My cousin went into some serious panic mode yesterday. Because somebody tagged him in a photo of an evening party that he had attended, bunking his classes the previous day. His elder sister, also in his friend’s list on Facebook, complained to their mother in no time. My cousin had to go through a tough round of questioning that night. It didn’t help that the tagged photo showed him getting quite cozy towards a pretty young girl, his hand around her shoulders and her face giggly. The next day, he blocked his sister from viewing his profile anymore.
In today’s digitally advanced world, people keep updating their status messages once every few hours. Those who have 24/7 access to internet, log in to their social networking accounts through their laptops or smartphones and update statuses about how they are feeling, what they are eating, which movie they are watching, whom they are with and where they are going. If someone has recently acquired a new girlfriend, the ‘single’ status changes to ‘in a relationship’ quickly. It comes back to ‘single’ within a few months in some cases. For others, if their statuses and photos do not get the desired number of comments and likes, they are bound to get temporarily depressed.
The latest trend is to give lots of abuses openly to a person you don’t like in the virtual world. Break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend and then post about it online. If anyone hates a person or a celebrity very much, there is absolutely no need to keep it inside one’s heart now. Just yell it out on Twitter. Followers will re-tweet it and then it may become one of the most trending topics for the rest of the day. Celebrities are known to lash out at each other on this social platform. Loyal fans and their friends share their frustration on Facebook and WhatsApp.
Imagine if you are in a relationship and would love to upload something about your new partner. Let your long distance friends and strangers on your friend’s list know how happy you are. But you can’t. Your cousins and relatives are there too, keeping a tight watch on your active profile. Worse comes when you have done something wrong. Or if you have become a bad subject of somebody else’s status update. At that time, you start fearing about what others will say on this. You start worrying about your own high-profile image in the virtual world, something that had a clean record till date. It’s very easy nowadays, to ruin somebody’s reputation just by a click of a mouse. It is simple to spoil someone’s name by updating wrong information and lies about him/her. By the time you correct it and try to blend in well again, you get hurt and start getting afraid. A new thought starts taking shape of an evil in your mind, which is nothing but straight revenge.
When you are updating about somebody in an angry mood, in the name of taking revenge, think twice. To spoil somebody’s name openly like that can happen with you too. What will you do then? Those who upload pictures should do it only when those kind of pictures wouldn’t land them in trouble later. If you are there in this famous virtual world, so are your brothers and sisters around you. Everything is accessible and visible nowadays to everyone. So be cautious before you update and post any kind of picture. Think about this- how will you feel if you come across somebody’s rude and vulgar status update about your younger sister? How will you react if you happen to find out that there are pictures still surfacing about you with your ex-partner in public? Will it not lead to misunderstandings with your current partner, if he/she happens to view them? If not, you will be in constant worry about the day when it would happen. You will be afraid of that moment every second of your life. With a lot of regrets. But the damage is already done and you will feel that you have no way out.
I have my father, brother and cousins on my Facebook account. I don’t have anything to hide from anybody. I use my virtual image in a way that is appropriate to everyone. I haven’t gone to any private trips or attended any events without telling it to my parents. That’s why I have no fear of any kind of backlash, if any pictures of such events even surface online. If I am tagged in any personal photo of any friend’s, my brother knows in advance that I was there with her/him because I had told him before. And most importantly, my private space isn’t over. My father is thoughtful and broad-minded. I update status messages about whatever I feel. My brother is a bit harassing kind but understanding nonetheless. When I watched the movie Besharam, I had updated my status-“After watching Besharam, I will never marry a man who has a tomato red car”. My father was the first to hit on ‘like’ button. My English teacher went ahead and put her own comment on it. But if I had posted a vulgar status message along with a picture of myself with any man inside any tomato red car, neither would have approved of it. I am sure of that.
Some ask why to include family and cousins in one’s friend’s list at all. Better to just block each and everyone one of them. They cause a lot of trouble. They don’t understand a thing that our young generation thinks is cool. My answer is always the same. When I don’t have anything to hide, why not?
Be cautious about whatever you update on your profile. Before posting anything, take a wild guess. Will it make any trouble for you with your family and life-partner later? If not, then your coast is clear. If yes, then it would be better to not take any risks. Just refrain from giving any opportunity to any social networking website of spoiling your name later.