Nice composition...point 4 and 5 are so very true. When something is used too often and we are engrossed in it, soon it becomes a part of our thinking process and subconscious. Thinking from FB point of view is one such thing. So the request to everyone would be focus on real creativity and introspection, however, sharing (particularly from office network) is equally important. Enjoy
Well, people live without so many things and boast to be the happiest without. But then, it is ignoring or say being dull to new things say having inability to accept and adopt any change!
Controlled use without being addict to facebook is... ideal(though not easy)
@Pappa: I agree. Change is inevitable, as in the evolution theory. If we can't adopt it, we'll be left behind.
It's often the thin line between 'adopting' and 'personifying' a change that defines 'addiction'. In case of Facebook, clearly, it's way tougher to set the control. We often end up crossing all the boundaries much before we realize it.
Virtual aspect apart, the 'real life' impact is my concern.
@Kaushal: Facebook is just symbolic. Orkut, Twitter, or Mobile Internet, or Technology in general – we must set the alarm for when to stop. The tough part is to set the alarm, tougher to stop when it alarms.
There are tons of books and articles on how to use Facebook and Twitter for better ‘results’. It’s strictly business in that case. Sharing for spreading the joy and excitement is equally valid.
It gets tougher the point when ‘sharing’ isn’t really for sharing, ‘comments’ are literally ‘comments’ or more on times, and the whole Facebook psychology starts acting like parallel reality.
I agree to all your points. But if you look in other positive side of "FACEBOOK", at least we have started socializing. We met our friends- relatives whom we have left behind in school, college, our home town….We actually came to know how they are what they think of us and our “crazy” thoughts.
I like facebook , yes but everything in limit is good.
Some extent you are right Rahul! Couple of story to share - well once we(me and Smit) were walking through streets and we saw taxi driver (Desi one) was using facebook , they have facebook taxi group too.Here Facebook is like water you can't live without specially after golden globe win. Street vendors - they have iphones and I have often seen them using it to take orders through facebook.
In context of your first point , something reverse happened to me I missed an event once because I didn't check my facebook for couple of days.
Earlier I used to post little little things but then I realized this shouldn't be my primary channel to people with whom I am really connected , I shouldn't be exposed to everybody ;) since then I tried using it to some limit. And I am glad I am able to do it :)!
That was a very thoughtful post Rahul. I can't agree more.
Honestly, my opinion is, everybody has their own reasoning for using FB - students, employees, housewives, enterpreneurs, celebrities etc. and therefore there is no such thing called an 'ideal' FB usage. While some have positive stories to talk about, there are equally negative opinions about FB. It's purely a subjective phenomenon.
Well,first of all Rahul I really appreciate the fact that you pen down most of things that cross your mind.I am sure most of us must have thought about the same points you mentioned, but its you who wrote it....great work.
As every coin as two sides and everything reaches a peak and starts its downward journey, similar is the case with fb.You mentioned you have seen not so-computer well versed people on fb ,I think thats a really strong point.This is called the power of social networking and I think Mark Zuckerberg has been immensly successful in what he believed.But at the same time a fb repulsion era has also started.I think it more depends on the individual if s/he wants to make best of the virtual world or spend hours digging into others life.Plain and simple, good write and its high time fb goes public with its over rated $50 billion valuation!
True that Facebook helped us socialize better and get in touch with distant relatives and long-lost friends. It remains a nice tool for staying up-to-date with others whereabouts and updates.
But the same was also there with Orkut. Facebook for that matter, (or Mark Zuckerberg) has managed to hit more personal aspects beyond ‘socializing’. No surprises, if they would have a think-team that keeps working on how to get more and more people involved and addicted to their website.
This is equally applicable to any other Social Networking website/tools that lead to get us addicted.
We all know that Facebooking in limit is good. But then, Facebook team must also be knowing that and I feel they would constantly be working on how we cross that limit.
If one’s making money/profit out of Facebook, it’s business. It’s straight away a different category.
But it’s the use at the personal level that I’ve tried to highlight. Facebook must have used the model of normal Human mentality, how they socialize, found the loopholes/flaws/limitations, and would have given solution through their website.
Now is good times for us – that acquainted with Facebook – to learn good lessons from there and implement in real life. Like you said, we would rather want to be connected to friends/family through real means and not just online.
A classic write up and as Barkha has said most of us think on similar lines and can connect to it very well. I esp liked the humor in this one :)
'check her/his Facebook account the first thing in the morning, way before brushing the teeth or rushing to loo.' ......'Well, there’s positive side - she’ll always be there with us - on Facebook.'...........'one must like and compliment his wife/girlfriend’s profile picture' made me LOL -- really!
My activities on FB has decreased drastically too...now I think thrice b4 posting anythin on my page...users nwadys do a lot of stuff bcoz they HAVE to rather than they want to.....And I wish I could like some of your post comments like that of Dipal - the 1st and 2nd ones ;) may be you can come up with a code for tht too ;)
@Victor: How true! There’s no single reference line, which we call as ‘limit’ for every user. It’s subjective. It has to be realized by individuals and self-imposed.
@Bharka: Thank you! :)
High time you start writing as well. I know how observant you are, and I’m sure you can put interesting things in words and come up with a masterpiece. (I can also see Mr. Gulabrani has been sharing some management lessons with you. Motivating start, solid mid-content and conclusive end! Good going…)
It felt like you pointed good things about Facebook because of your investment interests once they go public. :D
It’s true, that Faebook (and ‘internet’ to begin with) must be credited for helping not-so-computer kind of people for getting closer to the technology. Not just they’re getting learning new things, it’s bridging that gap between the generations. Internet/Facebook is the missing link. My father is the best example, who makes the best out of internet to learn the latest about ophthalmology, write online journal (blog), apart from keeping in touch with friends/family.
Well, I feel Facebook (more than any other social media portal) is well designed to get people addicted very fast, and unknowingly, it does cause some damage to most of the users. True it’s individual’s call how far to go and where to stop. But I feel it’s a design-flaw on FAcebook’s part that most of the people hop between two extreme categories:
1. Addicted - more than a few hours a day
2. Exhausted – done with Facebook, in no state to use it even ‘moderately’
There should be a 3rd category - involved, but not addicted. I'd like to fall in that category.
Hi Rahul, I totally agree on all the points you have mentioned. Let me share some positive thoughts around FB - I am extremely thankful to FB 1. for helping me re-connect to some of my very precious old friends... that too easily. 2. For helping me keep in touch with all my friends despite of my busy schedule. 3. Look at a lot of things happing around my friends and relatives living abroad. I wonder If I would have otherwise been able to contact them so regularly. What else ..? Its through FB that I could know a lot of other aspects of ppls lives, and read interesting blogs like this one...:) ..Surely one should keep in mind all the points u have put up....and draw a line appropriately :) Nevertheless it just fits so well in the current lifestyle and is a quick way to connect...isnt it ?
@Audi: We all are at the same stage, more or less. Thanks to paranoia shared (again, through Facebook) we share things, think again, delete them. And lately, many of us have stopped sharing at all. Not many of us use Facebook the same way we were doing a year or two before.
If it was to be compared to real life, it’s a phase which should ideally pass. But in the virtual world, I’m not sure!
@Tanya: Well said! Certainly the ‘pros’ side is heavier than the ‘cons’ one. When draw a line, how draw it, is an individual matter. But as you put so appropriately, ‘it just fits so well in the current lifestyle’. Facebook is here to stay!
Well, I dont have much to say as you have already received a good response on this post!! Must I have to say, Its a good post? IT IS A GREAT post for those who use FB as the mandatory things in their life. we now have 4 basic needs in life: "ROTI-KAPDA-MAKAN & FB" :) This seems really funny but thats the tragedy of this new facebook generation. I always believe that its only we who should decide HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH!!!! FB is rally a good idea where you can meet people and when you limit its use. After reading this post, I am not going away from FB but would surely like to limit my use! Thanks for the wonderful article Rahul!!!Keep Writing...
Remind me to have a discussion with you in Africa when we are bored waiting for the cheetahs to start hunting the deers :-)
My point of view differs from yours and my mind screams to object to every single point! But I see there was a lot of discussion in the comment space. I'll come back once I catch up on all of that...
@Ruja: Thanks! :) I'm glad you liked the article.
@Bhav: Africa's on. There's new plan for May coming up. Let's see. But that later.
I'm 'dying to' hear your views... Enjoy Alabamaing till then!
@Rahul:-Posting here at your request..... I guess FB is more useful for people who are not like Indians (who meet ,talk,socialize on a daily basis with one another at work,transport,school,college...etc..)..Indians do not need FB to get in touch with friends,neighbours,relatives ...rather Indians over socialize...
If you notice this concept came from West where people tend to live alone or far from their relatives..rarely interact with neighbours....I guess in Western society there are lots of Psycological problems ..as they can not vomit their thoughts like we do with friends,,,family....
rahul bhai its really amazing and al are surely truth..here u mention a story of a girl and same story did with me in past ......i accept this ....
Rahul, definitely FB does have some problems, but look at other way around... I would not have meet some of my old/college/school friends or co-workers without FB.. though i rarely talk with them...
i love my friends a lot, FB is right platform for me to know what my friends are doing.. i m not talking with all d time.
also i would love to know what my friends do and what they think... WIthout FB or Social Network that wouldn't have been possible..
you said FB will become primary identity for any user one day... actually thats good..i have some of very good FB friends, the fact is i never met them... but still i would love to talk with them, like to share idea and thoughts.. probably i m talking with you just bcoz of Social Network....:-)
Also think about knowledge... amount of knowledge shared on FB is unbelievable... someone just post how to Produce Oil out of Plastic.. .i would never get to know abt tht, until i follow some science news and stuff, which normally i dont..
Security is definitely concern on FB... but you can definitely have good privacy by not sharing ur data with anyone... I believe someday someone will definitely come up with good security control system, (which we definitely need in our Virtual World not only on FB)
@Vatsal: Thanks! I was specifically loved your ‘Indian’ analogy of whole Social Media model. I’m not very sure about the social structure in the West. However, based on what I see and witness here in India, I’m afraid the scene is no different. At least I can say for myself, the only people I interact with in person are the ones at work. I’ve not managed to meet up one of my old college friends in almost four months, and vice versa. Facebook apart, I feel socializing in general is at question these days.
@Hiral: Thanks for dropping by! I’m glad you’re out of the emotional-drama.
@Amit: Definitely. We (most of us) do owe a lot to Facebook or similar social networking portals. I was introduced to one of my closest friends (today) through Facebook, who I wouldn’t have known existed otherwise.
Keeping track of friends you can’t/don’t want to meet; learning amazing new things; meeting long-lost contacts, being some of many other good things here.
My personal opinion (and concern) is how Facebook (and similar media) affects one’s personal life and psychology. I can give my own example, a friend of mine recently ‘hid her wall’ from me. In normal case it should mean she just tightened the security/privacy settings. But, like ‘a normal human’ I took it offensively. I also ‘hid my wall’ from her. What followed, we eventually ‘unfriended’ on Facebook. And now, being in the same city, we’re in no talking terms.
I know I can’t blame Facebook for this. But it certainly gave a reason!
If we can balance things, control the usage, then definitely Social Media can be a blessing. I’m just trying to highlight the people for whom it’s rather turned into a nightmare already, or soon will do.
An interesting read. I'm sure most readers of this article would find it interesting: Decide why you’re social networking.
True.. Interesting read.
Limits is something that you decide but like mentioned earlier, with the features that keep getting added to facebook/ other social networking sites, the limits just keep expanding.
Facebook, to me, also demands to take away some of my personal space. People with whom you interact with not just over facebook/ other forms of virutal socializing, tend to publicize some of the most 'not to be publicized' issues right on the walls, with the feature of 'tagging' people adding to the publicity. And I am somehow not in favour of such overtly 'vocal' social networking. Remember I was asking you about the extent to which the privacy settings should be used to not let people access information/ your facebook profile.
I am not too sure about guys, but girls often fall prey to facebook overuse and end up in the 'exhausted' state. Yet the desire/ curiosity to know whats happening in other people's lives keeps them glued to the networking sites. And thats when social networking turns into 'virtual social stalking'. That probably very well defines for them how important facebook is.. just so that you dont miss out on other people's 'happening' life.
Completely agree, and I wonder why the heck I didn't see this post earlier. I went off Facebook late March 2011, deactivated my profile for N number of reasons. 1st coz I brokeup & couldn't tolerate seeing her FB messages & chats everyday. 2nd, I figured I was spending way too much time on FB and not with the family, dog & friends :)
I actually used to waste 4 full hours every day on FB, I got those back, got back a very important part of life that I was missing out on.
THough I now very randomly go online maybe to take someone's case, that'll happen very rarely, unless I'm majorly effed up in work, which in itself is very rare.
FM IMHO should be utilized for it's actual purpose for which it was designed - TO STAY IN TOUCH with FRIENDS & FAMILY who are spread thru the world. Nothing more. Not dating, adding random people as fraands, etc.
Respect the medium, dont let it control your life!
This makes me even more ecstatic that I don't use FaceBook. Never have.
The most wonderful feeling of all was when I didn't have to worry about my info being exposed when FB had their privacy "glitch" last year -- (yeah, like I believe it was really an accident!!) -- and that I don't have to deal with their constantly changing privacy policies.
Screw all those networking sites! Does anyone really believe that those companies aren't selling their info??
@Khushboo: I didn’t realize I hadn’t reverted you on this one.
We tend think of limit as a line we ‘can get close to’ but not cross. As you said, the brain-team at these networking sites keep pushing these ‘lines’ and we don’t even realize how we’ve already gone way past the actual ‘limit line’.
Talking about the ‘space intrusion’ I feel it’s the common concern we share. In fact, quite recently one of my closest friends (Janak Panchal) very nicely described Facebook from this intrusion aspect. ‘Humans have this natural tendency to poke into others’ business and Facebook simply exploits this very thinking/behavioural process. They’ve simply virtualized the actual human activities.’ And it’s not the best thing.
By this, I basically mean things tend to do knowingly – don’t even want to get into the consequences one may need to face if her/his account is infected or hacked. It’s like, we’re allowing one more method to get exploited.
@Hackatac: Guess we share this view. I too went off-Facebook sometime in June and I’m happily out of it for a while now. Similar reason like yours, I too felt I should spend more time with actual people and not their virtual avatars. Most importantly, I had to spend more time with myself – for myself. Going off-Facebook was the only option for me.
We must not let it control our lives! Many understand, the rest stay victimized and don’t even realize.
@’Paranoid’: It’ll always remain a mystery if the information –leak was a ‘glitch’. After all, it’s something we can question because we’re aware of it. What can we do about those endless other online resources that access, misuse and often sell off our personal information? The information we share with them by ‘trusting’ them.
The solution (if at all?) is in not getting into these illusionary traps at all. At least at the personal level. Why must we have a social network account and connections? Are emails, letters and phones dead already? Not that we can necessarily stay safe buy doing this, but at least we can lower the damage.
Arre U cant see any comments because I couldnt comment when I read this article..
Excusitis u see
So 2day when I got time
I commented for your 2 articles on 1 only :P
@Nidhi: So you decided to explain the whole story but didn't really have anything to comment/say about this particular article, eh?
@Abby: Just visited (and subscribed to) nofacebooktuesdays.com. I've been out of Facebook to a fair extent off late, but I'm sure things will get even better with 'No Facebook Tuesday' kind of practices. Thanks for stopping by!
My life is complicated. FB makes it even more complicated. Let me explain:
1) FB is addictive. I'm weak. I have no control. I spend way too much time than I should on it. When I have a *pause* during work, my fingers automatically type "www.facebook.com" and before I know it, I'm engrossed in snooping around my 500+ friends.
2) Everybody is on FB. It's no longer the cool lounge that I hang out with my friends. FB became this one huge room with family, friends, acquaintances, work folks, and everybody you ever had any remote connection with. It is out of control. I know you can manage through security settings, but it suddenly became a pain and a lot of work to make sure there are no goof-ups which can lead to misunderstandings, ooooh-aaahs, awkward situations, etc.
3) Too much power. If my FB account gets into the wrong hands (because I logged in and forgot to sign out, somebody hacked in, etc. - I'm human and I'm bound to make mistakes and there are millions of people who are smarter than me out there), they can do a lot of damage. My friend found out she was pregnant and hasn't really announced it yet other than to close family. Somebody hacked into her FB account and made it public and just generally caused a lot of distress. Imagine somebody close to you screwing you like that...
4) Obligations. Like we don't have enough social obligations, now I am obligated to wish 500+ ppl on their birthday. I have to thank those 500+ people who felt obligated to wish me on my birthday too. A friend likes all my pictures, so I have to like at least some of hers.
5) Damage. We have no idea the sheer amount of damage that FB caused in our relationships yet. By the time we find out, it'll be too late. When a person is in front of you when you make a comment, you see them react physically and you get the real picture. With FB, a friend makes a smart ass comment that I absolutely dislike, my instinct is to keep it inside, "like" the comment (so I don't have to respond), and move on. These things add up. We are judging, forming opinions, and building these impresssions about people in our lives without the other person's knowledge. I have so much to say on this point, but it's easier to have a conversation than type it all up in a comment.
PS: I just deactivated my FB account. Let's see how long I'll last. I do miss it though.
@Bhavana: Thank you for the detailed ‘response’. I wonder whether to call it a comment – it’s likely longer than the article itself.
Honestly, the last thing I'd expect is such 'not-so-pro-Facebook' remarks coming from You. Must be my presumption. But, I’m glad you shared your views. I can completely relate to what you’ve mentioned.
Facebook can shape into the worst in the meaning of the word ‘addiction’. When I started writing this article, I meant to address issues with social media portals in general. However, Facebook triumphed, because it’s the only one to have achieved the highest level of ‘addiction quotient’ – for all age groups, if I’m not wrong. Some how, as I commented previously, it’s possibly their design-flaw
, that most Facebook users fall in one of the two extremes – Addicts, and those done with Facebook. That’s probably the reason that fond users like you and me decide to move on (especially after 'loyal' association for years).
And this very existence of parallel social world (discomforting on many occasions) on Facebook. Checking your Boston pictures, sitting here in Bangalore is a blessing. But you don’t want your Boston friends/colleagues to greet you via Facebook, do you? Facebook is good, but there’s a better real
world outside that.
Privacy here is a separate science altogether! Like you rightly pointed during our last meeting - ‘once it’s on web, it’s on web!’ I found an alternative to my Facebook Privacy miseries. No more ‘private’ stuff any more. Nevertheless, it’s no close to your ultimate resolution – deactivating the Facebook account. I’m sure you’d do good!
Vais-je passer le cap de la censure... je n'en suis pas certain
@spoutnik1: Your last comment translated to "Will I turn the corner of censorship ... I'm not sure". I'm not sure what to reply. :|