"Words can not describe me", is how Adnan Patrawala, 16 yr old teenager from Mumbai, India had described himself on his orkut profile. However, his kidnappers and murderers got to know a little more of him and ensnared him into a trap which ultimately led to the death of the young boy. This is perhaps an extreme example of the social impact of these social networking sites such as Orkut, Facebook, MySpace and Friendster on today's youth. But there is no condemning its presence or its effects in our lives and minds today.
Often these days when we make new friends we do not ask, "What's your number?" Or "What's your email id?" Instead we ask, "What's your MySpace"? Egypt "Are you on Orkut?" Such is the impact of these sites on our lives. The way we speak, the way we interact and the way we think is changing. Words such as scrapping, blogging, teasers — which a few years back would not have made any sense to anyone; but today it's being used with so much spontaneity.
As a matter of fact, Google even has links to sites, which gives the world's most popular acronyms. It is amusing but that is the way it is.
However, these sites fulfill a very basic criterion of humans. It is that of communication. People living in extreme corners of the world are seen to be getting married, friends from far-off places are able to keep in touch with each other and lovers from two parts of the world stay connected with each other's emotional needs. These help us make new friends, stay in touch with the old ones and let us know more about the persons we care … their likes, dislikes, interests and emotions.
There is an element of addictiveness in these sites and the youth are indeed getting endeared more and more into this addiction. The most appealing thing among these sites is that they provide a platform for the individuals to express their views, giving them the freedom of choice and expression … from anti-war campaigns to global warming issues, from Harry potter fan clubs to Osama bin Laden hate clubs … there is everything for everyone to share and speak about.
What else could be more appealing than the thought of being heard not just by your group of friends but to the whole wide world. And that is where I feel these sites are here to stay. It just emphasizes the fact that man is a social being and always always remain so.