P. Like all things in this world there will be an end to Facebook too and it will be replaced by something which is better , but the only question is "when???".

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