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The social network is engrossing, but it cannot compensate for the printed word

I recently read a quote online which said: Being famous in Facebook is like winning money in Monopoly. It’s not real. SDSC_4135o calm down.
For a moment, I was disappointed that all these ‘likes’ really don‘t matter and that all those ‘friends’ are not real. But after a brief pause, I realised how this is the new age way to connect with the world. Who knows how much those friendly neighbours actually mean the concern they show.
I feel that more people react online than offline. Perhaps the garb of a virtual wall helps them to speak their mind out without feeling pressurised. This is perhaps why from stars to great causes to cities to shopping… there is a space to project yourself out there on the social networks.
I have watched my own Facebook following grow from single digit to lakhs. It amazes me how people have the time to like, comment on posts and sometimes even share it. Then I have seen many self-help pages, humorous quotes and more pages that have replaced the need for books, TV and counsellors too. There is a theory for everything.
The most annoying things are the playful posts that come up luring people to find out what fruit they would be or which celebrity they resemble. Some can really flatter while others are downright stupid and irrelevant. I know most of my Hyderabadi friends who actually try these. What surprises me is that even psychologists get dragged into ‘find out when will die’ game posts.
There is adventure, mystery, entertainment and plenty more.
Now one may ask how the digital platform matters to a city geographically. Firstly, mindsets and local culture dictate what trends where. For example, how many Afghan women can dare play ‘find out your husbands in the last seven births?’ Alright that is a bit exaggerated, but you get the drift, right?
Despite numerous events, a lot of traffic, a buzzing environment – a city like ours loves surprises, being engaged playfully etc. We are also keen to socialise and connect with our emotions, updates etc.
Music composer Sai Madhukar comments that it is always great to share professional achievements with all online. On another note, I know of a COO of a major educational institution group who is not even on Facebook but for the right reasons!. He says he has no time.
What we perhaps miss out while being engaged in social networking is reading books.
I know for a fact that reading books is on a different league altogether and spending no amount of time on the social network can compensate for it. Moral of the story: Back to the books.
—  The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)

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