You've heard of it, you know of it, you've used it and lets face it, you're addicted.

You wake up in the morning and check your status message that says "is going to bed". "Well, I'm up.." you think and that's exactly what goes up as your new status. At work, you're constantly Finishing Jobs and Fighting other mobs on Mafia Wars. An occasional comment on someone's wall, or a birthday wish is just routine. Back home, online again, checking who's sent you a friend's request, what groups to join, what cause to support although you know you're never going to do anything practical towards it.

I repeat, face it, you're addicted.

And why not? Internet social networking was the latest buzz few years back, and today it's literally booming, with it being the simplest tool to stay connected with the hundreds of people we meet and who would most probably be forgotten by the time the earth turned a full circle. It has allowed us to build strong yet volatile bonds with our acquaintances in a virtual world where everyone's close to everyone else and we have all the time in the world since the whole point of having a "wall" or a scrapbook is for others to leave messages for you to reply at your leisure. This ease of communication and lightened burden of expectations to reply promptly has made Online Social Networking an integral part of our cyber-persona as well as, today, our physical self. We simply cannot resist it.

Why? you may ask. Well, to know that we have to dig deeper into the history and mystery of Internet social networking and for that we shall be taking the help of our friendly internet drug, Facebook.

Quoted from the ever-helpful Wikipedia:

"Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook with fellow computer science major students and his roommates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes while he was a student at Harvard University. Website membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It later expanded further to include any university student, then high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over."

It's pretty evident that the popularity of Facebook grew not by online or advertising media but by Word of Mouth Marketing.
"Oh you know, I've joined facebook, and it's so much better than orkut! You should try it too!"
That's exactly how I came to sign up with facebook and back then it didn't disappoint at all. Today, Facebook boasts of more than 175 million users online. And the fact is, this user base can be built up by any random social networking site too. But the user-loyalty that was built by facebook was phenomenal. People shifted from Orkut to Facebook practically overnight and stuck to it. That doesn't, by any means, mean that they stopped using Orkut. Oh no, not at all. Man's need to stay connected surpasses that completely. Even as students, actually, I should say, MAINLY as students, we have friends actually categorized as "Orkut Friends", "Myspace friends", "Facebook friends" et cet ra.

Facebook is a user-based, user-supported site. And it's popularity grew by leaps and bounds during the nascent stages and initial years because of the one thing that appeals completely to me and millions of other similar users that is: simplicity. Yes, simplicity was the core selling point that built up the popularity of Facebook. It was hassle-free registration, clean profile-page, no application clutter, the works. Something that it shares with another uber-friendly and intuitive site group - Google. Google, since it's lauch, boasted of an intuitive clean working system, something it has managed to uphold over the years and for which it earns accolades for each application it launches. For them it was and always has been "Less is good" and that's something facebook grew on as well.

Then Facebook started to really "grow", and they changed the profile displays, added applications, modified layouts and all in all, royally messed up all that they had built their site upon. As this site started gaining popularity, the market started encroaching upon user space. Advertisments galore generates income for Facebook inc. so they were glad to oblige(obviously!) In this epic transaction, we users started losing out.

This site has completely revamped it's look 4 times with each time getting worse! More and more content is making our lives miserable! Who wants to know every single quiz a friend has taken! Too many feeds make for information OVERLOAD! The latest Facebook layout mod clearly shows that. In a survey conducted by the company itself, just over 5% of the nearly 800,000 respondentssaid they liked the new layout
(don't know what they were thinking when they liked it! Frankly, don't care. We're winning! Woohoo!!)

The simple clean look of facebook which essentally was it's sex appeal, has completely disappeared. So, with feeds and applications and what not cluttering up our space, what we're looking at is just another social network, nothing special. The addiction that drew us to this wonderful social network is slowly waning, and that too without rehab treatment. I'm hoping to goodness they overhaul this layout too, and revert back to something that even remotely resembles the old look.

Are you listening Mark? GET A DESIGNER!!
Here's something I once read in one of my favourite blogs here.
I just HAD to post one of my own ^_^
(and I intend to ACTUALLY do the ones in red before I turn thirty..well few years give or take :P )

Simple Rules:

1. Things I have already done - Blue & Bold !
2. Things that i would love to do - Red & Bold !

Here we go!!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins.
03. Climbed a mountain (Loads of hills, but I guess Mt. Abu serves as a mountain too)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (It was SMOOOTH!!)

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone.
08. Said “I love you” and meant it.
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea. (Definitely from the shore.)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game.
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa.
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables.
18. Touched an iceberg.
19. Slept under the stars.
20. Changed a baby’s diaper.(It's definitely not pretty! Well, pretty smelly, yes.)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (quite a few times actually )

27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger.(Goa, everything's possible when you're a couple o' hundred drinks down :) )
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse.(would be very fascinating!)
34. Ridden a roller coaster.
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking.
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day.
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer.(Three at the moment :D )
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country.
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs (Once!)
57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day

60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud (Absolutely!)
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theatre

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest.
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on a television news program as an “expert”(Aspiring...)
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music(which song....you don't wanna know :P )
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over .
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge

102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking with the windows open.(Nikhil n me...russel peters tickets!! :P )
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane (is flight simulator applicable....?)
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (Except the shotgun)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (I wanna!!!)
122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period(Almost I think...I've done a 25)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi (Taj was my first taste I think...)
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school

131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach (LOL!)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read.
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language.
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream(halfway thru...getting there)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ(Then I realized I suck...)
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Why oh why did you have to lie?
That you liked jelly, not fish fry?
I cooked and cooked all day long,
But then you went and brought along King-kong.
Now I won't have any food left to eat,
because the gorilla's vegetarian,
and you eat all the meat.

Oh look, the parrots fly by!
And lions, and tigers and bears, Oh My!
Now where have I heard that line, pray tell me,
because the crocodile's feeling hungry, hungry as can be.
I like the lipstick you've worn Mrs.Chimp,
And here come the lobsters, and the dancing shrimp!

This is turning out to be quite a mob,
with and pigs playing hockey, and the cat being a snob,
and the foxes with their bushy tails, oh they're so sly!
They sneak up on the little mice, and steal all their pie!
Oh no! The goat ate my sock!...or was it simply a rock?
Never mind, for he likes it too;
There he goes again, for round number two!

Ah, my friend, in all this mess, don't think I've forgotten you,
For who will clean the cupboard, and who will make the stew?
Now now, calm down, don't be so hasty,
Your friends ate my food, I'm simply being nasty!

Alright, let's just say goodbye to mother goose,
she's going home and her shoes are very loose.
And the rest, they're going home too,
Now that the party's over, I wanna go to the loo!