The yellow rose was waiting for me. I imagined someone had read that the only roses I like are yellow. It wasn't that easy. I had to click a link, register at the site and claim that rose from someone I did not know and who did not know me. Chances of him wanting to know me were remote. I was just an email address he had added to the list of people he was showering with flowers.
I am distressed at the way in which social interactions have been reduced to twittering, facebooking, orkuting, myspacing, necking…okay, cut that out.
Like many of you, I am urged by people to check out their photos. Or to share files with them and write something on their ‘walls’. Again, you have to register and soon everyone is everybody's friend. I do not blame the networkers for the phrasing of such invitations because the sites have these standard ones which go to the extent of saying that if you do not respond, Osama or whoever will commit suicide by drinking your bile. Of course, I am exaggerating. What do you expect me to do?
With the exception of a few people I do know, or get to know, most of these invitations are from strangers who have never interacted with me.
I find it utterly ill-mannered. If they do believe you are worth it, the least they can do is send a message prior to the invite or after. Do they assume you are desperate? One of these blokes sent me some nasty abusive feedback on an article and then had the audacity to add me to some list. I got a reminder saying that if I did not respond, then Mr Hogwash would think I was ignoring him, followed by a sad smiley. Like hell.
In the era prior to all this, people would add you to their messenger lists. Just like that. You have never corresponded, not even a word, and you get added. There is no courtesy of a message. Since I rarely sign in, I see many of these later. Some leave offlines. One said, "We can chat whenever I am here." I went down on my knees to say Grace or whatever it is Islamists say.
On occasion, due to their professions or whatever, there has been access to my cellphone number. Again, it is not always possible/interesting to go on and I am sensible enough to accept that the other individual would feel the same. But how can they keep sending SMSes? They are not filthy, ok? But if god has been kind to them to help them make my acquaintance, then they should thank god, na? But no. I am supposed to send a smiley to say I agree! This is god’s plan, not mine, so ask god to do the needful.
Also, if people have found Allah, Eeshwar, God, I’d say good for them. Is there any need to ask me to join in prayer to thank the concerned omnipotent power for such discoveries? Do we thank Alfred Nobel for every fart that occurs in the world?
Coming back to networking, I have looked at one such site twice, both times to make sure they were from the sources mentioned in the invites – the names were common and I know both of them. One was fine; the other was the right one too, but I was shocked to find he had lied about his location. I don’t know what other lies were there because I am not registered. This was what was visible. Why did he do it? Isn’t it misleading people?
This sort of forum can provide some fun to teenagers or those who seriously believe it will help in their work.
All my exchanges are in my writings and my responses. I value these a lot. Yes, in the course of such exchanges it is possible to get to know people better and outside the realm of such discourse. Here, too, I have made some grievous errors in the past, the times when a friend told me, “After three emails or so, do you have to give your whole bloody Ram kahani?…people will take advantage. I would if that is how I got to know you!”
So, I stick to being 'starchy'.
Will I twitter? Do you think I can manage to recount how my toenail broke, forget the life story of my toenail, in 140 words, or is it characters?
PS: If you don’t read this I will think you are ignoring me :(