“Are you on Facebook?”, I guess this is a common question that one asks if they want to stay connected these days. Social networking sites, as they are called, have become the order of the day.

Technologies pertaining to the web get smarter by the months and we love every bit of it.

Take social networking for example. The concept itself has encouraged people to use such sites for communication, after blogging shot to fame.

Several pages in networking sites are devoted to details about oneself that give overview of the user’s personality.

Right from the ‘about self’ page to photographs, horoscopes, not to mention communities- the sites have become like data banks of the users, or more like funky resumes.

Substitutes

However, youngsters find it more than a cool way of getting the message across. “These sites are like substitutes for email sites. One can just click on the person’s profile and type out a quick line, rather than writing an email,” says Piyush Gupta, a student.

The buck doesn’t stop here.

Thanks to social networking one gets to find long lost friends from school, college…what not. “I’ve caught up with a lot of friends from school on Orkut,” says Dheeraj.S., an engineering student. “Most of us had lost touch when we left school and after signing onto one of the networking sites, I found a community related to my school and found my classmates there,” he adds.

So what do youngsters feel about the whole craze of social networking?

“In a way it is good because one stay’s connected with people and can communicate effortlessly. But with some networking sites, there is no privacy when it comes to messages. Everyone can read what has been written on your page, which is a bit annoying,” says G. Smriti, a B.Com student.

Students can also check in other popular sites like myspace.com, bigadda.com and yaari.com that offer similar services.

ABHIJIT DEV KUMAR,

in Hyderabad