Let's just Facebook it

Let's just Facebook it

I really don’t know what the fuss is all about. The pundits, that great faceless anonymous collective, tell us it is akin to opening Pandora’s box.

That once you are hooked or wired, as the case may be, the disease spreads in great galloping strides. That your ordinary life goes to rack and ruin.

I’m talking about a social media platform, the name of which rhymes with glazed-look. I opened that particular Pandora’s box a handful of years ago, and have survived to tell the tale. And now, I want to deconstruct the myths.

They say once you get on, you stay on. This is not true. Those of us with demanding children at home, 800-word articles to write, or that TV show we are addicted to watching, just cannot and will not stay online indefinitely. Real life invariably intrudes, and intrudes sharply. Of course, there is also the fact that those in the know, know. They know there is a peak time to post, so your posts will attract the maximum eyeballs. They also know that if you stay online perpetually, people will realise you don’t have an offline life. Ergo, they don’t stay online forever.

They say you tend to post status messages that are banal, bragging, snide or plain obnoxious by turns. Nonsense, I say. Online media is all about building your own constituency. The canny method is to post deep and profound messages, at first dutifully giving credit where credit is due, be it to Zig Ziglar, Khalil Gibran or that cat who wears tortoiseshell spectacles. After you are sure your posts are read by all and sundry, then you can post anything. I have seen posts lamenting a dog fight fast becoming a serpentine thread full of sympathy, empathy, helpful hints!

They say you invariably doctor the photographs you put up. Only the most naïve people would say this. I mean, just about every picture one displays is first photoshopped, right? Do we really let people see us as we really are, except when we go under the Witness Protection Programme? We, my dears, call it curating. Not doctoring; that’s ever so coarse.

They say your posts become vulnerable to cyber cruisers, trolls and perverts. Not if you have the necessary smarts and know how to put your privacy patrol in place. Then of course, there are some sorry souls who feel wanted, needed only if the abovementioned trolls and pervs accost them online? Different strokes, guys…cut them some slack.

They say your inner quality controller lies down and dies every time you click ‘like’ on just about everything you see. Well, what exactly is wrong with clicking ‘like’ on everything you see, if you like everything you see? It’s unassailable logic. Your wall is largely composed of posts by people like you who post things they appreciate, which in turn you are bound to appreciate. So, I say just go ahead and ‘like’ away.

They say you develop an inflated and unreal sense of yourself as a person. Really? Like you don’t already have an inflated and unreal self? Get real. You know you are special. And when your favourite social media platform underlines your specialness, who is the winner here?

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