YOU KNOW how it is sometimes; you are watching something perfectly foul, staring at it with disgust or in horror and yet, your eyes are glued to it. You just can’t take them off the repulsive thing. It happened to me yesterday.
I was on Facebook taking a peek here, making a smart-aleck comment there and generally doing all the silly things that one usually does on Facebook. I got a notification and clicked on it and it led to a conversation where I had made some casual remark. The initiator was a Dubai-based friend.
His wife was on a work-related assignment on Singapore. The two of them were responding to each other’s comments and were getting increasingly romantic, totally oblivious to the public eye (or maybe because of it, I really don’t know). Embarrassed, I wanted to move away from there; my fingers hovered over the mouse but wouldn’t click on it.
Then I logged out, but it took me a long time to get that revolting sickly sweet feeling out of my system. It was able to shake it off only after I went to my desk and quickly made a list of the top ten things that I dislike about Facebook usage. The first, I have already covered. Here are the others:
When couples, particularly middle aged ones between 40 and 60, get pictures taken of themselves in close juxtaposition to each other – often aided in their attempt to create ‘magic’ by the presence of a red rose or a heart-shaped cake — and post it proudly. This is sometimes accompanied by a caption intended to garner admiration, but actually triggers nausea.
When people post status updates of highly irrelevant things that no one could possibly take an interest in them. In fact, it is a moot point whether even the guy who posts it can be reasonably expected to do so. ‘Ah! Feeling fresh after a nice bath’ or ‘In Visakhapatnam today on a sales conference.’ So what?
Then there is the argumentative user. He has a fairly good brain, but a far bigger ego. The thought of someone putting one over him in full view of hundreds of eyeballs fills him with dread. He therefore cannot allow another to score a point or withdraw gracefully. He will pull out all stops and try and mercilessly pummel the other into submission.
I know some couples who are so devoted to each other — or perhaps it is the fragility of the relationship — that they have this unwritten rule. If either of them posts something, the other has to immediately ‘like’ it.
There is something about Facebook that sets a spark to the latent desire of human beings to get philosophical. Years of that suppressed or dormant ‘need’ to play guru gets ignited when you know you have an audience who can ‘hear’ you but can’t hit you. Facebook is an ideal medium for small-time philosophers who want a captive audience that they can inflict themselves on from a safe distance.
Worse than the philosophers themselves are the wannabe ones who want to fashion themselves in that mode, but lack the ability to think of something to say and are too scrupulous to poach a quote and palm it off on an unsuspecting audience. This group waits for suitable quotes to come their way. Then they pounce on it with the alacrity of a bloodhound and comment ‘Very true’ or ‘So true!’.
Those cryptic ones. The one who will write “No! I won’t do it”, or worse, just this: “OMG!” The expectation is that hundreds will solicitously jump up and ask “What? What happened?!” Usually, no one bothers, except those who are on Facebook for the first time.
These chaps who post what they deem funny and “LOL” or “ROTFL” themselves; perhaps a sign to others that the comment is meant to be humourous.
Finally, when you confirm an acquaintance as a friend and he promptly implores you to ‘like’ his page. – Khaleejnews