E-life becomes the real life
Sources : The Deccan Chronicle
Date of Publishing:29/7/2010
Teenagers are centering their lives around social networking sites in order to be "in" and "cool"
Social networking web sites taking over our lives is not news any more, but letting it grow as an obsession is definite ly something to be concerned about. But that seems to be the exact teen condition these days.
Right from clicking pictures, updating statuses, to doing activi ties that will look "happening" on Facebook, teenagers are cen tering their lives around it.
Lekhinee Desai, who swears by the website, attributes the addiction to the need for con stantly keeping touch with friends. She loves to change her profile picture every now and then, and enjoys the atten tion that comes in via "com ments". "I love posting pictures simply because once uploaded, the reactions that follow are inter esting to know," says Lekhinee, who also keeps her friends updated with her status messages throughout the day. "It is helpful in the actual sense to be connected all the time and knowing what's going on in my friends' lives," she justifies.
Whether it's an attention-seeking gimmick or simply about "being happening," they don't seem to feel the need for introspection. Another patron of the site considers it one of the basic necessities in life. She agrees that it is a flaunt-all platform, saying, "I am a crazy addict and I post pictures frequently to show how pretty I can look all the time."
But Advaith Bhattacharya seems to be having a less vain approach. He thinks Facebook is all about getting clarity on various aspects in life. "On Facebook, group dynamics are more clear.
When a match or some event is on, then everybody posts comments and it's almost as if we are watching the game together. On other occasions, it's just plain good gossip. And simply by uploading my status, I can let everyone know what's up with me," says Advaith.
But there are the non-conformers too, who hate all the hype around it and hardly ever visit Facebook. For instance, Anuj Chatterjee doesn't feel the need for it, except to keep in touch with school friends, as he is entering college. "A lot of my friends are in the habit of immediately uploading pictures or status messages after a night-out," he says, asserting that he is not that type. But, they too are wary at times about being labelled as "uncool" by their peers, and then having to bow down before peer pressure.
Although some continue to be rebellious nonetheless. Like Dolly Mehta says, "I seri ously don't care about being on Facebook and other social networking sites as it is a pure waste of time. I have a close set of friends who I can be in touch with on my phone. I don't need Facebook for that."
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