Like you, I too visit Facebook every day. I tried quitting but my job doesn’t allow me to. I usually do it not more than once a day, however. And right after, I almost always need a break for that other, more unfairly criticized addiction, just to release the frustration and annoyance at the incredible stupidity of my friends.
You could argue (if you’re not one of my friends, and still remember what that word really means) that it’s my friends who are at fault here, not the all-conquering blue-headed monstrosity. But I think you’d only be partially right. Because Facebook has made them stupider. And I don’t even have that many. I ignored requests for months because I did not want to cross one hundred friends. So I don’t know how those with 800 of them cope with the fire hose of bullshit.
I can no longer tell whose holiday pictures I’m looking at, because they’re all the same. The same places, the same poses. The same comments confirming the awesomeness of it all. (With a fashionable disregard for language and a punctuation, of course. One exclamation mark is just not enough any more, is it.) When it’s not pictures of themselves, it’s pictures of vacuous quotes, or animals. Fucking animals. When did we become so obsessed with them? I saw a picture of a panda asking people to save it because it’s dying, by liking and sharing the picture. Setting aside the absurdity of it for a moment, why should I want to save the giant goddamned panda? (I don’t.)
When it’s not pictures, it’s people mourning the much-expected death of a billionaire CEO of an electronics manufacturer as if he was the greatest man who ever lived. He wasn’t. He was an asshole and he didn’t give the slightest fuck about you. When they’ve forgotten him (in a few hours), they are mindlessly cheering the latest anti-establishment movement/messiah. Or posting absurd, unverifiable ‘facts’ about Rahul Gandhi. ‘Did you know he failed in college!’ So? So did I.
Two people were murdered in Mumbai recently. Not much of a news, is it? In a city of 20 million, murders surely happen, one would assume. But not when it’s two guys-like-us on a night out. That’s news. That’s outrageous. That deserves a Facebook page, a slogan and a logo, and a share-able poster saying ‘I’m against eve-teasing. Are you?’. If I am, I must Like it, to stop ‘eve-teasing’. I don’t know if I can even explain to anyone how divorced from reality it really is.
Anyway. What I’m saying is, the desperation for likes has slowly imposed a dumb uniformity. Everybody has the same albums, likes the same movies and songs, supports the same causes and rages against the same evils. Everybody has the same thoughts, and everybody likes them.
You can be famous and loved and make hundreds of friends (or expand your social graph, as they call it) just by fitting the definition of like-able. There’s no place for the oddballs and the misfits. The ones who disagree with the mob. The ones who don’t Like.
And that’s the most horrible thing that Facebook has inflicted on us. By it’s very nature, by it’s design, it is incapable of fostering any real, meaningful conversations or relationships. And that’s understandable, if you read a bit about its creator.
People say it helps them keep in touch with friends and stay updated in what’s going on in their lives. Well, call them. Email them, ping them, whatsapp them. Meet them for lunch, if you really care. Ask them how they are, how their job is going and where they went to holiday. When you meet someone, talk to them. Talk about the restaurants you like, the movies you love to watch, the books you can’t put down. Make some real friends. Don’t just judge them by looking at their profile. Don’t just sit there clicking through pictures like the fat fucks in Wall-E.
When I like a song, I can often listen to it on repeat, almost endlessly. And I don’t mean playing it in the background. This, for example.
I can just lie in bed for an hour, listening to it over and over again. I think it’s the best song this exceptional band has produced (better than the other, more obvious one for this blog). Every instrument adds a layer of perfection to it. The flute. The transition to the melody. The drums, of course. The build-up with the distorted guitars. The return to the clean guitar at the end.
And his voice. “… I’m turning and turning for you.”
Words, especially from a brandisher as clumsy as this one, can hardly begin to describe the feeling.
You won’t like it, though. You’ll probably like the new Ranbir Kapoor song from Rockstar.
Haven’t you heard it yet? It’s awesome.