If Facebook were a country, it would have a larger population than, say, South Africa. This week, the social networking site crossed 500 million users. This means that one out of every 14 people on earth is on Facebook. India’s share is 12 million users, three times the population of Hyderabad, the city where Facebook will open its first Asia office soon.
“In the networking world, Facebook provides a face to one’s identity,” wrote actor Deepika Padukone on Facebook Stories, a new application where users can share their personal stories about the site. Inaugurating the application, music director AR Rahman wrote, “Facebook has made it easy for artists to connect with their fans – making them part of our daily lives.”
Yet, there are some who have kept themselves away from the temptation of becoming Facebook maniacs. Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto says that she hates Facebook. “For people to spend hours looking at other people’s pictures, reading other people’s messages and looking at other people’s friends... so scary,” she says.
“Putting up my personal pictures, making friends unnecessarily and wasting time is not my idea of socialising,” says Kanika Nayyar, a DU student who is not on Facebook. “Being on the site is like an unwanted waste of brain,” says Akshay Mehta. But, with so many people on the site, doesn’t he miss out on interacting with them? “No, I just chat with my girlfriend, family and friends online,” he says.