Orkut–>Reality perspective

Just got a mail about the modern youth's favourite hangout.. just thought of sharing it..I too had a similar view,still support certain views in this..

A place called 'Orkut'
Cover-Story
Named after its creator "Orkut Büyükkökten" a Turkish engineer working at google, Orkut is one of the most popular chat sites on the Internet. Orkut was launched on 22nd January 2004 and gained popularity almost immediately. It was able to attract 1,000,000 people by July 2004 and by September in the same year, the number of its users reached 2,000,000! Haseeb points out the pitfalls faced by people who use orkut.

By Haseeb Ahmed

A ceremonial click on Yahoo Mail on Yahoo's main page is how I normally start using the net. What next? Msn? Surprisingly the answer is a big no! I have had enough fights with my friends through that devil of a messenger! Orkut? Definitely! For the more naïve ones amongst us, it is an online community connecting people through a network of trusted friends (or so the website claims!) When I first got to hear about Orkut, I was all excited and geared up! I wanted to join it at the earliest. However, it was not until a friend invited me to join that I could finally make my profile on Orkut and start adding people to my friends' list.

On the onset, I wasn't a frequent user and didn't join many Communities (or groups as you may call them). My main interest lay in seeing whether any new people added me or not, besides any new scraps (messages) I might have. Being able to renew contacts with old school and college mates, it was nothing short of a joyride. I remained on the lookout for coming across familiar faces and names.

After the passage of some time, I started joining communities. That too by the dozen! If it wasn't about French fries it was about Brain Teasers. Be it NUST or PAF College Faisal Karachi, I had to join them all. It seemed like I was on a mad rush to increase the number of communities I was a member of!

Then came a phase when I rationalized. I was spending way too much time on Orkut. Meeting old friends and acquaintances was exhilarating, but was it worth it? I mean, except for a few occasional scraps here and there, the front was all silent. There was no real contact between us. We had moved on with our lives and there was precious little that was common between us now. Standing at different places in life, we could no longer relate; the charm of interaction in real life was clearly missing.

Being a member of the countless communities was no fun either. I hardly went to these communities or checked out what was happening there. I was also inundated with messages of joining yet more communities or voting for others to become Mr. or Miss Orkut/Pakistan/USA….

It took out the fizzle from the ecstasy of frequenting Orkut. I was disillusioned, but I wasn't alone either. There were lots of friends of mine who felt the same. Based on our collective thoughts and deliberations, I reached the following conclusions.

Orkut is a wastage of time
Once you log onto Orkut, there is no end to the time you'd spend there. It could range from forty-five minutes to an hour or even more. You'd go about checking your scraps and replying to the ones you wish to. You'd be checking out the profiles of many, especially of those who've added you to their lists. If you happen to be the founder of one or more communities, you would be visiting your communities as well. Then there are times when the site doesn't open your required page inscribing 'Bad server, no donut for you'. You have to try again and again. Without realizing, it easily takes up half an hour of your time. Half an hour of your life wasted! No big deal! But multiply it with 30 and then tell me if it matters to you or not. The same time could have been utilized in some meaningful activity but it's not to be.

There's no privacy
Imagine a place where everyone can know all about you. Your likes and dislikes. Your messages. Your friends' names, their views and extent of your closeness with them. Even your pictures are not secure. Anyone can peep into them and send you stupid messages afterwards. In fact, many of my female associates were bound to take off their display pictures or photo albums owing to misuse of their photos by senseless guys. Given such circumstances, how can anyone feel comfortable or safe!

Orkut is not proper form of communication
I haven't been able to stay in touch with my old mates and fellows through Orkut. Their presence is indicated by my friends' list only. We hardly scrap each other. There would be many who would claim to have found their lost friends and chums through this website. But by and large the case is otherwise. Even when we stumble across old class fellows and friends the relations are not so warm and cordial. Believe it or not but we all have different priorities in life and time cannot be rewinded – no matter how hard we try!
As for your other friends, you can very well chat with them over Msn or call them up if you feel like talking to them. There's no point in scrapping them on Orkut if they're just a call or sms away.
Yes, we agree that a night before a project submission Orkut is a viable communication option if your messenger is not working, but do remember that such occasions are rare. We could be overjoyous on getting a certain scrap, too, but it still lacks the personal touch of a call or sms. Moreover, it could be days before we log onto Orkut and see the intended message. It's thus not a channel of instant communication either, unless the other person checks his mail and scraps every half an hour!

It is irksome
If your Orkut experience can be summed up in a nutshell it would be 'irksome'. How else would you explain guys tipping girls on this website? Go to the scraps portion of any female friend of yours and you are bound to come across superficial messages like 'Hey, this is Asim from Lahore. You are cool. Wanna be friends?' or 'I am Ahmad. I live in Karachi. You also live in Karachi. So why not meet up sometime?' This harassment is going on with single and married females alike. A lot of my female colleagues and friends are wary of Orkut for this very reason. "I don't go to Orkut anymore as I hate getting all those stupid and nosy friendship messages from guys. I haven't even put up a picture, yet I get such annoying messages regularly," one female confided in me.

Your frustration definitely knows no bounds, guys! How can you expect a girl to 'be friends' or 'meet up' a total stranger? Don't you think you're moving too fast? And what does sending such messages to every other girl on the website reflect? Is female companionship the sole purpose of your life? Put in the shoes of those girls how would you feel? Come on, guys, give the poor girls a break. Life's not a mushy romantic movie. You need to find the purpose of your life and learn to respect all those around you and not hound them day in and day out. The only way forward is mutual respect between the sexes, trust Us!

Nothing short of a 'popularity contest'
I have no objection to allowing people to add me as friend. Some of them turn out to be old friends and associates. Others are my readers and fans who wish to correspond with me or know me better. I appreciate all of them. However, I am not willing to let anyone add me for the sake of adding. You come across many people having friend-count up to 1000 or more. Are all these people their friends? No way! Most of them are randomly added just to increase the friends' list and then show off to the world how popular they are. You would even find girls from Brazil, Italy and France added in their lists. I have even found people scrapping me: 'Hey, I added you but I don't know you. So who are you?' There are those too who forget after adding me and ask me why did I add them? Got the point people???

Communities!!!
Why is everyone so pushed to form communities of their own? Today I ask you all. Everyday I get atleast ten requests to join communities. "Air force ke cheetay", "Leather Belts", "Lahori Food" so on and so forth! Why force people to join your community? Spreading the word around is fine but this is crude! Why can't these people limit themselves to publicizing their communities on other communities' message boards? And frankly speaking I find most communities indulging in frivolities like 'Rate the person above you and complete the story'.

In a nutshell
Summing it up, I would say that I am neither against Orkut nor its usage. It is rather an innovative idea of bringing people together. I am only against its purposeless use resulting in wastage of precious time, especially of students who need to focus elsewhere. Moreover, such websites are no good in our local environment where we haven't learnt to respect the privacy and freedom of others. We discriminate on the basis of gender and try to force ourselves onto others without rhyme or reason. Doesn't it speak volumes about our obsession of getting others to like us and forcing our opinions down the throats of others? Why can't we accept that there would always be those who would dislike us? Until and unless we learn to respect the choices others make for themselves, sites like Orkut are bound to cause trouble and discomfort to the large majority of its users, especially females.

END OF MAIL

Some of the reasons why i ask "do u yahoo!! gimme ur id" to a newly found lost friend.. N start chatting there…I will write my orkut experiences both positive & negative in a few days..

Comments 20

  • Hmm.. Interesting. I’ve felt the same at times. But say what – I’ve found more friends than I could have ever imagined. Sometimes, scrapping is easier than sending a mail to say a simple “Hi! How’re you doing?” kind of two line eMails. About privacy, if things are to be all that private, send a mail. And I totally agree with the “It has No End” thing. It has no end at all… It’s too addictive…

  • @ Niranj
    hmm.. in a way it helps.. i wont forget that it was orkut that brought us together after so many years..but anyway i will let my own thoughts on orkut soon..

  • This post has been removed by the author.

  • Yes it has its own +ves and -ves. We find many of our long lost friends.. Some communities are really useful and interesting. The main pitfall I think is, as told in the mail, misuse of the photographs , esp of females. It’s all up to the users to use the sites productively..

  • nenga solvathellam unmai ,unmayai thavira veru ethuvum illai.

  • orkut is addictive and it should be used in good way.
    everything has got good and bad but its our duty to choose whats good for us

  • I totally agree with Srikanth…..

  • @ Ragesh,Silverstrike..
    Ya i agree it has both + & -… But on the whole it has changed the way of web in some dimension..–>

  • Accept totally! Orkut is a huge drag on time!

  • […] Check out Logic’s perspective on Orkut. Posted by jnarin Filed in Products, Opinions […]

  • A beautiful place but there shold be some restrictions such as no illegal content.

  • Orkut is social networking tool.
    How you use the tool os upto u.
    Once u realise that I guess its easy.
    I do not accept friend invites from ppl I personally dont know.
    I scrap ppl regularly to just sort of touch base and pick up up from where we left off.
    Usually it isnt anything elaborate. I like the whole time-shift capability that it provides.
    I leave scraps for ppl when its convenient for me and ppl scrap me back at their convenience.
    It has almost replaced emailing.
    I get email notifications when someone scraps me.

    If u take care not to leave very specific personal details .. it works great !

    Just rem .. Orkut is a *tool* — how u use it is upto u.
    Although it would be great if they could let us have the option to restrict scrapbook access to friends alone.

  • I totally agree with what is written here. I am orkut fan myself and use it extensively and in a manner mentioned here. If you don’t mind I would like to post this in my blog sometime, probably when I delete my orkut account :). Nice post/e-mail.

  • Well it all depends on how your friends use it. If a majority of your friends use it, can be really fun. And if a majority of your class mates use it then it can be really really fun.

  • Thanks for visiting my blog and I managed to not log into Orkut for a week. Next time I am aiming it to 15 days. Hopefully i’ll be out of this orkut addiction in the long run 🙂

  • Very good analysis. I do waste lot of time there. This article is a nice eye opener.

  • please send 6,000 scraps to orkut
    please

  • orkut is completely a wastage of your precious time.
    do not get addicted to it.Try to understand the importance of time in your life.

  • I completely agree, using it precisely will help people but I usually see my roommates in Orkut, yahoo and gtalk often. They dont stop there, they introduce each others friends whom the other can never meet and talk about them in real life for their petty talks. They call themselves an extrovert and since I am not interested in it I end up alone but I feel sorry for them to waste so much time instead of using the precious little time.

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