Deepak hovered over the ‘looking for’ tab and wondered whether selecting ‘women’ will rule out his possibilities of finding old friends here.
At a time when people of his age, or any other age for that matter, have ritualised online socialising, as part of their duty to stay in touch with friends and relatives (in separate circles, of course), Deepak is still trying to understand the excitement within the blue and white interface of Facebook. Our man is only a week old here, with a bare minimum existence in a name, sex, age and contact info. And of course, in the fact that he has a Degree in Biotechnology from the All India Institute of Medical Science.
Deepak had promised his parents that he’ll dedicate his life to the noble cause of vaccination research and development, and had promised himself that he’ll not engage in any unnecessary social activity that might distract him from fulfilling his promise. Now that he has made himself capable, and his parents proud, he is free to explore the world beyond organic cells.
After establishing his presence on the world’s third largest populated country, Deepak wonders if he needs to seek his friends' advice on how to explore possibilities within the medium.
“Accept our friend requests, and then we can talk and share stuff with each other on Facebook!” One suggests.
“But we do that anyway, including sharing tee-shirts", says Deepak.
“Not this stuff, interesting stuff, news, photos…” Another friend, intervenes.
“As in, reference articles for my… uh! What’s Google for?” Deepak really can't understand.
“No man, you’re getting it all wrong! You know, you can find old friends here. You have anyone you’ve lost touch with?”
His friends give up, after a while.
A few days into aimless exploring of the social network, Deepak gets a friend request.
Swati Srivastava [confirm] [not now]
The name rings a bell in his head. And then, a flash of memory hits him like an electric wave. Green eyes, charcoal hair, pearl skin and a smile that used to make him forget all his formulae, back in school!
Swati was a childhood heartthrob of most of the bolder sex in the science section, including Deepak. But the face he used to hide behind his glasses could never ever gather enough courage to let her know what he felt inside. To stop his eyes from staring at her unashamedly, he would purposely take a seat in the front row, with no possible chance of any eye contacts, and with no other choice but to listen to the teachers, and listen carefully, lest he would be caught ‘inattentive, right under their nose’! So, he buried himself in the course material, shamelessly responding to questions posed at the class, while the rest of the students chattered away to glory in eager whispers, right behind his back.
In no time, was he the teacher’s pet and the class’ outcast. But then, he had his parent’s wishes to fulfil.
He made it to the Med School, with ease. But Swati never left his heart.
Today, when he is not just impressively qualified, but confident of his being, and the handsome man that he has grown into, luck has come knocking again, with the love of his life.
He looks at his cover photo. Unsatisfied, he goes to an album on his desktop from last summer and pulls out a photograph of himself standing tall against a brand new car. He, then, pulls out another one with his two best friends and crops his smiling face from it for the Display Pic. He muses over a few other photos that capture his triumphant journey through the Med School, the best times he has spent with friends, his beautiful parents, and of course, himself. He arranges them in separate albums on his timeline.Then, clicks a few more of his own, in every possible angle that advocates the charmer he's become, and puts them up. The album he names, ‘I, Myself and Deepak’.
Satisfied with the bundle of visual therapy he’s uploaded, he moves on to other impression points.
Interests: lawn tennis, car racing, scuba diving, abstract art, poetry, music, photography. He finds his favourite books, films and sayings and puts them up for her to see.
Another hour of liking and disliking Facebook pages gives final touches to his perfect profile. He is now ready to accept the friend request from his dream girl. No need to hide behind the glasses any more! He is bristling with a whole new aura of confidence infused by this new socialising platform.
Swati Srivastava [confirm] [not now]
Happily, he selects ‘confirm’. Her Display Pic only captures the mesmerising glint in her eyes, and Deepak is eager to see an enlarged view of this adorable damsel. He rushes to open her profile. And reads, read again, then stares at it for the next five minutes.