Sunday, August 14, 2011

Please say it ain't so

Facebook and its friends are wonderful, they really are. They help us to know who is dating (or breaking up) with whom, who secretly always wanted to be a farmer or mafia warlord, and who likes cats. However, they also bred the mindless urge to "like" and comment on anything and everything. While "liking" stuff can lead from hilarious moments ("My girlfriend broke up with me"; you liked it? I always knew you liked her) to irritating situations ("Flight delayed for 6 hours, feel like punching someone"; "what is there to like about my flight being delayed?) to potentially offensive ones ("sad day: my dog drowned and died"; like? you insensitive bastard!), my beef is more with the comments, which are sometimes so awesomely stupid, that I really feel those should be considered a crime against humanity and banned.

Consider the ubiquitous situation of seeing a friend's wedding pictures. It is another matter that I got to know that (s)he is getting married only via facebook, and when I asked how long (s)he knows his/her to be soul-mate, I realized they have barely met. Well, nothing wrong in that, people are busy, and have no time to look for partners, and parents obligingly did the needful. So far so good. The wedding happens, with all pomp and pageantry, and in this ultra-connected world, it does not take long before unofficial and "official" wedding pictures start populating our newsfeed. Those who knew congratulate, those had no in-linking that a wedding is at the works, express surprise, and then congratulate the couple nevertheless.

Fair enough.

Then comes a comment, "nice couple". Well this is like saying "cute baby", when it is known that all babies have to be cute. Contains zero information, but I can see why people can get emotional seeing their dear friend finally getting married, after complaining for years about their single-hood. I'll let that pass. Next comes, "made for each other" or "perfect couple", or one of the variants, which makes me cringe. Well, first of all, these two individuals did not know each other a week back, and a series of (happy) coincides resulted in them being an official couple, so as an outsider, I can not see how another outsider can infer such message from that picture. May be they will live happily ever after, in that case that statement will make sense after twenty years, or may be they will call the cops next night, in that case the commenter should be lynched publicly.

At this point, someone can argue that it is not a big deal, and may be it is not intended to be a factual statement. Well, then why make it? You do not make such a hollow statement at your work, or anywhere else. Why leave your otherwise working mind at the kitchen when you login to facebook?

Then there are paranoia. A rabid African giraffe has kicked a guy in the butt because his tee-shirt that said "I have facebook, I dont need a life", so we need to share the post to all out thousand friend's wall, and tell them not to use facebook for 2 days, when all we should do is not wear such a tee-shirt. Even the kid who makes that tee shirt in a slum in Pakistan knows giraffes do not like that color. Get a clue, folks. No one is grabbing any information you have not provided, posting something on hundred others wall would not reveal the name of the secret crush (but if that person is one of those hundred, (s)he will know you are a retard).

There are ways to control how much information you share with whom. Not perfect probably, a tad inconvenient, but better than coming across as a "404", as they said in older days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, you should tell mark to have a dislike button - now a days I am facing the same difficulty!

nice couple/cute baby is not much of a problem - take it as a complimentary supper - people post them with set expectations. Moreover, when that is not met with desired reaction - the audience gets bragged into it! :P

Personally, I do not feel like putting much information over fb. However, I post photos, which, I guess, contains a lot of it - depicts a part of your life & times.

overall, you should get used to it as veteran vietnamer (like zuckerberg) of fb!