Monday, March 05, 2007

On Orkut

Five years ago, when a dear friend first asked me to get on Orkut, I made the mistake of asking just what you did with a site like that. A blistering sermon later, I had been sent an invite, had my profile dictated to me, and had also lapsed into sweet inactivity.

Last year, I was finally harangued into creating another profile by another dear friend and this time, I have 400-odd scraps, a 100-odd friends, and 14 fans to show for it. And yet, I somehow get the distinct feeling that the dedication to "social networking" isn't really paying off.

You see, all sorts of people have come bloody crawling out and I'm just fit to howl. For all my magniloquent loquaciousness (see!), I'm truly dreadful at small talk. Truly. Also, I quite bloody hate making it and like most intelligent folk, I prefer proper conversations, don't you know.

Now, suddenly, I'm faced with people I haven't heard from in centuries but who want to know where I am, if I am married, and what I am doing with my life. Inexorably, like a deer caught in the headlights of courtesy, I eventually become polite conversation road kill.

A number of these "friends" are from school. For me, this is excruciating mainly because I absolutely loathed school AND I was a prat. Allow me to assure you of the incontrovertibility of these facts. If I'd met me in school, I'd have whacked me on the upside of my head!

Strangely, it seems that I am the only one that remembers me like that. These people seem content to initially be friendly and warm. Later, they surface only when their homepages remind them about a birthday or when some occasion's doing the scrapbook circuit.

As for me, I just don't understand why they'd want to keep such superficial contact seeing that we haven't been in touch for aeons and despite it, lived happy, fulfilled lives. Yeah sure, you never know—we could be best friends now. But I doubt that because I know it's not merely chance that I'm not in touch with anyone from school.

But let me not tell you only about these hilarious ones. Orkut is most egalitarian and also brings some other wonderfully avoidable experiences along. Sample this.

An ex-classmate from university recently scrapped me. Now him and I, we have a chequered history for a number of reasons, but mainly because of our egos. We've attempted to get and stay in touch a few times to no great or real avowals of a friendship.

He's recently had something really great work out for him and I sent him a note off-the-scrapbook that he didn't respond to. Not that I'd really expected a response, or for that matter, even expected him to believe that I was being more than polite. Indeed, the history's that chequered.

And yet, happy as I am that he'd gotten "back in touch", I think it would have been nice if he hadn't deleted scraps expressing gladness for him. With that one click, there I was—wishing for the impossible, that we still had a little understanding between us. Sigh...

Yup, yup, it's confirmed. I am most certainly less than enchanted with the bloody thing. How can I be? It's full of all that won't or can't leave me behind—no matter how hard we try.


Parth said...

Its funny you mentioned orkut. I remember blogging about orkut about a couple of years back. I have now got over 100 friends, most of whom are two offices away :-). Orkut for me has mostly been a one-shot thing. Someone adds me as a friend, or I do so, three-four scraps are noted and then nothing. Plus, being told that you are only 50% trusty and 0% sexy is depressing, don't you think :-) On the bright side, you have 14 fans :-)

Parth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Extempore said...

@Parth: Sweet Christ! I'd completely forgotten about those! Well then, one more reason to dislike it. :-)

Have made a note, my dear. Am working on those right now... will mail in a few days. Will be sending some of the Jan trip as well - pls to be patient.

Parth said...

No worries, take your time. Maybe one day you can turn anti-social and just delete your profile while I reconcile with my social ineptness :-)

Nocturne said...

heheh. alas, i do not have any school friends who are desperately hunting for my online presence and dying to get back in touch with me.

my experience with orkut has been frustrating in a different way. complete strangers scrap me with "hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!! wanna be my friend???????????????" no, thank you. after the 3rd i in hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! i don't want to touch you with a 10 foot pole.

the other day, a guy from my Pakistani friend's list leaped out at me from nowhere.
"hey.howz ya?
& wassup?"

[tamping down irritation] "do i know you?"

i intro i,m umair & doing i com.
& u?

[apart from the fact that i couldn't understand half the sentence] "i can't carry a conversation with ppl who tlk lk ths as if they just had a brain surgery. can you?"

"aba oye chural ki bachi kia hua tera ko
kia tu pagal hakia.mujhe nhi pata tha ka
orkut per jhahil bhi bhata hain.werna ma kabhi bhi
kisi jhahil ki bachi ko scrap nhi marta."

"you have no stance or debating ability in spite of resorting to ad hominems, you microcephalic toad."

[so there. there wasn't a response to this, by which i assume he hasn't managed to procure a dictionary in Lahore or whichever armpit of the world he's from.]

my friend said, "you should delete that, you know?"

[exhibiting my racist and hitherto unsuspected jingoistic tendencies]
"no, nay, never! i shall hang on to it as it shall remind me that it's just as well all the dumb ones went over the border."

"han? and all the slow ones got left behind! in falaknuma chowk! in chandni bazaar!"

[world war between the Deshs!]

now if only i could have all the bloggers i admire on my orkut list, it would renew my faith in humankind. Parth? [nudge, nudge]

Prat said...

You were me in school?

Parth said...

@Nocturne, Extempore: My coolness factor just dropped 10% on orkut :-( I must be sinking.

Extempore said...

@Prat: No, sweetie... I was much much worse! :P

@Parth: *runs and checks Orkut profile* Whew! I'm safe yet! :-))