I have more than five hundred friends on fb and many of you may have as many as five thousand. But I don’t personally know more than a hundred of my ‘friends’. Do you know all your ‘friends’?
When I scroll down fb, I come across innumerable stories. If they are some news links, I sometimes tend to read them. Most of the posts are personal opinions, comments and jokes. Sometimes I catch them. Most of the times I don’t. I have started feeling little uncomfortable with fb of late, but I am not still convinced to quit it.
I face two kinds of difficulties. One is to do with the flurry of news items I am bombarded with. Neither do I send to nor receive friend ‘requests’ from someone whom I don’t find having some similarities in views. Think of the phrase itself, ‘friend request’. Do we befriend someone in our acquaintances by requesting them. It naturally happens, no? Maybe, that naturalness is mechanized in fb. This is a world you can be a potential friend of anyone. How easy it is! Coming back to what I was saying, since my friends are such, the news items I come across in fb are mostly of darker shades. Someone was lynched in this part of the country; somebody was raped in the other part of the country; someone else was wrongfully jailed for years on end. I have to read such news items every time I open fb. And I feel angry and sad that this is the state of affairs in my country. Not just that, I feel I become constantly agitated against this predicament. Ssho, I don’t want that.
The second issue is about the posts I come across my friends on my wall. They rage and rail against the plight of this country. Not just that, they have an opinion on most of the things that matter. They sometimes talk about the dubious statements of some political leaders; other times, they reflect on Hindutva is ghettoising Muslims and Dalits; still other times, they comment on the alleged involvement of an actor in an abduction and molestation case. Basically, most of them have opinions on everything. I fail to make opinions on everything here and I don’t want to. So, sometimes I am even at my wit’s end to make sense of what others are talking about. They just write two sentences on something that I don’t have any idea about and amass likes and reactions. They don’t even explain what they are referring to. Just to let them know that I am also a friend of them, I push the ‘like’ button or send out ‘love’.
Do we have ‘real real’ friends on fb? Some of us may have, and I myself have benefited from being fb friends. But the kind of toll the I have to take just to remain friends is too much.
The only state of mind I can harbor on fb is of a frustrated citizen of India. Could it be that nothing good happens in this country? Or, is it that I am surrounded with citizens who are conscientious of the future of this country and worried about it? Latter, the batter!
You may say I can quit fb then. But then where will I share this post other than in fb and twitter? That is why I am still here.