By reading my previous ‘Facebook Experiments’ section, it may be clear that I have a love-hate (more hate than love) relationship with Facebook. But I’ve become somewhat of a Facebookie (I assume that’s what it’s called). I’ve begun to post random quotes and puzzles and P.Js on my wall and liking stuff here and there. I still don’t see the fascination with spending my waking hours glued to looking at random things posted by random people. This is just a random post. So enjoy.
In the world before 2005, when someone graduated we called them on a telephone (those loopy wired thingies) and congratulated them. When someone went on vacation, we were eager to see them and share their experience. When we took a picture, we showed it only to our near and dear ones. A camera had something called a reel that allowed a person to take only 30 pictures. We tapped into the hippocampal, prefrontal and parietal slabs of the brain to vaguely remember birthdays and anniversaries. Post 2005, everything went downhill.
In the beginning, there was the snail mail where disgruntled people would type (on typewriters not computers) long letters and send it to unsuspecting people urging them to send the same mail to 10 or 20 other unsuspecting and disgruntled people. This continued on to the internet generation where the email helped spread the luck faster. The mobile/smartphone generation caught on sooner. Today, the Facebook generation has a new way of spreading ‘luck’. It’s very simple. It’s called the Share button.
Facebook is famous for, among other things like following me to every site I go to, lurking around the comments section, prodding me to use it to comment on the site and generally being a pain in my Gluteus Maximus, changing the profile page from one to another. First it was the hideous timeline view that I didn’t really want. But Facebook is like an insurance salesman
annoying urging you to adjust to something that you don’t really need and make your peace with it. Now I am very slow in the social media arena. So it takes a lot of time for me to understand and live with the new changes.
But then, just when I think I’ve succeeded in mastering it, Facebook slaps me with other, albeit minor, changes to the look. Then the learning and understanding continue on. While most would welcome this change I don’t. And yes, my opinion doesn’t matter to Facebook. And as is with global warming I just have to deal with it.
To demonstrate the frustration of such changes watch this video by ExtremelyDecentFilms.
When there’s nothing to do at home or at work we all fall prey to opening Facebook and skimming through it’s pages. And why not? It’s a great place to kill time by reading useless and unnecessary updates (“Slept, showered, ate and sleeping again”), look at photos that have been put up with the intention only to get 10, 35, 108 or 297 likes and feed the uploader’s ego or simply waste time.
If it weren’t for Farmville I wouldn’t have been on Facebook and neither would half of the current users. And I gave up on Facebook pretty fast. Now I log in every 15 days and still find nothing interesting. No one misses me and I don’t miss anyone. And believe me, it feels good. If it weren’t for Facebook people would actually be playing outside, meeting friends in person or writing their thoughts in their journals/diaries rather than posting every insignificant thought for everyone to see. It seems life has value only if someone appreciates whatever we post on the “Wall”.
After many days of absence when I logged in I did not find a single useful update. Just some pictures of unnecessary things (Eg: Hit like if you’ve ever eaten sand, Share if you have only one eyebrow), updates about sleeping, eating and burping patterns and the feeling of life ebbing away as I read them.
Conclusion: Facebook gets worse by the day.
Facebook has eased our life by letting us share happy moments and appreciate things we like. But, as is with all other things Facebook has ruined, these pleasures have bitten dust. Now every blade of grass, crow feather and chipped nail has a picture and we are hit with the choice of “Like”-ing or “Share”-ing it.
What do I mean? Here goes. How many of you have seen the following image or something similar on Facebook?
Everyday I am bombarded with pictures like this asking me to “Like” and “Share” stuff that I don’t give two bananas about. Everything from spit bubbles to space shuttles has been beaten to death with this phenomenon.
Why I ask? What will happen if I like the picture? What does it signify? Does it say anything about me? Am I entitled to whatever is in the picture? Are these pictures supposed to make me feel better about something? I don’t get it. I agree with the concept of liking/sharing news, pictures (meaningful ones), posts or videos that actually mean something to me and wanting to share it with everyone. A post or photo has to mean something which, when someone “Like”-s/”Share”-s, will make the poster feel that their pictures or opinions are good in actuality.
This is more of an observation than an experiment because I really don’t have irrelevant pictures to put up and ask people to “Hit Like if you agree” or “Hit Share if you agree” for this experiment.