“Facebook or Face off … Seriously people?”

“Hey buddy!! Wassup?”

“Hey Gorgeous!! What did you do with your face..OMG its glowing!!

” Hi Handsome!! Such chiseled features.. I bet you hit the gym every time you get a chance!”

“ Muuaaah.. Your son looks so handsome and your daughter is an angel!!”

“Hey you know what… U guys make a lovely pair, God Bless!!”

“Just one look at your pic and all sweet memories came rushing in …where have you been hon”? I am coming your way for an official meeting.. Would love to see you!!”

“Hey Gorgeous!! Those hot pants never looked so hot!! Are you into modeling?”

“If you want to spread the awareness for breast cancer please put the color of your bra in your status message.”

“Guys my account got hacked please know that I am not sharing inappropriate stuff on your walls.”

“I am in severe pain please pray for me!!”

“Remembering my father ..Going for his funeral. “

“My daughter did her first poop outside diapers! Yay yay…Greatest day of my life!!”

” After seeing my DP please check your BP!!”

” Please do not break the chain of this message otherwise seven years of bad luck for you!!”

“Feeling Monday blues, I wish it was Friday today(:”

“My wife is going into labor, her cervix started dilating  …Waiting for the good news!!”

Give me a Breakkkk!! Need not to tell that these are not extract from someone’s personal diary or mail ; they are usual Facebook updates which we see every day on our home page. Some seems quite innocent, some genuine, some stupid, some are truly pathetic, some flirtatious, some interfering and some has more hidden meanings than meet the eyes. Today Facebook needs no introduction with more than 1.23 billion active users who can create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages, notifications, relationship status, articles, games, videos, pictures, online marketing ,common interest user groups…you just name it and FB has nailed it!! A social networking site, enormously popular among today’s generation, if you are not on it believe me you are bit out of the loop!!

Now the question is that if everything is so great about this site then why the hell am I picking these extracts and penning down this article in the middle of night …being a user myself didn’t I enjoy some of its perk? Like finding good old friends, uploading pics so that my family and friends can share my life from far away, joining pages and groups of my likes,sharing some great videos, articles,quotes, opinions, chatting with buddies..Then why am I complaining? What is it which is bothering me so much? Is it just Facebook updates or am I perplexed with varied human expressions coming so openly in the form of updates without giving a damn about consequences and effects?

I guess the later one would be a better choice for this uneasy feeling but still Facebook did play its own role!!

In this era of social networking site Facebook did  create a wave of its own and swept many of us. Being free and easily accessible, a medium like none other where anyone can express themselves about anything only be controlled by their own morality and sensibility. It gives us a feeling of secrecy which is actually not that secure but lured by its charming applications, more easy to use updates there are very few people who keep up their common sense on a general basis. Sometimes I feel shocked by a certain update coming from a very sensible person or a very loving couple being in distress because of some absurd Facebook update and it always puts me in doubt for my understanding of that person. Facebook addiction is so much that you keep checking your phone every now and then ;indulging in a fantasy world while the realistic world  is left behind.There is an urge to share everything that happens in your life, you post your thoughts and you expect comments from your contact list for every single update. If comment matches your expectation it puts smile on your face and you frown if it’s not what you expected. All of a sudden completely strangers are important to you and their comments leverage your value as a person…. Not something healthy for your self-confidence I would say!!. Your status updates reach the world even before your spouse knows about it. Your profile page is full of information about you; in fact you share too much information with total strangers. What could be the consequences if somebody misuses it …who cares?

“Excess of everything is always bad”, an old and intelligent saying but true till today. So I was contemplating around these points and thinking of covering as many points as possible but then it was too vast a topic to cover in one article. So I decided to focus on the effects it is having on personal relationship in a daily life basis and as if God was just waiting to give me signal in the form of my neighbor Myra who came banging on my door just as I was about to sit with my laptop.

‘Myra’ whom I have always known as someone with lots of patience, understanding and sophistication ….but the Myra who just barged in was a total stranger. Red,puffy eyes, agitated voice and a very flushed,angered face ….” What happened?” I gathered  courage to pop up the inevitable question.

“Facebook happened, that’s what!!” Came the tart reply.

I gave her water and listened with as much understanding as was possible while she bared her heart. Though as good friends we did share a good chemistry and I was aware of some concerns she had with her spouse though we never discussed in detail. Although I was under assumption that they were able to sort out things among themselves but evidently it was not fully resolved.

” So didn’t you tell me before that he shared some of his past relationships with you and promised to keep it in past only” I inquired.

” Yes he did but he always told me what he wanted to tell not what I wanted to know!! To write something new you have to clean the slate fully… There is no half cleaning there. He kept saying that I should not talk about past, let’s bury it but how can I if it keeps popping up in my face now and then.”Myra said in an upset voice.

“But how did you know?” I was curious now.

” Because I share a life with him that’s how! When you live with someone it’s the small things, an expression, a guilty look, avoiding eyes, sometime trying too hard to please your spouse …. These small things are enough to make you uncomfortable. I was noticing these and felt that something was off so I came early today to discuss with him before kids come back from school. He was taking a shower and his phone kept buzzing, just one look was enough to confirm how false his promises were. He was planning to meet in a motel with his old flame.” I could feel the hurt, the pain in her voice.

” So did you talk to him about it? You know sometime conversations could be misunderstood too?” I tried to console her.

” What’s the use? He would never come clean… How many times I can misunderstand a conversation? This is not the first time Neeti! So many times I have seen him conversing with his past relationships,flirting, contacting, planning meetings on Facebook ….. You know how suffocating it is !! I really don’t get it when he claims that we share a good marriage then what is this? Some addiction? What if I also get such addiction?” I have never seen her like that but I couldn’t blame her too.

After baring her heart for few more minutes, Myra seemed much calm and composed and I tried to put more reason in her by encouraging her to talk very openly to her spouse. Being an optimistic person I always believed that there is nothing which we can’t  resolve by an open and honest conversation provided that both are up to it, I silently prayed for their marriage.

After Myra left, I sat lost in my thoughts for a very long time considering how many relationship were at stake due to Facebook, quite a few I bet.One research shows that Facebook played direct or indirect role in breaking 15% of marriages in the form of finding old flames and thus leading to their break up with present partner.So does Facebook cause people to cheat? Does Facebook guide your fingers to click until you find your ex-boyfriend or ex- girlfriend without your knowledge? Does it force you to online flirtations, keeping your spouse in dark? Does it book the hotel rooms for you? Oh Dear I can’t claim that!! Honestly I don’t blame Facebook; we are all responsible for our own behavior.  But I do feel that most people are vulnerable to affairs at one point or another.  The reason they don’t happen more often is not because most people have wonderful self-control but because opportunities were either non-existent or use to come at too high a cost. But  with Facebook those costs decreased significantly. It allows people to fool themselves. We’re befriending all our high school buddies, why not them too?  It’s all too easy. Who cares if your spouse feels insecure seeing him/her in your friends list ..We had a romantic/flirtatious past but we can still be friends..Right? That’s the attitude you carry proudly thus keeping a door always open to peek whenever you want. In the heart of your heart you know that if you get a flirtatious email from an old ex, you can’t resist in responding the same way.Online, you’re both at your charming best; you still see each other as a vibrant 19-year-old in a grown-up body.It makes you feel young, sparkling, interesting and desirable; it’s intoxicating and a great confidence booster. And what could be the harm? People who are happily married, especially, do not realize the risk they are taking, the Pandora’s Box they are opening. How easy it is to put instant flirtatious comments on his /her pics, how instant it is to fix a time and place if you two are in the same town, then delete mails, evidence is gone. They are thrilled that secrecy is so easy. But you know what? Most people get caught. Men and women who had been in a kind of teenage denial suddenly lose their marriages and then wonder what hit them. Remember, by doing it yourself you are giving your partner the same right. One day you might find your partner playing the same game with you. If other partner is very forgiving, the marriage may stay together but at what cost? So much harm is already done, that blind faith, that innocent love is lost somewhere replaced by a cautious trust, a flicker of doubt and a hesitant love.As you can’t make a new painting over an old one; same way you can’t bond strongly with your present partner if you keep a window open for occasional peeks..Choice is always yours.

If used properly, there are many good things which we can achieve through Facebook. It is the choice we make that defines how good or how bad things could be ……  We must always consider the consequences for us and for others especially your near and dear ones.

Life is to live with real people and not to virtual realities!!

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