I am not eager to be called “dunce” by illustrating “what’s orkut?” From a youngster who is in the phase of playing with dolls and balls up to the individual who is in fourth decade of his life, everyone is crazy about Orkut. This is an online community that connects the people through a network of trusted friends and has gathered a large number of members from all over the world in no time.
Orkut is a parlour, for fun and entertainment. Usually, one draws closer to Orkut to spend one’s idle time or at the most to chat with friends and unknown persons. An alien might be impressed after going through the phrase “a network of trusted friends” (in the preface of the site), but the natives of Orkut are conversant to the deception behind it.
Going through the profiles of opposite genders and scrutinising their scraps is the favourite hobby of “Orkutties.” They are crazy about mounting their number of “fans” and escalating their “scraps book.” Winning the competition of “Mr/Miss Orkut” is the momentous time for the beauties of this glamorous lounge. These poor “expected-champions” beg for votes by pasting a link (where the vote is to be cast) on the scrapbook of other members.
Communities, the most significant part of Orkut, exist just like countless conflicts in Pakistani cricket team. The large number of members in different communities like ‘larky vs larkiyaan’ (boys vs girls), ‘welay log’ (idle people), and ‘Phada Club’ (fighting parlour) etc. are the living examples of “diligences” of “decent” boys and girls out here. The “thoughtful and mind-boggling” topics of these so-called discussion forums include “Rate the picture of the above person…!”, “Dedicate a song to the above boy/girl…!”, “Yadgar phaddy of your life” (memorable fights of your life). (After going through such ridiculous topics, one actually starts thinking…!) And God forbid, if there exists any civilised community, it remains active like the drainage system of Karachi during rains.
“Wtz dis? Wen r u comng 2 ma hme. Im vatng 4u.” If you don’t understand what’s written in inverted commas, you are supposed to be an old-fashioned and conservative being. This “unique” style of writing is taking its roots among Orkutties, like “slanting” the mouth to talk in English. It’s modernism, you know…!”
After spending a quarter year in the multihued world of Orkut, these were the views of Asim, one of my best pals. And after being fed up, he left this mysterious place on the same date as I entered it.
At the beginning, my routine in this world wasn’t much different from others. I used to “get up” at 4:00 am would have “a snack” of profiles of different people, and deduced about their “scrumptiousness” (personality) through their joined communities. After enjoying a square meal of profiles, I used to go for a walk in the communities, where I hardly found anything except for “pollution”.
They say, “First impression is the last impression.” But it proved quite wrong in my case. No doubt, in the beginning Orkut was a source to spend my free time. I was tended towards seeking some good friends, only. But as time passed, I started observing a change in my personality. After conversing with a few people of ‘my type’ and discussing different issues of daily life with them, I felt more confident and mature. That’s why my experience in Orkut asserts something different from others…
Keeping aside the parlours like ‘Larky vs Larkiyan’, I’ve gone through many communities where a large number of talented, decent boys and girls are present. Regardless of ‘dedicating songs’ to each other, they try to assist the members by sharing their knowledge about different affairs. It not only enhances their confidence but also discovers their hidden guts. Orkut has provided a platform to all these cream-minds to ‘give and seek’ from others and that too free of cost.
When these minds communicate with each other and share their intellectual views, in return they gain more than they confer. And above all, the individuals (particularly girls) who avoid free mingling of genders are gaining the most from these communities by expressing their views in a complete veil. And those who lack self-confidence to face a mob, are unravelling their snag in such forums.
My dream of spending some quality time in the company of decent and civilised people seemed to be realised when I made a community and succeeded in gathering a large number of “intellectual minds”. Here, I started giving vent to the dilemmas of our society. The thought provoking views and fabulous ideas of members to nip the social evils in the bud proved “how talented Pakistani youngsters are…!” It also strengthened my relation with Orkutties and satisfied me in a sense that the future of Pakistan is in “promising hands”.
Friend, the precious asset of one’s life and when the word “best” is attached with it, it becomes “most precious.” Some people say, “At Orkut, we avoid revealing ‘correct information’ about our self as Orkutties aren’t trustworthy.” They don’t realise that they are “orkutties” themselves. If one obligates oneself to reveal truth, it would not only purify one’s faith but also bless trusted beings to share the secrets of life. (Believe me, it’s my personal experience.) Today, Orkut has given me a group of decent and trusted friends without whom I feel paralysed.
All and sundry knows, “Black sheep are found everywhere.” It depends upon our strategy to protect ourselves from them. Moreover, if they don’t exist how would we come to know of the good ones? Indubitably, the dark side of Orkut is bound to fetch murkiness but its brighter side promises to blow it up. The purpose behind every technology is to facilitate the humanity. It’s our attitude, which ruins it. Orkut can be used as the best place to seek knowledge from others and to unite the new generation under the shelter of “Peace and Friendship”. It’s just a matter of positive approach… I’m thankful to Orkut from the core of my heart for endowing us with a wonderful and gifted world. Thank you, Orkut!
(DAWN, 28 April, 2007)