Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stop Blaming Facebook!

A few weeks ago, I saw was reading some news on the internet and came across a couple of articles about some disgusting, horrendous acts of violence.  Here’s an excerpt from the article about a Hyderabad techie who is beaten to death by his girlfriends’ parents:

The victim, Satish, was murdered by his lover Lavanya's father Yadaiah and his associate, Raju Goud, on February 1 after abducting him from Ameerpet, police said on Thursday.
While the two killers were caught, Lavanya, her mother Manikyam and cousin Sravan, who misled the police by concealing facts about the killing, are still at large, Saroorangar ACP J. Amarender Reddy said.
Here’s another one about a couple in Tennessee, USA who were killed for simply ‘unfriending’ someone:

A Tennessee couple who 'unfriended' a woman on Facebook were murdered in their home by the jilted woman's father and another man, police said on Thursday. 

What do both of these have in common?  Facebook!  Yep, that social networking tool that everybody wants to hate but most of us still use anyway.  The first article was shamelessly entitled “Facebook friendship costs techie's life” as though Facebook was the cause of the murder of the poor techie instead of the girl’s parents.  In the article, the guy not only met the girl in Facebook but also several times in real life too.  Even though the girl misled both the guy and the police… and even though her dad and a bunch of goondas beat the poor guy to death, the article somehow blames a social networking tool as the root cause of the murder.  No one held the girl's parents or the social system responsible.

As for the other article entitled “Facebook 'unfriending' led to double murder”, this article blames the Facebook “unfriending” feature as the cause of the couples’ death.  It doesn’t blame the scumbag loose cannons (pun intended) who pulled the trigger… the ones whose egos are so fragile that a small thing like a Facebook unfriending causes them to go into a mad fit of rage and go on a killing spree! No-o-o-o… once again, it’s the fault of social networking!

There was yet another article that blamed Facebook as the reason for one-third of the divorces across the globe.  This one was the worst! It didn't blame the couples' lack of communication, extramarital affairs, or any other root causes.  No-o-o-o, it would be too much to account for the fact that divorces used to happen long before FB.  Nope... once again, Facebook was to blame... and this time for one-third of the world's couples' inability to keep their marriages together.

So what are we, as society, supposed to do?!  Live in fear and reluctantly accept any friend request so that our lives will be spared for another day?!?!  Or maybe… just give up our Facebook accounts altogether out of fear of being killed or divorced?!?! Better yet, let’s go over to Palo Alto, CA and arrest Mark Zuckerburg and shut down Facebook completely!  That’ll solve all our society's problems, right?!?! 

Give me a break!!!  Anyone who thinks that Facebook is at fault in any way… or that not having Facebook will prevent divorces or these senseless acts of violence is kidding themselves! These unfortunate events have been happening for decades, long before the era of social networking sites.  In the case of the Hyderabad techie, do you really think that the techie guy would have been spared if he had met the girl in some other way besides FB?!  

It’s time to stop using Facebook as a convenient scapegoat for the ills of society.  Whether it’s heartbreak, murder or divorce it’s time to take action and show responsibility instead of just sitting back and shamelessly passing the blame.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Boss on Land!

It was only a few weeks ago that I started my new job, but along with the new job came a whole new set of changes, including a busier schedule that cuts into my blogging time.  But on the plus side, I finally found an office close to a train station... literally a few steps away!  Finally, my burning desire to ride a train was fulfilled once again.  The train line here has very limited reach, but the ride is cheap and the parking is free -- you can't beat that!

My train fetish started when I was but a young lad.  Many of my friends were fascinated by planes, some by cars and and quite a few loved motorcycles.  The long lines at airports and the tiny airplane seats made me hate airplanes.  Traffic jams made me hate cars, and driving even more!  I grew up in a cold climate most of my life, so motorcycles were also impractical.  That's when my attention turned to the ultimate land vehicle -- the train, the boss on land!!  The train had its own path laid out and came and went as it pleased, just as I did with my life. Traffic jams never deterred trains since they never run into any real traffic to begin with.  And if a train is coming, you better damn well get out of its way!  Cars, buses and two-wheelers have to yield to each other.  The train has to yield to no one.... because everyone else yields to it!  Haven't you ever noticed that there are gated railroad crossings but no gated bus crossings or car crossings?!?!  Now that's power, my friends!

When I'm inside a train looking out of the window, I can't help but have a smug chuckle on my face as I look at the rows and rows of cars fighting to get past each other during rush hour.  Meanwhile, I coolly pass by them all, stress free and traffic free.  Many of these car riders were the same co-workers who would lecture me about the freedom they have driving on their own car and starting to work whenever they wanted.  I don't wanna be tied down to a train schedule!  It's too dam restrictive. I want my freedom, dammit, they would proclaim profusely.  And the very next day, reality would smack them hard in their faces as rows and rows of cars lock up the road, viciously gridlocking these freedom-loving junkies.  And yet, they never learn their lesson!  They continue to drive to the office, full of road rage, oblivious to the fact that there's a train they can take which arrives every 10-15 minutes.

One of my favorite type of trains is the monorail (above).  They ride high above the ground and go about their rounds without getting in the way of traffic.  If I was a train, I'd be a monorail -- I just go about my business and get my job done without getting in anyone's way and without letting anyone getting in the way of mine.  Would be great to have one in a big city with dense population to ease the traffic problems, right?  Unfortunately, Los Angeles didn't think so.  Those dumb-asses turned down an offer to have a FREE monorail system put in their city back in 1963, and they've literally and figuratively been paying for it ever since.  Way to go, LA -- you proved once again that your IQ is less than that of Forrest Gump!

If a monorail is the type of train I am, then the Maglev (above) is the train I want to be.  They are called Maglevs due to the fact that they literally float above the tracks they are on using magnetic levitation.  Not only do they hover using magnetism, they also use magnetism to propel the train.  These babies go up to 581 km/hr.... and without a motor!  Imagine living in Pune and working in Mumbai while having a half hour commute to work every morning!  Well..... we can dream, can't we?!?!

So remember folks, be like a train.  Set your own track, choose your own destiny, and let no one stand in your way! Oh.... there's my train now, gotta run.