This rant article is intended to put out a few observations on the impact of facebook in a lighter vein. It’s not meant to be taken verbatim and The Yellow King is not really yellow in colour.
It was 2007. Everyone was talking about a new social networking site, something with a book and face in it. I was trying to build my own social networking site back then (yes people in school do stupid things) but when I saw what this looked like, I gave up and I signed up on Facebook. Cut to 2014- it has been 7 years. That’s longer than the time I spent in college. In these 7 years facebook has had more facial surgeries than all the Bollywood starlets combined.
And then there is the whole privacy thing.
Those fake accounts (even I have one) and people stealing your info is just the cream of the issue. Dive down and you’ll realise that you have willingly agreed to a lot of stuff that you really shouldn’t when you register. For all you know, you may have sold your first born to a slave camp in Siberia to be trained by facebook as a programmer.
The biggest problem is how facebook tricks you into believing everything is alright and that unicorns exist. And that Mark Zuckerberg is not Big Brother.
And it is totally cool that facebook has probably more data about us than the NSA. I mean who cares they acquired Instagram and WhatsApp among numerous other smaller companies that have your data.
Then comes that ever green “What’s on your mind?” conundrum. Every single time I have answered this earnestly, it hasn’t ended well. The last time I spoke my mind, I was called a rebel without a cause- someone who sits around and does nothing but rant. All of this for a sarcastic observation about a TV show involving Aamir Khan doing an Oprah with a conscience.
(FULL DISCLOSURE I LOVE THE SHOW)
But why does it matter? When did people start taking facebook so seriously? Who puts elaichi in Biriyani? Why do people mix Red Bull and Vodka- when they are supposed to do exactly the opposite things? Those are the questions I have in retrospect.
Numerous friendships have been ruined by relationship updates, facebook location check- ins and photo updates. But none of that can beat the power of stupidity. Especially when it’s spewing in endless abundance.
“Pani puri khaoge Darth Vader ji?” (Will you eat pani pauri, Darth Vader sir?)
“Luke, I am your father, she is your sister and Yoda is gay”
Such seemingly connected but actually non-sequitur sentences can best describe what happens on an average Facebook flame post. And that by the way is still better than whatever Disney will do to Star Wars.
And then there is 69% chance that even something like that would turn into a three-way cage fight between supporters of the right wing party, the secularist party and the common man’s anarchy party. And many of these folks aren’t even your friends.
But then that’s true with even some of those listed as your friends. Apart from the people you actually know the others can range from met once at a bus stop to who the fuck is this guy?
And such a diverse bunch of people can only spew and overshare a whole bunch of stuff you can actually live without. Like your cocaine Candy Crush Saga addiction. I am guilty as charged. I too happen to overshare more often than not, but half of it is to pimp articles on this very site and at the same time clog some of the shit you might otherwise get to see.
What’s the worse that facebook has done to us?
It has made us horrible people, it has ruined our real world social interactions. We have begun judging a person by his or her facebook timeline. We have stopped breaking up and moving on, the practice has shifted to breaking up and then going-
(a) Batshit crazy on facebook
(b) Stalking your ex
(c) Both (a) and (b)
Relationships have been affected, spouses get wary of each other over facebook activity. Lines are drawn and friends turn into foes who in-turn turn into Baba Ramdev.
That’s enough drama to force the creators of Gossip girl to create a spin-off.
And finally there is the poke button. I will never understand why this was made and what it represents. It is as useful as it’s as if facebook is laughing at us while flinging a finger. Literally.