Thursday, September 22, 2011

All in All You're Just Another Post on the Wall

For the purpose of this article I'm going to refer to a social network as FB unless mentioned otherwise, like it or report it. I would also like to thank those people who were my observations, you know which ones you are.

FB is like a mircocosm of sorts where a friend can refer to anyone between and including that hot chick you met once who is very obviously beyond you, complete strangers with whom you share a fair number of mutual friends, vaguely familiar people from the past and celebrities. For people from this part of the world, friends on FB could also refer to bittu, monu, sonu, tinu, mummy, papa, bhua, mausa, tauji, jethani and even the occasional dadaji. And then along comes Plus. No one plus ones anything. I plus oned one of my posts myself but then minus oned because plus oning something that one posted oneself is a little stupid. Nonplussing, this plus business.

Anyway, all sorts of people placed at the same level in the social hierarchy has made for a very interesting microcosm and as per my observations it is evolving in a pattern very similar to actual society which goes beyond just the people. Have you noticed the heavy dependence on real estate for agriculture and minerals or advertising revenue? Orkut and MySpace constitute the ancient history chapter and Twitter has yet to get a law enforcement agency because apparently people follow other people all the time.

One day someone will start an FB bank as well and that will be the end of that as well but since DB-Day hasn't arrived yet social networks are still in that intermediate stage during which they can provide a very fascinating insight into the evolution of the human psyche. The basic premise, as I've hinted at before, is that social networks are kind of like a new society that people are trying to adjust to and haven't found equilibrium yet. My study has allowed me to isolate certain kinds of primitive psyches which you don't see in that exactness or explicitness in the real world as you do on FB.

Kewl Ppl:
It doesn’t concern them that some of their friends can’t even understand what they are really posting. They shrug off the complaints and the criticism that follows and tell themselves that there grammar and spelling is alot better then what other’s think its. The rofltao at everything and as a result have shaken their insides so much that they can’t help their tongues sticking out on only one side most of the time they speak.

Words Aren't Enough:
There are three types, not necessarily exclusive.
  1. Likes to be in front- They will have an album titled ‘Moi’ apart from the usual profile pictures album. Both those albums will contain hundreds and thousands of attempts at looking good. Occasionally though their spirit will break and then they will resort to a sepia or grayscale effect. They also meticulously thank everyone who likes their pictures.
  2. Likes to be behind - They may not necessarily be a photographer but they will have a big fat camera and will have albums running into hundreds and thousands of images of sunsets, sunrises, rain, poverty, dew drops on flowers and children playing in the water. Some of them will dabble in short films as well.
  3. Likes to be around – They will have hundreds of thousands of albums with hundreds and thousands of pictures in each one of them. One of these guys will be the first one to release a highly comprehensive stop-motion autobiography. If there were such a thing as a ferro-magnetic footprint, one of these guys would also be Bigfoot.
They’ll tell you to post things on your wall if you love your mother or your father or any other convenient target for that month as decided by the evil Archies Greeting Cards Corporation. They’ll share links to songs that moved them. They’ll recommend self-help websites. They will share a lot of corny quotes and love advice and philosophy. They will then proceed to like their own posts making you wonder if they haven’t read any which condemn vanity. The ancient Greek liked to kill such people.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, you can find out here

They are a class very similar to Smarty-Pants but for the part where they’re permanently standing on a soapbox. If FB were a democracy they would have gotten themselves a superlike and a dislike button a long long time ago. Everything they post is in uppercase and usually ends in a flurry of exclamation marks, everything else is meant to be thought provoking and ends in ellipses. Their broad strategy to counter running out of words, it would seem, is to resort to punctuation marks.

They scour the internet and pluck out interesting links and their LOLS and w00ts can be heard around the world. Their need for attention, charity, respect, getting laid or whatever it is that drives it doesn’t matter because if it weren’t for them then I would have to spend all that time scouring the internet myself to get to the interesting stuff. I really like these guys and I’m thankful to them.

Appy go Clickey:
They ask you to join their mob, they gift you teddy bears and cakes, they ask you to help them with some manure, they ask you to like Children with Cancer, they want you to join them and thousands of other people who think a million clicks will save the country, they tell you how you can get free iPhones, iPads, FB tshirts and FB shoes, they put you on their geographic friend distribution collage, birthday calendar collage and popularity statistics collage, they found out that they are Green Lantern, Golden Retriever, AC Milan and Queen Elizabeth and want you to find out who you are too, etc.

Which religion is she? Buddhism
Which major religion is she? Hinduism

When I see X publicly posting status messages and tagging Y instead of just messaging Y or posting it on Y’s wall I think X is trying to be publicly associated with Y. Publicly posted miss-yous and muahs and RIPs give me that same feeling. “Having fun!” or “Yay!” posts are usually meant to be hints about the poster being in some exotic foreign place or having a new phone. They were probably being funny when they named it ‘wall’, these guys can drive you up one.

He’s usually male. He has added you as a friend. You’re probably a chick, but not necessarily. You don’t think you know him. He only shares some information because it’s private. He has a couple of mutual friends and his profile picture shows him to look a lot like Lionel Messi or a cute baby with a very wise saying or a dog. You were probably tricked into thinking him to be harmless and accepting the friend and have only yourself to blame for inviting all those invites to websites, surveys and/or dates.

If he is indeed perfect for your date then you had better be a minor

I confess there are a lot more out there and various permutations and combinations of them too - the ones that go around calling football teams “we”, the ones that copy paste birthday greetings, the ones that comment on all the cool people’s status messages, the ones that are losers, the ones that keep trying to find out who has been viewing their profile and many many more. It’s just that in every researcher’s life there comes a moment when he/she realizes the futility of his/her research and how he will get paid much better than what he is getting paid now of what she'll get paid if both of them were working in one of those banks which will eventually have an FB branch. Eventually people will start figuring out how to block and avoid annoying people and slowly those annoying people will then start acting like how real people act in the real world just like how it took a long time for monkeys to become humans. If only FB followed the creationism model we would have at least got all those new interfaces and tricks in one go and wasted less time banging our heads against the wall.

FB 2015. Yes, I'm on FB too.


  1. oh you have outdone yourself with this one.
    Hats off.
    well researched!!

  2. Awesome research dude....very nicely put