Though I am not exactly a nerd, I love to try out anything new in the big wide world of communications. Yet I have only recently registered on Facebook, the powerful social network.

My love for gadgets, gizmos and any new software usually takes me to malls and hypermarkets and I am the guy who you see lounging about and salivating in front of displays showcasing the latest mobile phones, checking out the specs.

Now I plan to make sure I get the iPad as soon as it is available in Dubai after finding out that some stores are taking advance bookings for the tablet. I was enamoured by this new gadget after reading about its cool apps and particularly the feature where you can download books off the Net.

I have taken courses in Canada, sitting with teenagers late into the evenings in a classroom in Mississauga, where a very enthusiastic tutor showed me how to make a word blink and draw attention to itself on my website just by typing in a few commands, or how to attach a counter to show how many people have wandered into my site.

Despite my love for anything online, I had delayed getting on board the Twitter bandwagon, thinking it was more a teenage thing, where everyone lets everyone know what they are doing, the moment they do it. But recently I read that the head of a major corporation announced his resignation first on Twitter.

The reason it took me a while to get on the social network Facebook was because I was not really interested what my classmates of years ago were doing. Why should I be forced to make small talk with people with whom I had lost touch years ago, people whose lives did not touch my own over the passing years, I thought to myself.

It was something like going home one day after years of working abroad to find that your friends have moved on and that you are like a stranger in familiar surroundings.

The painful part is when you find out that some of your friends have become filthy rich staying back home, while you had slaved over the years in exotic lands.

There are however, some interesting tidbits you get to know when you are on the network, like finding that your friend has divorced the pretty girl you once thought he did not deserve.

But the biggest letdown was to find that your friends have aged over the years, and now look exactly like their mothers or fathers in the photographs they have posted online.

Finding out from someone that your body is slowly going to seed is not exactly a morale booster.

"Oops, what happened"? asked a friend when he saw my mug online.

"I hope they are treating you well in the old age home," he said. That's when I pulled out my photograph and now I am there in blue silhouette, like a Navi who has gelled his hair.

Maybe I should post a picture of a movie star like some of the women from the region do on some sites. The name would be Ayeesha Al Kunwari and the person gazing at you would be Aishwarya Rai.

Most of my long-lost friends, after the initial excitement of finding me, go back to being lost again. I find that I am friendless in a social network though I keep getting requests for friendship from people I wouldn't even say hi to on the street.

In desperation I trawl my friends' friends and wonder how someone could have 465 friends.

I am so desperate for friendship on the network that I beg my colleagues to be my friends, and instead of chatting and gossiping near the coffee vending machine, we chat online.