By Sameen Navaid Hassan
I was in 7th grade when I got my first cell phone. It was a rarity then, and to have one that had a camera, even though a VGA one, a coloured screen, GPRS and yeah, one that played music at blasting volume too, was a wonder for everyone. I was also among the first few people to have a Facebook account. But I was also the one who had her cell phone confiscated after 10 pm every night and also the one who was allowed one hour of internet during the day and that was me until grade 11. Ahh! Parents, you know! And then came the flashy phones era when “Smart Phones” came to everyone, Facebook became the record breaking most accessed website across the globe, and it was not any later that “Apps” began finding their ways into our cell phones and destroying what little was left of privacy and personal space. And today, I hate my cell phone. I mean, obviously, there’s no life beyond it and half my friends hate me for not having all those stupid applications on my phone, but c’mon, who would have the nerve to have so many people messaging “All the time”. For me, cell phone is about taking calls, replying text messages and maybe a little bit of WhatsApp and a sneak now and a sneak then on Facebook. It’s definitely not about every one knowing where you are, what you are doing, with whom and absolutely not about everyone accessing your pictures! Facebook was enough for that!
We’re now, in a world where “privacy is merely a myth”. If you have a Facebook account and a smart phone that has applications as Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, Tango, WeChat, SnapChat etc. etc. downloaded in it, dude, you are doomed for life! Your privacy has been murdered and you’re forever a part of the “Hi, whats up?, you’ve-been-tagged-in-a-status, you-saw-my-text-you-didn’t-reply, Hello?, Liar-you-said-you-were-sick-in-bed” Drama. Wasn’t the Facebook’s “will-you-friendship-with-me” episode enough of a nightmare? I mean, take a break everyone, I am supposed to be left out on my own while I poop in the bathroom. I can’t SnapChat then. And oh wait, about poop, there is “shitexpress” too! Yes you can actually send in shit to people you hate, there’s an app for that too! And then what if I lied to one of my friends about going out with another one, I wanted to escape the “you-can’t-ditch-me-its-my-girlfriends-birthday” sentiments. And what was the whole point of tagging me in a picture and adding the location. I mean it’s okay to be social, it’s great to let people know what you are doing but for heaven’s sake respect the privacy and personal space of everyone else, let people know what “you” are doing, not what others around you are!
Then it’s not just Facebook the social network, I am more than upset with that silly Facebook Messenger. I mean, first you literally “force” someone into downloading another application on their phone by blocking Facebook messaging and then you allow access to everyone added on Facebook to “call” at any odd hour they see you online. I mean, it’s the 3G era, most of us have it on our phones now. For someone who has a public life or is a part of a public platform and has restricted the public socializing to Facebook only, this silly messenger has given access to call whenever they feel like and you can’t do much except for either switching off your internet connectivity or deleting the application! For me, it has been the latter option always! My phone’s App screen is crystal clear with only Whatsapp and Twitter being the apps downloaded. Facebook App had to be deleted provided it’s stubbornness with Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, SnapChat, Tango could never be my thing! I mean wait a second, Tango, that silly app that allows anyone in your vicinity to approach you. C’mon people there are stalkers around, for heaven’s sake get some senses, we still live in Pakistan and security is still an issue here. We complain of our pictures getting leaked, stalkers freaking us out, creepy messages and annoying as hell access to our personal space, yet we keep on updating these silly apps and penetrating deeper into the world where sooner or later PoopChat will be introduced!