I had never been interested in the social networking sites until two years ago. My only use of the internet would be for the purpose of checking mails, sending e-cards and for searching information. Then Orkut happened to me.
In the first year, I was totally glued to Orkut, adding just about anyone who'd care. It was an addiction. Spending hours and hours on the site, competing with other friends to scrap (inciting others to scrap you so that your scrap count stays ahead of your friends). Little did I realise that I was slowly losing touch with the real world. The Cyber world DOES seem so rozy after all, isnt it??? You do not have to worry about how you look, how you have to behave. Its all casual talk and you can just charm with the power of words. That's it. Done. You think You've made great friends for life (I was stupid enough to think so, about a year and a half back).
Well sure, among the huge list adding up as your friends in a social networking site, you DO find some really nice people who genuinely want to be friends with you. Mayank Mohta and Asankhaya Sharma are two people I met through Orkut and I thoroughly enjoy talking to them.
But then again, as I was saying, my list kept on increasing everyday with a new friend request. Then finally when it touched 300 I decided to do a reality check.
On a very boring afternoon, with nothing productive to do, I was on a "Cleanse-my-orkut" mission. I sat down and viewed each and every one of the profile. I "deleted" those accounts, with whom I had lost contact over the last six months. I remembered quite a few of them, small details. I dropped in a random "HI" before deleting the account. The reason for that??? I got my "HIs" back...with a few "Do I know you??","How do you do, what do you do??". Clearly these people had forgotten me. And I just didn't want to start again by reciting my life story, yet again. By the time I finished the process, the count of people I ACTUALLY knew or other friends from School, college or family members were what remained. I kept a few of those whom I'd met randomly through orkut, cos I knew that with them, I could just pick up from where I left.
Today was one more such boring session. I just went through my friendlist again, not with the intention of deleting anyone (coz I've been very shrewd in adding unknown people lately). Something caught my attention. Something I hadn't been able to realise, caught in the myriad of my not-so-busy-yet-busy life. The number of changes in current location.
Nearly half (I'd like to admit that I didn't count but I think that figure must be near exact) of the people on my list have changed location. Hyderabad has been replaced by Houston, Trichy has been replaced by Texas, Mumbai with Michigan. While most have gone to the US for the pursuit of higher education, notable locations also include the UK, Greece, Australia, Taiwan etc.
I am amazed. I mean sure I knew who was going where. But caught up in my own life, as people went in search of greener pastures one by one, I didn't realise that half of my social networking site friendlist was out of India in less than 6 months. What is it about foreign education??? Is it a fad?? Why does everyone wants to go abroad after their graduation?? I never understood that because I admit that I never really wanted to understand that. If you go abroad you have more value, they say. C'mon. Every one is going abroad these days. What makes you different???
Yes there are some who tell me that the kind of education we get here (in the Graduate courses) isn't enough to make you industry ready. That is true at least in the Commerce and Humanity stream as far as I've seen. But what is it about others?? The Engineers and Doctors?? Why do they want to rush off to other places as soon as they finish their graduation. Most from Commerce and Humanity go abroad for their MBAs. Why??? Okay. If you don't like the standard of education, are you willing to come back after you finish your studies?? Are you ready to give a written testimony on that???
I am not being accusatory. I am just a little caught up in my own views and expressing my own opinion. I don't say I'm right always. I just say I have the right to express myself. And I'm doing just that.
It hurts sometimes to see your friends away from you. Knowing that you will see them once in a few years. Sure they have a life of their own. They want to make a career of their own. But still, at the risk of sounding patriotic, how are you planning to help your motherland???
Follow up or part two to this will be written shortly. Right now, I have to listen to the call of the RUMBLING STOMACH!! :)