Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Face off on Facebook, anyone??

Have said it before, am saying it again.... I have very, very few friends - thank God!!!
Am planning to watch 'The Social Network' all over again tonight.... just to catch those rapid fire dazzling one liners I missed the first time. The mood is somewhat low ( five out of six kids not in town). Besides, on the political front, I am seriously sick of the charade of 'nabbing' the wrong culprits.... and letting the big fish get away . Scamster Raja needs an interpreter. Why can't these chaps just stick to their mother tongue? I'd much rather read the ticker than strain to decipher what they are struggling to say in their brand of English. Kapil Sibal is an inspired choice - he is the new miracle guy on the block - the man for all seasons and portfolios. Meanwhile, no Chinese torture for Kalmadi in sight.....only patsies get caught in India. The others merely 'step down' and enjoy the spoils of their looting and cheating the nation. We deserve them!
This appeared in Bombay Times ...
How many ‘Friends’ do you need….?

This is a sheepish confession: I do have a naam ke vaastey ‘Facebook’ presence. It was created by my canny publishers a few years ago since they believed it was important for their authors to have a presence on social networking sites (“ It is the future…’’ I was assured by the marketing team). I took their word for it and withdrew my protest. The children were aghast and alarmed (I was seen as an intruder into their space), till I assured them I had zero intention of being active on that site . Relieved but not totally convinced, they went back to FB, hoping and praying I’d stay out of their hair and turf. I did. But would my publishers have any of it? I was told my FB account would be managed by someone responsible… and that was that. Or so I thought. Weeks later I found myself in an elevator with people who were total strangers. One of them extended his hand and greeted me familiarly, adding “ We are Facebook friends! You accepted my friends’ request recently… thanks a lot.” I gulped, recovered a little, smiled weakly and hastily got off on the wrong floor. This became a ridiculous routine till I asked for help. “ Take me off the damn thing,” I pleaded with my minders. But would they listen? I finally managed to access the home page only to discover to my absolute horror that I now had over 5,000 new ‘friends’ and several ‘friends’ waiting for a green signal to go ahead. There were hundreds of ‘common friends’ and God knows how many people in different categories pushing products, ideas, paintings, poetry, themselves!!! This was the world’s biggest flea market… and I was one of the fleas!
Terrifying, right? Precisely . I was so traumatized by the discovery of all these newly minted friends, I promptly went into denial and refused to access my account after that. It’s a terrible admission, because I know it is still there – active, alive and kicking. I meet people who tell me they’ve read my columns on Facebook… and I smile vaguely. Obviously those marketing chaps are on the job, updating, chopping, changing, responding, ignoring, ‘unfriending’, poking, gifting… and generally indulging in whatever it is Facebook addicts are hooked on to. I’m out of it…was never on it… and after watching the absolutely brilliant film ( ‘The Social Network’) currently running at a friendly neighbourhood multiplex, I am mighty glad I resisted the temptation to lose my mind and steered clear of what has become a global social disease that spares nobody. People my age coo and gurgle with delight after tracing some long lost creep from their youth or connecting with old school friends, decades later. “It’s amazing! I’ve found soooo many long lost friends after years,” they declare proudly. I don’t have the heart to say , “ If they’d meant anything to you , you wouldn’t have lost contact in the first place.”
And to think it was one crazy genius from Harvard named Mark Zuckerberg ( a billionaire at 25 – top that!) who started it all. Culprit? Devil? Angel?
‘The Social Network’ will do for Facebook what ‘Wall Street’ ( the original) did for insider trading. Move over Oliver Stone. David Fincher is the main man now. As for Jesse Eisenberg’s eerily authentic performance as Zuckerberg – what can I say? Oscar??????


cmpershad said...

` Kapil Sibal is an inspired choice - he is the new miracle guy on the block '

But most of the time he eats his own words ... the next day :)

Rhett said...

He i sent you a FB friend request too which "you" didn't accept!! lol!! anyway i totally agree with your views on facebook and have taken my 2nd facebook break that was brought into effect last night, and but for a minor defect this morning it is quite in place!!

goodluck said...

Very humorous and light hearted.
If it is minded by somebody else, so must be other celebrities's accounts.
As for Raja's English, we can have subtitles to understand the accent. People like Raja dont talk much. They act.
Our prime minister would have kept(Rakhel) him forever if not for the furore. Is it not a sort of abetment?
Our media are acting like watchdogs barking all the time. Let them bark and bite also.
What do you say about Anil Ambani's contribution to this ongoing telecom drama? Black Swan!
And Ratan Tata's missive on 15 crore bribe which looks like small change now. That minister Ibrahim has still not committed suicide. Diwali season, where bribes are given and accepted as gifts is still going on. From peons to CMDs, all get their cuts. Diwali circus and the tainted goddess Lakshmi.

Neha said...

Have to watch the movie as you recommend it now!

I am one of your FB friends too :). Sad that it wasn't you who accepted my request! Thankfully, I am almost off FB, and go online for barely 5-10 mins in a few days.

sarah said...

The Social Network is a brilliant film and the cast couldnt have been better. I read the book The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick and followed his views on the movie's story. He seems to think that while the movie is brilliant and very well received it still doesn't give any insight on Mark Zuckerberg the person.
Zuckerberg has been underfire for a while now regarding the shady privacy policies and whether or not his ideology of privacy is ethically grounded. Moreover, some Instnant Messages were recovered sent by him calling people 'dumb *bleep*' for 'trusting' him. He later admitted he wrote them. His public image is hazy at best. Its ironic how someone who believes in transparency and open society has offered so little about himself to the world. He's completely upto interpretation and The social network is one such account.

shrikant kumawat said...

That's a great article.
I hope this blog is maintained by yourself, unlike the facebook account.

Kavita....: said...

I am in agreement with what you've voiced. On second thoughts though, it isn't that bad if the real WE maintain it..!! Don't let your decisions be taken by another..!

Radhika Gupta said...

the whole facebook situation sounds really funny... especially the incident when you bumped into an "unknown" facebook friend in an elevator(as you had mentioned)!! i hope it's not the same case with your blogger and gmail account!!

nac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nac said...

I hate facebook equally if not more, for the reason that some people cannot stop talking about their meal plans or the colour of each room they are painting. But, regarding lost friends, I'd lost touch with good friends at a time when I did not know how to stay in touch; 6th, 7th grades when not all of us had phones or even had heard of emails. Surely, friendships formed when still fairly innocent are worth to be found. It's another matter, the people change a lot meanwhile.

obssesor said...

Nothing will ever happen in these corruption cases, a hogwosh at most!

avidblogger said...

I so agree with you on this FB thing. Though I do admit I have an almost defunct and inactive account, I don't seem to understand what is the need to be so connected on a minute by minute basis. I think its totally ridiculous. Some people just bare their soul on FB. And you're right, friends I've wanted to be in touch with, I never lost contact with them. Am so glad you wrote a piece on this FB thing. Also, one request, can you please reassure us that you read and write your own blog. And that this is not maintained by someone else on your behalf. That would be a major let down.

Pankaj said...

a really good article as always given by u by the way mam do u reply us//???? even i m a fb addict!!!!!!!! what about your other book on s'secrets will it be published???? do give your valuable thought 2 me

Anonymous said...

Facebook is the new frat party. As long as you get to brag about it and spam everybody's timelines with shaky pics just to show how cool you are, hanging out with all those "cool" people (who're doing the exact same thing), does it matter if you really don't know who you've met?

The PR guys handling celebrity FB accounts probably have the best jobs in the world: sitting on their asses all day, and Facebooking away to glory. Imagine Shobhaa De's wall full of requests for fertilizer and lost penguins wanting to be adopted!

I'm adding you right now, just to see what your Publicity Gremlins are doing there! :D

NAT said...


The writings on the wall, and its plain enough to see (I am not penning the lines from the Jim Reeves hit)for each and every Indian to take note of what is taking place in our great parliment these past few days.

There is no constructive work taking place whatsoever, only firing out salvos between the ruling party and the opposition, and both are equally embroiled in their respective scams (kettle calling chatti black, and mind you they are paid heavily to do so), while the Nation is boiling with other issues like,

1. Raping and beating up women, even children are not spared. Senior policemen also involved in raping 15 year olds, and on the run.

2. Buildings collapsing, innocents dying and State and local muncipal authorities putting the ball in one another's court.

3. Stealing infants from hospitals.

There are countless other problems,(we are still shining) but we are moving on like zombies. We are enjoying life while shoving all our s... under the carpet.There is not a soul who is able to put his/her foot down and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.God forbid one day that s... will (burst like a bubble)hit out at us and be thrown at our face, and we will never have a chance to voice our opinion.

They have not only milked the exchequer dry themselves, but also allowed the filthy rich to even get richer and bolder, while millions of our people go without a meal, education etc.
We cannot blame the Britishers any more, as we are now robbed by our own deshi Indians.

Remember God only helps those who help themselves.


Divya Virmani said...

I so totally agree w/ you on FB. Even though I myself use FB on a daily basis, I do think it is a complete waste of time! Was a little amazed to find out, you were not handling your FB account! Aren't you a rich woman?!?! ... Wish I could hire someone to maintain my silly comments/pictures/tagging and what not?


he he he ...facebook addict anyone ? I plead guilty !
and all the while ...I was like , she is very wuite on fb.That's now exactly her nature ..to reamin wuite I mean ;-)

but you are here ma'am ...and we loooooooooooove you coz of what you give us here...on your private personal space . FB is for wanabe show-offs :-)

Theyoginme said...

Shobhaa i totally understand the issues you have with FB but for some of us this has become an easy way to globally communicate with close friends and family. And it is addictive. I just walked a couple of miles and my Nike gps workout tracker on my iphone auto updated my status and suggested my friends cheer me through my run/walk Now how cool is that. :)I think the next generation will have facebook in their genes.

Anonymous said...

Shobhaa De is a Brand name created years ago maybe Active till-date.
The only importance of social networking is - an individual is having an opportunity to talk a little with The Brand And that helps Branding for sure. Isn't it?

Anonymous said...

You write so well. Aap se bhi khoobsurat aap ke andaaz hain. *hugs*


rainboy said...

We have so many social networks ..now it's time for an Anti-Social Network :P

thanx for sharin the info

take care

Pooja Rathore said...

I liked your column on face Book.Many of my friends requested me to be on face book i declined i never liked the idea . I have Email account thats enough.
I liked your insights on Amma(jayalalitha).

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t O m S o N said...

dear sobhaaji,

....and all this time I thought you were my friend.!! :-( (sob,sob)..i am gonna chuck you out of my friends list..grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

aboutmeandmylife said...

Shobhaa, your comments awaited on the Deepika Ranbir Katrina sage. The condom comment, the passport comment by Deepika etc.

Subroto said...

About your comments on facebook friends, you must see this announcement about 'National Unfriend Day' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc5bbz5SB7M&feature=player_embedded

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