A very wise friend of mine once heard a very wise friend of his saying, “No one is too cool for Facebook… No one.”
When he put up that huge cliché as his Facebook status, he got more than 15 ‘likes’. Now I am not very cynical by nature and that by itself is generally enough for me to disregard such occurrences but blame my joblessness and the frequency of such occurrences, that this time I decided to do something about it, instead of simply scrolling down and marveling at the bazillionth Troll humor post about infinite energy.
Facebook statuses have become an important part of my life, and there are others for whom a Facebook status is life itself. Unfortunately, except the maximum number of characters, there is absolutely no specific rule regarding how one’s supposed to go about them, and things like punctuation, coherence and common sense have not yet been figured out by most. I can safely leave out innovation, since hardly anyone digs the basics of that concept in our country nowadays.
The buck doesn’t stop there. The practice of liking bullshit is even more rampant on Facebook. If you are a girl with good looks, you can pretty much put up any douchey nonsense, e.g. “OMG! OMG! OMG!… lyf’s sooooooooooooo goooooood!!!!!!!!!”, and you are sure to get around thirty likes for it. Not because your status is good, though. Mostly because that disgusting pimple-faced dude whom you reluctantly added just thought it would improve his chances.
Seriously, we need to stop. In the name of decency. So think hard the next time your status update is:
#5 Clichés and Pure Crap:
We never like it when people keep repeating the same stuff and try to push it down your head forcefully. Nothing wrong with that. That’s how humans are, no big deal. But somehow everyone totally forgets it on social networking sites. Twenty thousand extra status updates cannot make the India-Pakistan match more interesting. You don’t have to tell everyone that your ‘exams suck’. They already know it. Having to read that thirty-seven times before they decide to open their textbooks is not going to improve anyone’s chances. And seriously, you think anyone is ever going to forget Rebecca Black and the death of music if we keep on talking about how she recites the days of the week in her song? NO! Please stop. You are making the internet boring.
And when there is nothing obvious to update about, we have a whole lot of nothing on the profiles of the same people. “Can’t believe I just farted in a restaurant.” “OMG!!! My sister looks so cuteeeeeee!!” It’s almost like their lives are so mundane, they need to get it out by giving a minute-by-minute account of every stupid happening. You can’t blame them; “Using a different toothpaste…. YUUUMMMM!” is probably the single most interesting thing that happened to them in a fortnight, but you don’t have to like it. Even if it is posted by a crazy hot girl or the handsomest hunk on the Universe, or even by Chuck Norris, there is simply no rule that says you have to like crap. On the other hand, even if an ugly, anti-social prick wins the Nobel Prize, please like that. That is infinitely more important than the bowel movement of your dream girl’s pet dog.
There are some many a lot of people I know, who turn themselves into Tony Robbins, Baba Ramdev, Socrates or whoever they think endorses their brand of philosophy better. Day after day, their status updates will be a pearl of wisdom that will draw tens of likes. Why do we do that? The other day I came across this cosmically misunderstood truth, “Love not a person whom you love, but a person who loves you back”, on a friend’s Facebook wall. It had 23 likes. The number of likes was more shocking than the complete absence of logic in the statement, more so, because the 23 likes motivated this friend to continue posting great thoughts about who and how you are supposed to love for a fortnight. After that, I guess he ran out of material to copy and paste on his wall. It would seem as if these people were bestowed with a mystical force and depth of understanding that other, lesser mortals can barely fathom. However, it would seem that way only until you realized that the guy advising you about the ill-effects of booze has an album dedicated to his funniest moments when he was high.
People just love quoting on Facebook. It gives them the feeling of pride and a sense of intelligence and a lot of likes, but that should not happen. Here’s why that shouldn’t happen:
a) Because essentially all you are doing is commending the a-hole for logging on to Wikiquote, undergoing some really ‘strenuous’ keyword search, finding what he was looking for and copying and pasting it on his wall (most of the time without crediting the actual speaker/author). Do you now see how ridiculous it sounds? It is not like the dude came up with that smart clump of statements all by himself. You are praising him for exactly nothing.
b) Because just like wisdom, 90 percent of the quote-copiers have absolutely no respect for the application of that quote itself. They might be misquoting a person for the sake of propaganda, e.g. a friend of mine once very conveniently misquoted Werner Heisenberg, making it look like Heisenberg was respecting God in his all-pervasive form, when he was actually talking about Mathematics. They might even be douches who want to prove their own greatness or well-informed lifestyle. “Some men are born great; others have greatness thrust upon them”. Oh, really? Well you don’t seem to belong to either of the two, sunshine. Unless misunderstanding Shakespeare makes you great.
When you like a quote like that, it’s a plus for the moron’s inflated sense of self-worth. Hitler had a highly inflated sense of self-worth. Catch my drift?
#2 Intentionally Vague:
The creepiest bunch of your friends can be identified on Facebook. I don’t have a great amount of experience regarding the roots of creepiness, but here’s the general law – The creepiness of a person is directly proportional to the vagueness of his status messages. If you have read a series of increasingly vague status messages from a friend, you had better start the tiresome procedure of breaking ties with him instead of going ahead and liking the poor guy’s status.
Vague statuses irritate me even more than the bullshit statuses. “I screwed up”, “Yesterday was the saddest day of my life”, etc. Every time I see a status update of this type, there will be a zillion likes on it, and everybody would have asked the usual questions like, “What happened?” “Are you alright?” And the replies to these will either be a promise to certain specific people that they will be talked to later, or the favorite, “I don’t wanna talk abt it”.
Sad and attractive though the status might seem, it is actually more of an attention seeking stunt of the daily soap variety. If you’re looking for comfort, shouldn’t you at least tell others what exactly you mean? If you are too shy to tell the others what it was, shouldn’t you just think twice before posting the consequence of said events on a social networking site.
This person doesn’t really require your care and consolation. He/she just made you part of a social experiment. He/She is merely seeking the limelight by appearing sad.
And what does it mean when you like a status like that anyway? Did you actually LIKE the fact that somebody had the saddest day of their lives? It’s all wrong.
#1 Hidden Hate:
Sometimes (thankfully not very frequently), I come across a status like, “Some people need to be taught the meaning of friendship”. This is a very dangerous type of status. It immediately makes you insecure and wonder if it was you who did something bad to the person in question. And frankly, keeping the disastrous ambiguousness of the statement aside, this is a very wimpy and cowardly method of getting back at someone. First of all, it is absolutely unnecessary to carry a fight/grudge into a social networking site. That’s similar to making extremely private decisions like, dying your pubic hair red, publicly. Secondly, if you want to be a gutsy buffoon than please keep the courage throughout. Instead of saying something like, “Some people in my class stink a lot” and making everybody sniff their armpits, you can be a mard and say, “Hey everyone, Sreekant stinks. He stinks so much, it’s like somebody crapped in a prison toilet and sent it through a kilometer of toxic waste before exploding it in a pig’s rectum. Somebody give him a bucket-full of water every Monday morning!”
If nothing else, it’s to the point. I might like that, not the former version. Best case scenario might include Sreekant actually taking a bath and sparing you the misery.
Having said all this, I must admit that at some point in the past, I would have posted at least one status per each category on my own wall. That’s not the point though. The point is, no one liked it. Now you know this article has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s just JEALOUS RAGE!
This was an article I wrote for shits and giggles aroud 2011, mostly out of Facebook frustration. It later got published on an online magazine called Let The Good Times Roll, and gained good traction there. Re-posting here because this blog is totally incomplete without it. Pardon the stale pop culture references, they were totally hip then.