Friday, October 04, 2013

The Facebook Show


Some days I am happy and gay,
Some days I am sad and vague,
Whatever the feeling may be…
A common ground they find with me,
What used to be a call to my bestie
Is now a vent out on Facebook…
For the Millenial in me

In today’s world, social media has quickly risen up on most priority lists. If Twitter is the news breaking platform, Facebook has found a permanent residence in most households. Days don’t start without a religious log in to Facebook nor do we sleep a wink without checking our news feed at night. Business travels don’t start without the customary “check in” while vacations are truly not complete if they are not announced on the network. Happiness, Anger, Frustrations, Celebrations, all sorts of achievements...everything finds its way on to this book… hell even a random picture of the neighbour’s dog.

Despite today’s hectic schedules and the busy lives we all crib about, there always seems to be some time left over for this new friend, the one that seems to have taken priority over all others.  Let me correct that; the one that has taken priority but also given us the opportunity to stay connected with friends, family and acquaintances. However there is this nagging feeling I get each time my news feed loads; has that thin line that separates the real from the virtual blurred? Has our dependency on this technology phenomenon reached a point of no return? I oscillate between being irritated and amused each time I come across instances which strengthen this feeling, especially when I see these-

Breakfast Menus: I am really glad you had a healthy breakfast but seriously what am I going to do with knowing whether you had a Parantha or Dosa to start your day with?

The latest weather channel in town: Climate changes. In India it is either hot or cold or raining somewhere or the other. As global warming is setting up home with us, those changes are sudden but definitely not shocking are they? So someone please help me understand why one should go gaga if it suddenly starts raining somewhere? If you are watching the rains from your window go fix yourself some chai and pakoras. Getting soaked in the rains are you? - grab an umbrella or simply enjoy the drench… Oh wait a minute I shouldn’t have said that, that’s another topic to put up isn’t it? Silly me!

Thinking out loud: Yes, Archimedes probably did that when he made his “mass”ive discovery and I am sure it must have been the most exhilarating moment for him; but you know what? He did not go around sending cryptic thoughts out to all, waiting for everyone to inquire what he meant. No one would be happier than me were you truly to have your Archimedean moment, but till then please spare us the rumination… please?

(Dis)respecting privacy: However open one might be on Facebook, there are aspects that everyone prefers keeping private and personal… always; if only that was as easy to understand. Sigh.
Rather than embarrassing them in public, the concerned person willing, do put in all your efforts to get well versed with their personal lives but over private messages, mails or maybe those long forgotten phone calls? “Live and Let live” is too much to ask for these days anyways.

It is that time of the month: No kidding! And pray what honors did we do to be made privy to this information? Should we be cooking you a favorite meal? Take you shopping for those bare essentials or wait a minute are you just warning us about those mood swings? Gawd, the suspense!

Emotional outbursts: Awwwwww…It’s your wedding anniversary! Congratulations! But err… umm… could you keep those lovey-dovey notes/ballads/poetries and re-runs of classic English/Hindi love songs between you two love birds? Let love continue to be in the air and not get poured all over Facebook? Once again congratulations J

The list goes on but you know what is endless? – The “likes” these statuses generate.  People find the time even during a crisis (read illness/surgeries/accidents… even death) to update these on their pages and the likes continue to shower regardless of what the message is.

We have begun to document every single moment of our day to day life, every single thought that crosses our mind, every single activity we do...Have we begun to lead an alternate life? One that is built on impulse most of the time? Is that thin line between reality and the virtual world disappearing? Has Facebook become the new Truman Show?

Too many questions to ponder over but maybe I should do that some other day… it is now time for my customary afternoon log in to Facebook.


  1. There is a difference between Truman Show and Facebook.
    In the former, people were pretending to lead a real life and Truman didn't have any choice.

    While in later (extending it to any virtual media of communication like chats, blogs, etc), people by choice try to lead a real life which may or may not be visible to the world. I believe that our real lives are marred by pretentious virtues and values that forces us to portray ourselves in a certain way.
    We get the freedom to bring out the real us (the angel as well as the demon) in virtual world of social networking.
    And this I believe is the most compelling proposition pulling us back to them.

  2. Thanks for stopping by PJ. Its the concept that I am referring to of documenting your life for everyone to know and see..not the movie script in itself :)

  3. There is also this want to be liked by all and present a made-up picture to the world that says, check it out - my world is so awesome!

    A dissatisfied ego deep down perhaps?

  4. @Wooster- Yes, thats the feeling one gets with some projections you see on social media.. i guess that could be an explanation for it.

  5. I think people only open those chapters of their lives (or create new ones) that they want others to know :P

  6. @PJ- trust me many don't go by that. They just post period. :)

  7. Hmmm...

    May be I am just over analyzing,
    and may be you are quite correct.
    Or may be I am just tantalizing,
    anyone who wants a debate, to object.

    May be I wanna see other's inner-self on display,
    so that I can know more about their dark side.
    Or may be I have already given my evil self away,
    and waiting for someone to understand what is implied.

  8. Very good article . I get annoyed when people post pictures of infants and toddlers with terminal illness. The subject line goes like " 10 Like=1$, 5 share=10$...". Whoever posts the article wants us to like the pictures or share them with the world. Really!!! what's so likeable to see a baby suffering a terminal illness. Some even end up posting stuff like "Facebook will pay 1$ each for 10 likes for the picture". People want us to believe they are compassionate and caring, are they really??

  9. @PJ- wow, you should start blogging too! :)

    @Majestic- Thank you, I remembered our chat wfew weeks back when I wrote this :)

  10. Well summed up the effects and happenings in FB. :)
    It has indeed become a part of everyday life!

  11. very Nice Write Up and the mentioned things I believe are exactly correct...
    I am not to be a part of FB... 😋

  12. I think i can find it in me to forgive most of the aberrations you've mentioned, babe, but what I absolutely cannot stand is when people deliberately misspell words or repeat an alphabet a zillion times to lay emphasis on something, for example amazingggggg! Arrgh. I suspect this is probably another way of drawing attention to themselves (possibly to make up for the lack of interesting stuff in their lives).

  13. @Namita- yeah, i guess all are ways to seek attention.. i suppose in the excitement of staying connected one does not realize when they blur all boundaries...

  14. I find facebook very useful for two things:
    1: News and knowledge - quite a lot of current news and sometimes useful articles I end up reading first on FB! It acts as a good RSS aggregator :)
    2: Humor - I get my daily dose of funny pictures/videos/quotes here. Again, the variety and collection of such posts are pretty good on FB than anywhere else!

  15. :) And that's why one deletes their Facebook account because one doesn't need more white noise in their already over-informed life. Also, if you haven't been in touch for a decade it's okay if you are not in touch now. And just because your Friends count is 350 doesn't really mean you have 350 friends. And one doesn't need to know about your low self esteem issues which force you to post details about your mundane life looking for reinforcement and encourage and "likes". ...
    sorry that's a bit of a rant but I just find non-specialized social networks annoying

  16. Vipula- and that's def. one of the many reasons why we are kindred souls.. right? :)
    I stick on for the amusement, it does give you a good dose of entertainment ;-)


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