Life is such a beautiful thing with all its ups and downs, and wise men have said that one should live life to the fullest, since you live once. But not anymore, I think. Welcome to the age of social networking sites or Social Media. First came the chat and we all thought how cool is that talking to someone so far and yet in the most inexpensive way where the feeling is so-real. The funny thing was that since most of us were talking with a pseudo name ( I said most) you never knew about the other persons real self (am assuming that in the beginning most of us chatted with unknowns). You might actually be talking to the gentleman (or woman) sitting next to you, and thinking that you are talking to someone from Hawaii 🙂
But that was fun too. I think that was the starting point and then came Web 2.0 and with it all the social networking sites. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Orkut, Twitter, and now Google +1…just to name a few and they have become a part of our everyday life.
And with this we started living, unknowingly, a *second* life. A life that is a tad different from the real self, sometimes. The current generation or rather the generation of digital natives (i belong to the digital migrants era) make their presence felt in almost all the social networking sites. The Web has engulfed us: when we are not on our laptops at home surfing the Internet we use “Smartphones”, “Netbooks”, and now “Tablets” to satisfy our addiction of social media. Even if you have not talked to someone in a year, you know his or her entire life story by following his or her Facebook page. Although nothing wrong with that. Infact, you are an outcaste in your group if you do not have a Web presence these days. The more your presence on the Web, the more you are close to becoming *UberCool*.
All this is fine, but then we have almost stopped living the REAL LIFE (to a certain extent). We are so much into this social media that we tend to believe that sitting in front of a computer for hours and chatting with friends while playing Farmville enhanced our social skills. Social networks provide an outlet for the socially challenged to express themselves in digital form. Someone’s online personality may be completely different from their offline persona, causing chaos when their two “lives” intersect.” So in virtual life, someone is a cool farmer or a gardener (courtesy Farmville), but then in real life will he or she even think of watering the garden plant. A few may, but a few many may not…cause that is not cool. One of the reasons is sheer publicity. On these networking sites, who do garner a lot of eyeballs…and who does not like to have a bit of publicity?
The point here is not what is good or bad or what is a positive impact versus negative impact, but about how are we living our life, the one that is so beautiful and so real. Are we trying to be as much social as we are on these Web sites? I personally believe that networking sites are good; they have closed the distances between people, although in the virtual sense. But living totally on these sites, is not such a cool idea in my humble opinion.