Over news yesterday, world leaders are encouraged to join facebook to see the flow of conversation on what the laymen/general public wants, what they are voicing out and think of them( the world leaders ) . And perhaps Najib would soon have facebook too as I read today in BH. On that note, I used to follow K/J on twitter but I stopped, because too many updates I get dizzy. Last week, I had a good feeling of deactivating my facebook altogether, nothing more to it, just that it was becoming a tad too distracting.
When I first came to know about facebook, sure. I was excited like hell. Along with it were reconnections with friends whom I have not seen since primary school, or long lost buddies since secondary school and people I met through different chapters of my life. Then there were also the old stories which are best forgotten, but somehow reappeared on the face of, yeah… you guess it, facebook. So then began the frenzy phase of adding and adding, people whom I knew and whom were once friends, whom appeared in my life in one way or another, who remembered me and wanted to reconnect.. whatever. It was fun initially. Exciting even to know about and to share with the people whom once upon a time crossed path with you or were once in your life.
Then, as all fad goes, the peak of excitement goes down. I realized that the initial reconnection were just temporarily fun and exciting. Then wham! It sank upon me that there were the downsides to it as well. It is the platform of the latest ‘news’ on who’s doing what and who’s up to what. The lines of privacy became dimmer and dimmer and in many cases, thanks to all these social networking sites, it may even disappear altogether.
While it is good that initiatives are taken for the world leaders to connect to the general public via these social networking sites, I question whether it would be of the best possible interest of the leaders in the long run. Not to support feudalism, but I am of the opinion that excessive ‘casualness’ between the leaders and followers would somehow or the other, destroy the esteem given to our leaders when there no longer exist social demarcation between them and us. And when that happens, we begin to lose that respect that we once give to our leaders, elected or otherwise.
Like myself, who expresses freely on facebook only to realise that my students and ex students ceased taking me seriously anymore.They think it is ok to be treating me just like one of them, joke and make comments like one of their kind ( because via FB they see me joking with my friends and peers in the happy go lucky jovial manner ). And they do likewise, and it sometimes really reach the point of disrespect, forgetting I am/was their teacher. Would we reach that point with our leaders??? Since now that we are going to have the same direct access to them? Where do we draw the line then? Can we still see them as leaders and speak to them in full decorum ?
On that record, I hardly have any of my students in my contact list anymore. It is more for personal friends whom have been with me throughout and family members. The world is getting a bit too huge and in a nutshell ( that sounds oxymoronic ) it is making me a little uncomfortable.