It was the start of my professional career after I had my University Degree when I was introduced to the world of Information technology in a different way altogether... The word "Social Networking" was not new for me...I had been on Orkut and Hi5 back in my university days and the experience was not bad at all! It was cool how you checked your PROFILE VIEWERS and make your friends write your TESTIMONIALS.. It was fun ..but nothing excessive in it,,,not to the extent of Wasting time! It was the time when Facebook was not invented yet,,Life was all peaceful without anxiety of " what should be my new Status message!"..
Then everything changed with two words joined together as FACE+BOOK....Thus the world witnessed even the most book-allergic people all dangled up to this new social networking site.
I was too busy to notice this new invention but it was only after one and half year that I had to pay attention to this word..Being an English Language Instructor, I had to deal with a variety of different people..all flavors mixed together at the same place..there were Teen-agers, Professionals, House-wives, University Students, Done with education but still unemployed Youth and some Senior Citizens too....The experience was out of this world..Tho I was the one who was teaching them but I had something new to learn myself every day...It was then that I noticed the change in the youth segment of my Language Groups..they were talking about their experiences of social networking more and more now.In their daily presentations while talking about their routines , there was this new addition.."then I checked my Facebook account before I went to sleep"...
I was getting interested in it now..
Then I witnessed another change..Now on talking to people around, I was confronted with this question right before "Good-bye"..On meeting new people, after having those friendly intimate initial talks, when it used to come on "Stay In Touch" part...it was suddenly enhanced with another small part which said "Hey ! Are you on FaceBook?"....My answer was always a big NO..which earned me that "Really!!" loud and that "Poor Ignorant Soul!" Look!
Then the reaction was more verbal..On my saying 'NO' ..people shouted "Are you serious? Everybody is on Facebook!! How come not you!" ....and I was like "Goli mar do na mujay phir!" ..(Shoot me for that then! )
When it got unbearable, I decided to take the bull by the Horns and all angry, went to check it while I was on internet that night..I followed the instruction and made myself an account there, became a part of that perhaps most famous ' Blue/White ' combination.
To tell you honestly, I was excited too...I felt revived on becoming part of something that was becoming a part of daily life...As a matter of face, I felt myself 5 years younger then my exact age;p
Now the Facebook experience began..The very first thing that I confronted was "Status Message"..I dint know it was that important to inform people that "Mahvish Tahira is....doing this and doing that at this very moment!! I was amazed on people changing their status that rapidly.It seemed World's biggest problem to have a unique status message, this compelled people to invent some of the most hilarious one-linessuch as..
* x "is busy pulling his gf's hairs for cheating on him."
* x" is clenching her teeth for her Beautician has charged her extra for a simple plucking job."
* x "is thinking to go for Loo."
* x is poking you with a spork.
* x is going to dark side, they have candies!
* x is out walking her pet fish.
And the list goes on and on and on..Then I found myself practicing the sacred rituals of facebook..Coming up with most Unbelievable One-lines for my status message, to have more and more "Like+s" on your postings got me thrilled too....Honestly speaking, there is nothing that an important activity to do on your Fb account until and unless you have some Thousand people added as your friends,,,it will of-course take some time to comment on their status one by one.but nothing important otherwise...I mean just log in, check the "most recent".... Change your Profile photo, Comment on others status, change your status, upload a video from Youtube and You are bored already!! But still people spend hours on Fb...doing nothing..exactly nothing!
I was going through this research the other day which said, by the way it was conducted under University of California, so it said You are Facebook addict IF...
1-you spend more then an hour on it daily.
2-you ignore your job or work for it.
3-the thought of going a day without facebook gives you stress or anxiety.
4-you keep on thinking about your next status message.
5-if you are loosing your sleep over it.
Well according to the research, these symptoms if present should get you worried for becoming a Social-networking addict but according to my very own Personal Theory , These are five clues that should tell you that you are changing from Facebookaholic to Escapist...Yes you got me right!
Escapist is the word to describe this addiction in a more precise manner, People tend to spend time on computers more and more then participating in their Real Lives....You want to check your Fb account as "The first thing in the morning" simply because you don't want to think all the tough things that you got to do that day...Social Networking is a heavenly place where there are no Liabilities , no responsibilities , no pressures , no expectations, no 'changing the Baby Diapers', or ' cooking the food exact on time' , or no 'dealing with your painfully nagging mother-in-law, no complaining wife, or careless husband, or creepy siblings, nothing of this sort!
Its all peace there...just click on the magic 'Log in' and you are pulled away from the Real Cruel Selfish Bitchy World for all the good in the World....
Don't get me wrong, I am not against the Great Information technology or a Die-hard Fanatic against increasing interference of Cyber-Socialization in Personal Life Style.Not at all! I am one of you..don't get me wring..I'm the one who spends more then one hour on Fb daily, I'm the one who needs all the rehabilitation in the world for being Facebook Addict, but there is one thing that keeps on pinching me since I came to know that last week my sister younger to me was going through a lot of stress..and I mean "serious kind of stress"here....she is having problems with her Fiance and she was dealing with it all alone...
When it got disclosed the other day when she burst into crying that left all of us shocked and worried like hell, I asked her "Why on the earth You din't tell me? I'm Your eldest sister, damn it"...and she while still crying, looked up to me and "You were too busy for that!"...
That left me speechless...I don't want you to hear my family stories here, but I'm a very caring eldest sister to my siblings..we used to sleep in the same bedroom, all four of us,,( we are four sisters and one bro mashALLAH) ..I still remember how they used to fight to tell their story of the day first..I used to listen to their whole daily "what we did today"thing before going to sleep..Then things got changes..We were suddenly grown-ups...I missed that communication a lot..I complained they don't tell me much now...But then I had my own life too..But this particular incident shook me inside out...We still sleep on the same bed in the same room...Two of us..How come I could'nt notice her Swollen eyes..How come I could'nt figure out that something was wrong with her..
But now I remember, I was truly too busy talking to people sitting thousands miles from me, busy in listening to their problems, solving their issues , giving them advices that they needed most, consoling them , and telling them that I will always be there for them !!!