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Friday, October 15, 2010

The disappearing line between privacy and facebook

We are "all" narcissistic to a certain extent. Part of us wants to express how intelligent/socially conscious/good/pretty we are through blogs, facebook, twitter or google buzz. It can be in the form of write-ups, copied quotes, random song lyrics, uploading our best photos (or tweaking existing ones with photoshop), publicly displaying one's events calender, or sharing worldly issues. But I draw a line at facebook entering our personal lives. Consider the following examples:

1. The following conversation between a 30-something attractive couple with their son was overheard during a boat-ride for parasailing:
Dad: Mom is very angry with you.
Son: Why?
Dad: You forgot to bring the camera. Now how will we take photos?
Son: It was not my mistake!
Mom almost in tears: We will never have a photo with us doing it.
Finally they persuade another couple in the boat to take their pictures and mail it to them.
Mom : Please send it ok? Otherwise we would have missed something very important.
Dad (To the para sailing trainer): No, all of us would go individually. We want separate photos.
Boy: Now I can upload it in facebook!

2. Updated status messages via facebook mobile at:
06:15: En-route to goa for a fun-filled weekend.
09:15: Just landed! The weather is just perfect for some masti!
11.15: At baga beach - it is so wonderful!
12.30: Jet Skiing in Baga beach - awesome!
23.15: Getting ready for the night life, yipee!
00.00: Having so much fun in goa!

3. Stumbled upon the following exchange in FB:

Girl: Hey I am doing well. How is your wife? I haven't talked to her in ages.
Boy: Hi girl1, this is his wife. Will you be my farmville neighbor?
Boy: I also need --some random famville terminology which I don't remember--

Except for the second one (which is exaggerated to a certain extent), the rest two are real enough.
While I can attempt to understand the wifey preferring to have a random girl as a virtual neighbor than a real-life acquaintance, I cannot fathom the other two instances.
I am sure that an absence of an FB update or a photographic evidence does not make the memory itself null and void. The incessant need to let the world know about every activity, interesting or otherwise is, to a certain extent, worrying. I mean, I have seen examples of girls sitting with me typing furiously in their mobile, only to realise later that they were uploading, "with friends - having so much fun!!" in buzz and FB. Frankly, if you have time to update that, clearly, you are not having fun enough.


Anupama said...

10/10 for this post.

The second one is not at all exaggerated. Have you seen twitter? Gosh! Its crazy.

Why do people do that? Why do we ignore the now to post updates on social networks?

Anupama said...

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Archana said...

Anu: totally agree. I mean, a couple of updates are fine, but a stream of updates, and worse yet, while you are supposedly enjoying the mentioned activity?! I don't get that at all.

The Mad Jammer said...

Its so pissing off, at times. Posting updates from mobile has worsened it. Arch, your comment reminds me of ppl who see tourist places with video lenses, than eyes.

S said...

And I am still offline! Having so much fun!!! :-P

Kunal Chandra said...

Archana - at my own peril let me just try and disagree with you (and consequently other comments on the blog). Why I say my own peril is because I am also convinbced that what you say is correct. For the sake of argument though I would say that facebook is just a tool. We cannot blame it for providing us with another medium of expression. We do have this desire to show off (some more than others) and even when Fb wasn't around people did it. Not just that we also have people in society who are more confident than others and even without FB they were more open to expressing their opinions and now they might do it through FB. Rather than calling those who display stuff on FB narcissistic (did i get right number of C's and S's - copied from you) I would call them conifdent and completely at ease with themselves. So much so that they dont even mind leaving information about them on record. So in that sense they are more confident and at ease with themselves.
And I also have an inkling that it does help us in combatting excessive introvertism (if there is a noun like that).

I am not convinced with my owm argument but do see some merit.

Archana said...

I am not sure if confidence begets sharing minute details on FB. But I absolutely hate hate it when they update "having fun" while having it. It is similar to going on a trek and posing for group photographs at every location. I have done it too! But the whole point is lost isn't it? If you are not trekking for trekking's sake, call it a photo expedition. SImilarly, if you are having fun for FB's status' sake... then call it an FB-dition.
God, i killed english there multiple times!