Social gatherings where you meet a few new people one evening, more often than not, take the unnecessary form of 19 odd friend requests on Facebook the next day. And we usually accept them with something between moderate enthusiasm and defeated resignation. This is a fact of life and most of us have accepted it without even the slightest urge to question the damn tradition as if that’s the way our great ancestors lived and that is how we must live as well.
*sighs and clicks ‘Confirm’*
Admit it, these randos that we’ve begrudgingly added to our lives, are what make up a staggering majority of who Facebook presumptuously calls our ‘friends’. I’m sure they’re all amazing people. But we may literally never have another interaction with most of them again. And yet, there they are, in a large and largely forgotten arc of our seemingly infinite social circle.
When we add them, we forget to take into account all the vacation pictures and life events of theirs that we will unceasingly witness for the remainder of our days.
Most of us get supremely annoyed when heavily filtered vacation pictures from even some of our dearest friends show up on our timeline. Why in the name of Lucifer, would I be interested in sitting at my soul-crushing work desk, looking at someone I met once 3 years ago as they chill by a lake in fuckin’ France? Ek toh I don’t have nearly enough of a relationship with them to genuinely feel their ‘wanderlust’ (ugh) vicariously, and I feel unnecessary pressure to congratulate them on sitting in a plane and going somewhere.
And let’s face it, when you ‘like’ someone’s post, (or the rarer ‘love’ or ‘haha’… as if that’s way more personal), it makes as much of a difference in their lives as it would if you saw their post, wrote ‘FML’ on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket.
Not only do you know some of the most unnecessary details of their lives, they know all of yours too! And yet, there’s somehow never anything to talk about, is there?
On the super-crowded two-way street that is Facebook, every one of your practically-a-stranger friends also goes through the same motions you do. Look at post. Not care at all. Like or comment on post so no one knows you don’t care at all. Occasionally wonder for a second if maybe they care a little bit. Go back to not caring at all.
We all have a lot of information about everyone posting little posts to the world. And no real curiosity for what lies beyond the posts… like, in their lives.
But I suppose that’s what Facebook has become now hasn’t it? A dingy, Bollywood-style go-down where we store all of our non-essentials, so they’re always within reach. ‘Cause, validation.
Let’s face it, the people that matter have our phone numbers, and they text us on them. That is where real conversations happen and we all know it. Most Facebook interactions are superficial and ritualistic by default and the only real purpose they serve is to keep our delicately balanced ecosystem of mutual and public validation alive.
Disclaimer: None of this is directed to any of MY Facebook friends, all of whom I love equally and a lot. Kidding. There are way too many that wouldn’t even notice if I disappeared from their feed forever. And y’know what? That’s okay.
Feature source: YouTube