Thursday, 3 February 2011

Surviving without social networking sites

 Practically this is my first post of the new year. The one that shows 1st January as the date was actually written on 31st December. So like most of the people I do not want my first post to be the new year resolutions or what should I do now and what I did before. I missed writing in the last one month as I lacked time and the enthu. I do have 4 or 5 topics on my mind already that I want to write about but I thought I would start with something that is on my mind from a long long time.

 In US and now I know even in India social networking profile is a must. We have something called as SSN in the US. Without this number you have practically no identity in US, you will not be paid , no benefits nothing. It is mandatory for everyone to have one if you want to stay here for more than a month. Similarly having a facebook account is a must. Without it you have no identity.So for most of the people here I do not exist. And I know the situation is same in India too but then there are places which do not have electricity or water and still people survive so FB account is no big deal.

I have been asked this question like an infinite amount of times that why do I not have an account on FB or Orkut? Rather some people do not believe that I do not have one.Sorry if I have created a suspense, but no , this post is not about why I am not on any social networking sites. That will still remain a secret. But I do have one answer for all which was actually given by one of my good friend Amol Joshi. Once in office when someone asked me why I do not keep an account Amol replied for me to him that 'Kapil do not like to keep traces behind of what he has done.So you know he just came back from UK and he does not want anyone to know where he is now'. The way he said that and the spontaneity with which he did made us laugh for practically 10 minutes. So I still go by the same answer to everybody who asks me the question.

But to speak on the topic , to survive without one is not really very difficult. People or friends always kept in touch way before these sites were created. So if someone wants to stay in touch, they still can. Maybe the method involves efforts but then they will find you if you are worth the efforts for them. These sites have just made things easy and trust me more than half of the people in your lists are the one you never even care about. I think of myself as a social animal but I know that I cannot stand many people and I lack the power of patience and diplomacy which people have used to very good effect these days. So when I do not even see such people on my account it actually helps. I agree that as i have moved a few countries in last few years, keeping in touch has become difficult but friends who wish to stay in touch can always e-mail. They do not really need FB or Orkut to do so.

To have an account for TimePass is the biggest reason to actually have it. But again there are other ways you can pass your free time and are as effective in time wasting as these sites.Try looking for things on Amazon and I bet it would cover 60% of the time that you want to waste. :-) .Yes I do miss it when I actually miss a few of my school friends but that missing feeling was not mutual. Had they missed me too we would have kept in touch definitely. The biggest reason why I miss these sites are when I want to spread my blogs far and wide. I need more people to read my thoughts and these sites would have been the easiest way to do so.The alternatives are really very time consuming and takes alot of efforts. Now I know that more people actually read my blog than the number of followers and the lesser number of people who comment. So I wanted to take my blog to people who are more into commenting so that I do not lack the enthu to write as I Just did for last month. But I leave this on your hands.

Surviving without these sites is now becoming a fun challenge for me. Some of you can try it too or share your experiences about them.


  1. Kapil now just chupchap open an fb account ya. The fact that you're writing a post on it proves that you know its importance and are trying to justify 'not' being on it to yourself and others. You are a social person, with lots of thoughts to share. Not to forget pictures of your travel too. People who are important to you will reach u no doubt, but because u travel countries, its the best way to keep in touch with all the different ppl and colleagues u meet. In fact, its probably the only way u can do that. See it as professional networking or just the plain feeling of being a global citizen. Since you are away, no doubt emails and chats can be exchanged with friends. But what fb does is it actually fills the gap of distance. You can know whats regularly happening in your friend's lives and they about you. What you're thinking, where you've been. And generally what's up. Tell me, if you don't share your lives with your friends then what else....i knw best friends and family is always around.. But dude, man is a social animal. And you dude, have lots to say about them. You weren't much of a blogger when you were on orkut... know what i mean? I know all your secret reasons. But i think you shud just do it now ya.

    *water please*

  2. I agree you have a point...
    but its starting to become fun for not having one..
    and someone just gave me a new angle on why not to have an accnt on FB. I am waiting for that person to comment here on the post..He will as soon as he gets time..

    And I do not know why most of the people who read are so reluctant to comment..strange man..

  3. Dude I totally agree wid Umma... :)
    Seriously, from this blog wat I understand is that ur trying to protray false picture of why ur not on FB n orkut...
    I was on orkut, I still have orkut but it is as good as not having one as I m on FB now...
    I started FB in 09' and then went offline for several months in 10' but m back again on FB...
    And it is nothing as you said... I don't have any special identity as I am on FB, neither did I loose any part of my identity while I was away from FB...

    Dude, u said surviving without these sites is becoming a fun challenge, this tells that you want to come back but ur holding urself... Just trying to convince urself by giving resons for not doing so...

  4. Hey Para...there is nothing holding me back from coming on FB or Orkut so there is no reason why i should portray a false picture.
    Not being on them is completely my decision.

    Plus I am not sure I got you identity point very well but still just google something called as 'facebook envy' and you would know what I am talking about.

    As i said I do miss FB as it would be a great and easy way to spread my blogs and get more interested people to follow me who would actually comment after reading. :-)

    Plus keeping in touch is not that difficult.All who know us would know that you and I will always be in touch. SO how many actually asked you about me or got my email id from you? The world moves on buddy. A social networking site is not the criteria to stay in touch.

    Appreciate your comments.

  5. Dude, having a social networking profile doesn't just help you keep in touch with your friends or spreading your blog. It's like a portal to everything you may want.

    For example, first thing I do in the morning after arriving in office is sign in to my Gmail, FB, and Twitter accounts. I have the latest news available to me via Google Reader and Twitter. Plus, I can follow a lot of other websites related to my various interests using these networking sites (I am a reading-writing-Cricket-Soccer-gaming fanatic). Having all the news brought to me on twitter and FB means that I can go through the headlines once rather than visiting these websites and then choose to read the story that interests me most.

    Another fact is that I can share these stories on the networking sites and can discuss these. I admit that this can be done through e-mail too, but then the problem is that through email I will only discuss this with my closest friends. And another problem here is that, a most of my close friends are from different walks of my life (a few from my engg. days, a few from school days, a few from work). So the problem is that they don't know each other well, and hence will be reluctant to 'reply to all' to these mails. But FB as we know is a "Social Networking Site". And it's OK to have a short conversation with strangers on these sites rather than having it through email.

    I agree with you that these social networking sites are not a necessity in life, but they sure are a convenience. And we are alway looking for ways to make our lives convenient aren't we (washing clothes with hands to a washing machine, post cards to e-mail, and so on...I guess you got my point).

  6. nicely detailed G. 'Like', Shya there is no such button here :)

    This is my first comment on this blog, so just heads up, NOM is always inherent.

    I don't quite agree to that point that these sites are mere a Luxury any more. They are part of your life. They are your digital self. I am not encouraging getting carried away, but you can not overlook its importance.

    Most of the points are already covered by G, coincidentally I have written a blog on this recently, so here is the link to it... Your comments are welcome ! :)

  7. @ Zeus and Mercury:
    Thanks for your comments.
    Well for certain parts i agree that these sites will give you all the information you want. But is this all that use these sites for?
    How many hours are actually wasted getting information or checking status of people you do not really care about
    And is the so called digital image of yours true? You would have your best pic ever displayed on profile. Does anybody ever has an status update saying that I had a fight with my loved one or I am worried for my expenses or any problems? We update taking a new car and having fun and people assume that is all what life for others is. So the research guys have made a new term called 'facebook envy' that is becoming rampant among people.
    It has its pros and cons but that it is a necessity is not a valid point. We use washing machines to reduce efforts and it still is a luxury and not a necessity.
    Atleast 60% of indian population finds it a luxury. So you just proved my point.
    Appreciate your writing

  8. Getting information takes time whether you do it online or any other way. Checking other people's statuses is not something that you have to do. It's a personal choice. Even if they do pop-up, you just have to ignore them. 60% of the people in my friends list are people whom I knew 'once upon a time in a land far far away', or people I haven't even met. But I still have them in my list since we share the same interests and even though I don't care about the people at all, I still discuss these interests with them occasionally. Being social does not mean that you have to care about everyone you meet.

    About the reality of our virtual image; it can be as real as you want it to be. That again boils down to personal choice.

    And I have people in friends' list who put in such daily status updates. I have friends who put in updates about every single thing that they do. I have friends who put in updates about their love life (Ok I am kidding here, I just have one friend like that :P). I have friends who put in some good quotes from books and movies, from the religious texts, and so on. Again it's a personal choice.

    Basically, all the negatives (including 'facebook envy'; and yes I did read that article after someone posted it on FB) that you pointed out about social networking boil down to your own personal choices. You can balance your usage in such a way that this can be a very fun experience.

    And as I said earlier, these sites are not a necessity, neither are they a luxury, but they are a convenience. We don't buy a washing machine as long as it is a luxury for us. We buy a TV, vehicle, PC, and all that stuff as a luxury. We buy a washing machine when it becomes a convenience for us.

  9. Luxury and Convenience... Liked the Point...
    Pretty much 'rest my case' kind of arguement.


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