Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I recently  had a heated discussion with my eleven year old daughter, who was persistent in joining face book. Face book occupies the top priority along with hair straightening in her 'I want it now list'. She named many of her under aged friends in defence, but I put my foot down and firmly said 'no'.  She is  just counting days for her thirteenth birthday. Such is the magnetic charm of face book that every kid wants to be a part of it. But the amazing bit  is that it has succeeded in drawing even old people to its fold. I have few relatives who have grown up grandchildren. They are so active on face book. It has definitely succeeded  in building the generation gap. It's a place where both grand parents and grand children scrap with each other and chat.

The social chatting sites such as orkut, hi-fi, face book  have successfully caught the attention of everyone. Special mention needs to be made of face book in particular, which seem to be attracting everyone in droves. Though the minimum age to join face book is thirteen years, I find kids as young as six featured in the face book. They have no problem adding years and increasing their age just to join face book. The parents do not seem to be bothered either about it.

The most baffling aspect for me is the huge number of friends some of people exhibit on face book. Some of them have crossed the thousand mark. I have around one fifty and I find it difficult to remember who is in my list.There are some die-hard fans of face book. They use every application offered by the site, building farms, selling and buying gifts, sending chocolates, hearts, joining forums, posting pictures and videos, commenting on them. The list is endless. Some of them are always online on face book. They keep updating every few minutes what they feel. I wonder when do they get time to do their other chores or work. It's a new hobby for many of them.

There are mixed reactions on face book. Some feel it's a waste of useful time and intruding too much into one's personal space, while for some it's a way to connect and increase their social standing. But the sad part of face book is  people prefer slouching before the computer trying to find friends online, rather than taking the effort to get out of the house and make real friends in the outside world. Half of the people in today's world do not have the time to talk to a neighbour, but have all the time to chat online or search for still more friends on the net. I was recently surprised when I went to visit one of my friends and saw her daughter engrossed the entire time chatting with her friends on face book.

But face book does have its own advantages also. It has helped me connect with many of old school and college mates, whom I had never even imagined I would ever keep in touch again. It is also a very good reminder for birthdays. Each friend's birthday generates a new mail in the inbox. So my brain has less exercise now.

Though my daughter is keen on approaching her thirteenth birthday, I am more keen on enjoying her time with me before she touches thirteen. I am sure that day is not far when she would not even get time to talk to me or anyone once she has her face book id. I wish I had half of facebooks' charm, specially needed to keep a growing kid happy.

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