Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dear 'old' Facebook, where are you?

I miss the old Facebook. No, I am not talking about any new experience or interface changes that the Facebook website or app has introduced. I miss the old way in which people around me were using it.
A 'hello' from a long lost friend, pictures of friends and family, from events that you could or could not attend. Birthday wishes, news of a new baby, news of someone getting married, a promotion, a change of location or someone's travel experiences taking you to that place in a flight of seconds. Sporadic posts from one or two over indulgent facebookers, telling you about what they ate last night or that they are happy or sad. Some meaningful forwards which were meaningful not only because of the content but also because they were sent once in a while. 

But these days my Facebook 'feeds' sections is a collage of crap(pardon my language).  People are hell bent on publicizing their political ideologies to the level that those like me, feel nauseated. I diligently read newspapers, I watch the news(yeah! sometimes) and I would consider myself - 'a well informed' individual. I can make up my mind about which party to vote for and which leader to follow or not. I do not want to keep on reading about political ideologies of other people. You voiced it once or twice and I understood which side of the fence you stand on. If I need more information about that side, I shall contact you – on phone,  on email or maybe just meet up with you. But then, you post message after message after message after message, telling everyone how well thought your decisions are and how little, people with opposing ideologies, have put their minds into. I really question your intention. 'Holier than thou' can't be inspirational for anyone. Maybe you enjoy mud slinging and it just got easy with Facebook.

To all such people I have a question:
Why can't you start writing a blog about such things and have people subscribe to it? It would also give you a fair idea about how many people actually care about your political, ideological opinions. If you are too lazy to do that, start a new page on Facebook and publish your thoughts there. If that is also too much work for you, why don't you just create a group of friends who you know for sure, are interested in your wise words and send all such political/ideological posts to that group instead of spamming totally disinterested people like me. 

To counter what I just said, please don't tell me about Tahrir Square like phenomena happening via Facebook. I am talking about verbal wrestling here. Those busy in action(the kinds that happened in Eqypt), would not be constantly  sitting in front of a screen, degrading other people and their opinions.

Facebook, till now has meant a way for me to connect with people at a personal level. Even without exchanging many words I get some clue about how each of those on my friends list, are doing. Till recently it meant something very positive for me.  If I needed preaching, patronizing or if I wanted to witness two people arguing endlessly, I would look for other, more effective avenues.

I know a couple of smarty pants, who think they got away with it all, by posting that they are going to keep at this spamming  and those disinterested can 'hide' posts from them.  Well, you are the one suffering from verbal diarrhea, you should be fixing your behavior instead of teaching people ways to block your stink. Moreover 'unfriending' is a far better and permanent solution.


  1. Very well described the feelings of many of the folks around us.

    Not sure how to define this tendency of posting almost everything on current political scenario and many times, without complete information.

    Today at lunch I was mentioning that I am happy about the fact that all this has forced me to save more time for other productive things :)

  2. Thanks VJ. I sensed that many were suffering silently like me :)

  3. Very well said....I also dont remember when was the last time I liked/shared a facebook post on politics(or even read for that matter :)).

    I specially liked the last paragraph.

    Thanks for writing this blog post. My inner-self is a little bit relaxed now. :)

  4. you may very well choose to not have posts from a particular person in your news-feed. You can very well sleep in your cozy bed when ur nation ruins.

  5. you may very well choose to not have posts from a particular person in your news-feed. You can very well sleep in your cozy bed when ur nation ruins.

  6. Anurag: Thanks for explaining facebook functionality to me. Perhaps you missed reading the last paragraph of the post. Maybe you got much offended by what I had written in the preceding paras and never read the last one.

    If you think mud slinging on facebook is going to save a nation from ruins, then perhaps you yourself need to wake up from your slumber.

  7. hehe. That was pretty hard Gunjeet.

    I guess, in today's world while one is bombarded with all kinds of content all the time (my best pick is the advts which appear in Facebook side-bar, and a lot of times it is about things i do not wear), one can also chose to filter (w/o a lot of effort). I am not suggesting you anything since you are intelligent enough but here is my personal experience. I got fed up of TV News and TV Programs and what not, so I do not watch TV. In last 12 months, may be I would have watched 3 hour worth of TV. I moved our better TV to a remote location, the other one is in my daughter's room which is so filled with all the knick-knacks that I do not feel like sitting there and watching operas. Most of the movies which we watch are avail on YouTube (licensed free from by their production houses) and so are the popular series like 'Kapil Sharma..'. :-)

    Samajhdhar ko ishara kaafi hai, chitthi ko taar samjhein aur suitable action lein.

    And here is another personal metric (intention of sharing this is more from walk-the-talk than any kind of self-promotion :-)) , I have less than 250 FB friends. Get the hint.

    Finally, since you took so much effort to write such a beautiful post, I must respond in kind by sharing a non-politico news on my wall. Wishes and Take care.

  8. Thanks for the comment Nandan! I understand what you are trying to say. I don't have many facebook friends myself(~150ish) and whenever that number swells, I go back and do the pruning.

    After all the pruning and shredding and opening this window of communication for only a select few, if you have to go and hide posts from one here and unsubscribe from another there, then what is the point?
    BTW what kind of clothing ads you see on facebook? just curious :)

    Neverthless, I am much aware that I am fighting a losing battle and adjusting to the flow of majority is what may make practical sense.
    Maybe a visit to the friends list page is overdue :)