On public wars VS private wars

…and on a similar note, on public affection VS private affection.

Yeah right. Make what you have to out of it.

This post has been triggered by a lot of things happening at the same time. The whole good, bad and ugly. And I have been through all of this, right on.. ah, Facebook. And no, don’t go all “It’s just a stupid social networking site!” on me. Because I have proof that this “stupid social networking site” has made and marred quite a few real relationships. Shallow? Maybe. Irrelevant? Definitely not.

I imagine Facebook to be a big, big fun ball. You put on a nice dress (your profile picture), you enter the huge hall (login on Facebook) and then you look around and see what’s happening. You have stuff to share, you put it up on this huge message board (the Wall) and then people come and see what you have on yours, and talk to you about it, and you go about checking stuff on other people’s walls and talk to them about it. Sometimes you meet someone you know, and you get a table for two and have a nice private conversation (the chat). Sometimes people come up to you to know you better (it isn’t called “networking” for nothing). You find them interesting, you let them know you better. Or you just shut every stranger out of your comfort zone (your profile). Oh, and sometimes you get poked. Funny if it is by friends, very rude if it is by strangers wanting your attention.

You get the drift. My point here is that, it could be a virtual site, but its influences I believe, are quite real. Starting with the good part, I have met people on Facebook who have turned out to be some of the most influential people in my life. In spite of not having met them ever, they are as much a tangible part of my life as my closest friends! And just the other day, when a sister of mine mentioned how much it meant to her to be included in my “family” in my Facebook profile, I realized sometimes these trivial things are not so trivial after all.

So sometimes you meet, say your better half, in this party that I am talking about. Would you refrain from showing your affection just because you have a home to go back to where you can be as mushy as you can be? Or do you act like strangers, and not talk to each other just because, well, you ought to keep personal stuff personal? If one questions about PDA on Facebook, one ought to question PDA everywhere. Because well, to me, if a person loves me enough to openly say it out loud in that party, he definitely fulfills one of those top ten desired traits on my ruthless wishlist (ruthless because it has, like, everything). Overkill is not desirable anywhere, I agree. But once in a while, doing something impulsive shouldn’t really raise people’s eyes, and make them question it, and mumble things like “personal” and “private”. My answer? Go ahead, close your eyes (hide my posts from your wall). But in that case, do close your eyes each time you walk on the streets as well. Or go question them mushy couples on the street too. Be the “social police” if it pleases you so.

So much for affection, and coming to wars. Same concept. Just like you would follow decorum in that huge fun party, you ought to do that out here too. If you wouldn’t diss me in that party, why diss me on a virtual site? You disagree to something that I say in the course of a discussion, refute me all you have to, and I will defend my stand. But you wouldn’t just walk up to me and say something rude just because it is well, a cool thing to do, would you? That would be plain rude. And doing it on Facebook doesn’t make it a lesser evil. The insult, I assure you, is not imaginary at all. Call me shallow all you want, but fact is that I have lost a really good friend because of an open war on my Facebook wall. My logic was simple. The friend said stuff they wouldn’t have said to my face. And because it was out for everybody else to see as well.

My point? If you don’t disregard compliments or friendships on Facebook, you can’t disregard affronts and hostilities out here too. I am not saying Facebook is a reflection of a “real” life. In fact I hate it when people say my life is out here on Facebook, but what I am saying is that it is also not so far from real life that you will do stuff here you wouldn’t do in your real life. How you behave in a Facebook profile does say a lot about how you are as a person in reality.

And for people who go all “Meh!” when it comes to Facebook, my advice: Don’t join the party and sulk around and say it doesn’t matter. You always have the option of showing yourself the door (logout!). If you are “social” enough to join a social networking site, please do play the part, or else, well. You know what to do.

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