Thursday, January 13, 2011


Lately, I have been getting friend requests from long lost, distant relatives. A request from Jaunpur waali mamiji was a reminder that the virtual social-fest is contagious. Since social networking is getting viral, will everyone catch a cold?

Chachajis and mamijis are all active netizens, thanks to their tech savvy kids who have opened Facebook accounts for their parents. Everyone who knows his alphabets has the urge to connect. For different reasons, of course! It is addictive.

A word about Jaunpur waali mamiji. If ever there was a bitching contest she would be the undisputed queen. Having said that, I am in a dilemma whether to accept her request or ignore it? Accepting amounts to unnecessary inquisition on the pictures and events. Ignoring has its own pit falls.

I accept, expecting that she won’t go beyond my pictures. Not to my blog, I hope. Undoubtedly some topics are way too scandalous for her. So, I am hoping that after her initial enthusiasm of sofalizing flickers she will move on to her first love – gossiping.

It is a fact that though Facebook might allow hundreds of friends; we can maintain only about 150 odd meaningful relationships. According to a study, we have limited emotional capital. Put simply, our minds are not designed to have more than a limited number of friends at a given time. What social networking does is to nurture your relationships which would have withered away for the lack of interaction.
Socializing is all about attending power parties, arriving late, getting clicked, being mobbed and giving sound bites. Today there is another dimension to it. The virtual handshake and the cyber muahs!!
The glitterati and the chatterati should be litterati. And if they are twitterati; even better.

Birds do it, bees do it/ even educated fleas do it. Let’s do it, let’s all fall in love, crooned Cole Porter. We might not all fall in love however; we can all socialize in the virtual village. Time and distances are immaterial. ShahRukh does it; Amitabh does it and so do Barkha and Tharoor. Twitter is an engaging medium and provides instant gratification.

Cyber space is abuzz with an orgy of voices, opinions, views. What bliss it is to drown in the cacophony of ideas. The best part is that solitude is a click away. Log off, when you are not in the mood. Not in the mood for socializing that is.Switch off your lappy and enjoy the hot cuppa in the sun. Nothing can touch you. No friend requests, no tags and no followers.

More than anything else, blogging is a wonderful medium to exchange ideas and make like minded friends. It is hardly surprising that Technorati is currently tracking over 113 million blogs, a number which does not include about 73 million Chinese blogs according to blog statistics. Hence, I am, but a mere speck in the grand scheme of things; a drop in the ocean.

To top it, I earn zilch. Then why do I slog to blog, instead of jog and loose some calories? Because it gives me the freedom to pour my heart out, vent my ire and share views. It is therapeutic. And how can I forget the amazing set of people I have met here? They encourage me and acknowledge me, irrespective. They fuel my fingers to tap dance on the keyboard while I groove to the music of my heart.

Finally, what if mamiji from Jaunpur gets to read this blog? She will chew me to bits in her thoughts and otherwise. I am hoping she will not go beyond my pictures. Instead of pressing the like button for one of the comments, she has already commented, “I likes it.” Wonder what’s coming next. And the fact that I deleted her precious comment must have taken a toll.
Fingers crossed.


  1. And then, there is something called instant personalization which reveals all private information to selected apps with a single click. After that, we can happily forget mamijis :) How cool is that? :p

  2. ha ha was very nice...!!

    i enjoy ur writing .....

    Jai Ho Mangalmay HO

  3. @Mohan..Appreciate your spending time. Its a pleasure since you are a veteran. More so I guess you are from Bangalore, a city which initiated me to writing.A place which I dearly miss.
    You said it!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I only blog and that too with a pen name. I dont have a FB account and nor do I tweet and it is for this very reason... People begin to interven in your life in name of socializing which I really can not handle...

    I find it difficult to say No and so I know is someone sends me a request and I know him/her then I'll find it difficult to decline it even if I wish too and so I decided to blog...

    Blogging so far has been fun and I love it to the core... :)

    ROFL at Jaunpur wali mamiji... Lol at "I likes it"

    You have put the idea of soializing and networking very well.... :)

  6. You are abs right. Kids are teaching parents to be tech savvy and all aunties and uncles are on FB.

    True, the best reward of blogging is the wonderful like minded friends you meet here. AND yes FB has made it possible to share your life with friends and relatives staying in far flung corners of the world. and whenever it gets too much simply take a short break. dont log in and enjoy the real world. But i am pretty sure FB is here to stay :)

  7. Hi,
    A funny well written post. I have still not allowed my parents relatives and sister on facebook. I say that I post all my stuff on orkut and facebook activity is really less. I do post somethings sometimes that are not to be seen by family and only friends. So I have decided not to allow my relatives on the facebook to be friends. Other way is to use privacy control to block them from the areas you want them not to see.

  8. Yes here's where custmozation comes to picture and i can tell u, fb is best at it. U can hide all that u want from ur relatives even if u have them on ur friends list. And believe me its a boon...i had done that with my cousins who dont know abt my faince then. :P

  9. oops i meant Fiance! :D my bad.

  10. alka, I love blogging too over facebook because half of my facebook friends are there only to know whats happening in others' lives..they are not genuinely concerned about me..i have them there because I could notd ecline their request..

    haha..your jaunpur wali maami is cool..ab facebook pe bhi aa gayi gossip karney? she 'likes' it!!

    Good post

  11. I am sending this link to Jaunpur wali Mamiji.... enjoyed reading :-)

  12. Its a world in itself, this online world and we socialize here just like we would in the real world, not really, but we are all in the same room(net), we cannot be strangers for too long with everyone.
    And I don't mind what you look like, its what you write that matters, and as long as you keep writing interesting posts like these, I am sure there will be many netizens swarming this place.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  13. Blogging over Facebook - Any day ! I think FB is highly overrated ! Great write up !

  14. @Tanishka...Being tech befuddled myself, I was not aware that one can customize FB account so that only a few can view it. Now that Ria has informed, I will have a lucky escape.....
    Happy Blogging!

  15. @Ria..Good luck dear with your Fiance. i was aware of the customization but being tech challenged, have not initiated it. But seems like a great escape from all the I likes

    @Geeta Singh...Welcome here. Thanks for spending time.

    @Vish...Thanks, Vish.

  16. @Abha...Well said. Abha. FB is here to stay and how!With the mail option being included in it, it will render g mail toothless very soon.

    @Always the cost of repeating, I simply love your name(I likes it). Makes me happy somehow.

  17. @Ashwini...Being tech befuddled I have not customized my privacy settings. But Ria here has mentioned the same thing. Will do. Now I realize why my son has happily continued with me as his friend for so long..Hmmmm. Its the privacy settings.

  18. @Blasphemous Aesthete...Amen to that!

    Appreciate your time. Yes, blogging is fun and I am loving it...Blogging not the Mc aloo tikki that is.

  19. lol.. shall i just say all the best with your Jaunpur waali mamiji...
    take care... and one suggestion use privacy option when posting something not-ok for ppl like this.

  20. @Deepika...While having fun at 'I likes it", I forgot that I am not exactly tech-savvy either. Will do.

  21. A great insight into the blogger mind. The reason for which you blog is same for me and for hundred and thousands of people out here.

  22. That was so well put, Alka. I can understand your dilemma of allowing your mamiji into your network. Precisely why I am not on any social network. I have enough things to worry about without having to do so about sundry friends from the distant past access to my private space. And though I blog with a pseudonym everyone who knows my boys know who I am! So much for my anonymity :)

    Adding my crossed fingers to yours :D

  23. I am in the 20s and I face this problem :D. Old school friends, who I have ignored all my life and are still stuck with Altaf Raja's songs, still come pouring in. Plus I had this picture with a Russian supermodel on a date and put that up on facebook- you can guess what would have happened. It was impossible to even try to tell them about concepts like globalisation and free market economy :)

    Relatives are more difficult to handle. My mother can call up and ask as to why I denied request of some distant cousin and that I must add her up :P.

    But, as you said, it has definitely empowered lot more than we thought it would. So, good for THEM :)

  24. First off, I also originally hail from Jaunpur! At least my paternal village is there. Yes, people can get really vicious in those quarters. Then again, tell me a place where they are not and that includes Facebookland. Just as one my seniors reminded me once, "Kauwe to har jagah paye jate hain aur kaale hi paye jate hain!"

    That said, revealing personal information on Facebook et al is not without its pitfalls. Remember, your date of birth, phone no., pin code combined with your mother's maiden name are all that may be needed to access information from your Bank/Credit Card account....

    Great post.

  25. @Rachit...Blogging is fun...Enjoy.

    :)Appreciate your spending time....I have been known as my sons mom all along...Now that he is in hostel, blogging has given me an identity.

  26. @sritatsat...Welcome back here..How have you been?
    Very interesting comment. You should write a post on it....:)

  27. @Umashankar...Welcome to Freebird.
    Hey my ancestral village is Jaunpur too...So no offense. It was all mean to be witty.
    Absolutely agree with you.

  28. I am doing good. Just coming to terms with the new year thats all :P. Took a yearlong sabbatical from facebook- the cheapest of changes I could have made in my life :)

    Hehe.. I let my mother see that picture and she was you know ... :D Total fun !

    Plus there are so many people who would want to show off their 'relationship status'( =PDA i.e public display of affection ) without giving a hint to parents. Facebook works for them too !

    I would'nt want to spill all the secrets else you will make life difficult for your son :O :O :P

  29. He he he oh man we all have somewhere those Jaunpur waali Mamiji.. Or the Timbuktu waali Maasi or bhua ...

    I hardly use facebook :) so even if i have my relatives on there there dont know anything , i guess this continous questioning is in all families they find something or the other to criticise you ... SOMEHOW...
    ahhh THE blisss of RELATIVEs.... we cant live without them , we cant live with them what a dilemna :)


  30. :-) nice blog...

    a very true post! mom and dad- fine... i m very transparent to them... they r in FB/Orkut... everywhere... they read my blog too...

    but nosey relatives! goodness... but thankfully, no.. at least not for now. :)

    don't worry.. there's a buss around that FB is gonna close on Mar 15th.. i don't know if that's true.. but if it is- it's huge.. HUGE! :)

  31. Hello. :)

    You have a really nice blog here. Enjoyed reading your posts. Do expect to see me around. :)

    As regarding this very post, I'm facing quite a similar situation of a close relative sending me a 'Friend request' on Facebook. I cannot ignore as that would appear too rude and cannot accept too for the fear of divulging facts about myself which includes my blog. :/

    Life was so simple before Facebook...

  32. Had super fun reading the post, and it was just today I made that cousin and relative tag on Facebook today! Though am not adding my Kanpur waale Mamaji to my list, for the reasons you best know and experienced too! ;)

    And yeah, am a total Facebook addict but I know where to draw the line between personal things and normal things, which solves most problems.

    Fun post, 'likes' it!

  33. Regarding social networking...would say I love it...its not meeting like minded people but also people with different perception and thoughts...get to learn why not...

    As I said you are one of the gems I have met... Thanks to networking even if its virtual :)

    as for your mamiji being of facebook... Take it at cool...and there are privacy setting too ;)

  34. Alka, your posts are becoming so crisp.

  35. said them hate them, but cant ignore

    @BKC....Elated! Thanks, it means a lot.

  36. @Matangi Mawley...Welcome to Freebird. Appreciate your son is on my friend list too..but I respect his privacy...I do not comment or visit his page unless he wants me to...FB going bust? Never hear of it. In fact they are saying it will integrate G Mail and e mailing will go bust....

    @Shobit..Welcome here. Its a pleasure...And heartfelt thanks!

  37. @Sourav....Likes your spending time...Bingo!

    @Beyond Horizon...You said it!

  38. lol! that was a lovely fun post! i likes it too!!

  39. nice post... I am on the road to cut down the friends in FB.

  40. @Magiceye....:)

    @Harish....Good luck!

  41. another feather added to your cap...
    when i read you..i feel as though i am reading a perfect n crisp article in the newspaper...
    you finish off everything so well...

    and ask me about the nuisance of adding unwanted relatives especially in-laws who are so interested in knowing what i am upto than what's cooking on the gas stove in their house...
    thank god for the hide options there:-)

    thoroughly enjoyable always:-)

  42. I was happily Facebooking until my sister sent me a friend request! :( Very nice post. I 'likes' it :D

  43. @Suruchi....Coming from you every word means a lot.Thanks.

    @Ajay...Welcome to Freebird....

    Right now I am on Until You Came..... Thanks for reading!

  44. Having your Mamijee in your friends list is a bad idea! Believe me I know.

    Loved the tone of your write-up-it was crackling with humour and LOL @ sofalizing.

    Looking at the number of comments, girl you have arrived!

  45. wonderful write-up...hilarious, light and true!

  46. if it is FB then u can easily block her from seeing ur pics ..not a big deal at all ...
    go edit album info and u can do the needful ...
    thats what i keep doing ;)

  47. Hi Alka,
    Loved your blog - you write really well - crisp, peppy, enjoyable. You are right - blogging is therapeutic. Read this:
    Happy Blogging

  48. A Blog a day keeps the doctor away - here is a link to my post:


  49. @PURBA...Thanks to your tips.

    @virajborkar, sm, Lakshmi Sadala...Welcome to Freebird.Thanks.

    @vicious...Will do!

    @Vikram Karve..Appreciate your spending time. Visited your blog...Seems to be my story. Touched a chord.

  50. Despite all the plus & minus, FB has connected me with many old and forgotten.

  51. feel like reading your other posts too after reading this one.Facebook is turning into Family book jeopardizing the personal space.
    I liked the tone and flavor of humor in your post.

  52. Hilarious post and certainly agreeable points! Perhaps society is again returning to its natural long lost path.Its quit natural to see young and old airing same views and platforms here on net which we hardly see else where.

  53. very well said.
    but everyone has shortcomings and one day we all are going to be mamaji etc.

  54. Good one . . really enjoyed reading it .Ijoined FB because of my blog, met many old school friends. .oops mates . .virtually, but have started filtering my friend list now

  55. Haha.. I was a facing a similar kind of dilemma. Well what I opted to do was accept, and then block them from my pictures, my wall, and all other scandalous information.

  56. @Pratibha...Its a pleasure to see you on my blog.Thanks dear.

    @Arpana...Welcome to Freebird. Appreciate your spending time here.
    @Pramod...It was all in jest. Of course I will be in a similar situation a few yrs down the line.

    @Nandan...Welcome to my blog.Thanks.

    @Pooja.. Thats the way to go about it. Cheers!

  57. ah... well, frankly, its pretty hard to actually de-socialize, i.e. "Switch off your lappy and enjoy the hot cuppa in the sun." thats why i mostly, leave my cyber life when i visit my hometown.. but then, coming back i cant really resist! A lovely write-up... looking forward to many more! :)

  58. PsycheBubbles.....Welcome to Freebird. Appreciate your time. Thanks.

  59. Hi Alka,
    Hmm very nice post! really I too got frnd request from my jiju.. Its kind of delima for me to accept or not. ..before that. .I used to comment a lot on friends status. .but after accepting jijus request I melowed down my commenting approach...n moreover my blogs too get posted na so I delayed writing as well...otherwise jiju
    will come calling. .saara tym fb pe. .n blogs pe. .n moreover blogs pe kuch aise post hain jo i wont be sharing but jiju did read sister was telling. ..i was like OMG..what 2do...if google cant hide my profile in google search then. .let it be...
    yes via social I met lots of my school n college mates...n few new one via blogging so feels good. .but at the same tym it feels. .how to justice with all to be in one on one cordination. ..bbuts really tough.. cant be done practically unless one is Geek..nice read BtW.

    take care
    ks :-))

  60. Having mamijis especially of bitching types could be really dangerous! I tell u out of my experience! Uff..the reason for my absence in FB.
    Some people are simply unavoidable. I have one aunty in my FB list, who works with my mom!!

  61. Hahaha...nice one :)

    Secretly (actually not so secretly now), I hope she does read this because am sure that would result in an amazingly hilarious post as aftermath!

  62. haa....haaa....Just loved it....You go Girl!!!


  63. @Shalinindia.....It means a lot. You made my day.

  64. Awesome post Alka ji. Is the trackback not active here?
    I reblogged your this post but i see no track backs...
    Krazy Memoirs

  65. @Rajiv..Thanks. Will check.
    Visited your blog and read your resolution...Could not find the comment form...I am wondering, am I tech challenged.

  66. No problem ALka ji surely u are not tech challenged ... check out Blogspot support team for this...
    Do visit again~Krazy Memoirs

  67. Social networking is here to stay and look what it achieved in the case of anna hazare and in Egypt, Tunisia and the lkes..makes me wonder whether the founders of twitter or fb really thought they will go this far..