(This article was originally published in ignitink.com)
To share or not to share...
Is that the question? Are you in a dilemma? Let me help you out then.
I’ll tell you why in a moment. But before I tell you why, let me ask you something. What was the original purpose of Facebook? Or of social networking in general, for that matter? To connect with friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc., right? To get back in touch with long-lost buddies, to share photos, perhaps? Ok, fair enough.
Now back to why I said ‘don’t’. Because yesterday, when I was browsing FB, someone had shared a picture of a girl who was smiling at the camera with both her arms lifted and held behind her head, a thick foliage of under-arm hair jumping out of the pic and grabbing my eyeballs. No, I’m not kidding or exaggerating.
A lot of images get shared on FB, nothing new there. The main reasons that pictures get shared on FB are:-
a) They are genuinely interesting
b) They convey a message
c) They are trying to spread awareness
d) They have images of cute things like babies, puppies etc.
e) All of the above.
Trust me when I tell you that this particular pic was secret option f) none of the above. It was Just. Plain. Gross.
Now don’t get me wrong. Shaving or not shaving armpit hair is entirely one’s own personal choice. And I have no right to comment on that. But as a Facebook user myself, I think I do have the right to say that these days, anything and everything gets shared in the name of ‘social networking’.
Let’s face it, the standard of Facebook has gone down the drain. It has become a playground for a lot of frustrated losers to grab attention by posting *searching for the right word to express disgust* pictures. I didn’t bother to open the above-mentioned photo and check the comments and likes, but the caption did not in any way signify that the picture was about women-empowerment. It makes me sad that I’m actually part of a society that houses such idiotic people, and I’m referring to all of them involved- the girl who posed for the picture, the person who clicked it and posted it on Facebook, and the people who have shared it.
There was another picture that shook me today- of dogs being cut up and sold at a butcher shop. Really? Is that the kind of thing that you want to share on FB? I log in first thing in the morning, and I see chopped heads of dogs on my homepage. Not only is my day ruined, but my lunch and dinner is too. Thank you very much. Again, I didn’t open the full pic to see what the caption or comments were, but it is easily anyone’s guess that it would be extremely racist towards a particular ethnic group’s eating habits.
Facebook has slowly moved on from being merely a social networking site. It now looks like Baba Zuckerberganand’s ashram (have you not noticed the influx of philosophical and inspirational quotes that get shared as images), the headquarters of Zuckerberg’s Army (want to fight a cause? Post it on FB), the office Beware of Girls Society (images of random girls with cautionary messages like “Beware of girls, they are cheats”) etc. The other day, there was an image of a rather plump girl dancing, and someone had shared it captioning it “Kutti Aana” (Small elephant). I’m not sure what purpose that person was trying to achieve by posting that image, but maybe he/she should realize that the girl is probably somebody’s girlfriend/wife/sister/mother/friend. Who the hell gave them the authority to post her pic without her permission, that too with such a demeaning caption? Would he (yes, I’m pretty sure it was a guy who posted it) like it if his mother’s photo came up one fine day on Facebook, with the caption “Beware of cougars”? Girls may or may not smoke, that is their choice. But that does not make them bitches. And it definitely does not give anyone the right to post a picture of three girls smoking, and then give a story underneath it about some girl who broke a guy’s heart.
My problem is not with these dumb fools wanting to spread a message. My problem is with using photos of girls who might actually be having a real life (and a Facebook account), and then passing it around with fake messages. What would happen if the girls’ prospective grooms see these pictures? Their life is pretty much ruined!
Oh and don’t even get me started on the “Share if u luv your mother, scroll if u dnt!” “Share if you love your father, scroll if you don’t!” “Share if you love your kaamwali bai, give her an extra load of clothes to wash if you don’t!” messages. Instead of sharing such crap, use that time to actually tell your mother that you love her. She might appreciate that a lot more, trust me.
Let me make it very clear, my issues are not with ‘sharing’. Sharing can be a good thing too. A lot of awareness can be spread about issues by spreading the word. Maybe missing people can be found by sharing their pictures. But there is a difference between “Sharing because it’s share-worthy” and “Sharing for sharing’s sake and because I bloody well can and I want to grab attention. Oh and I’m very jobless too.”
Yes yes, I know. I sound like a nag. And if this piece gets shared on FB, it’ll probably get comments like “Go woman. V’l shr if v luv, scroll if v dnt. Wats yr prblm?” My problem is that in spite of having so many problems with FB, I still can’t get myself to quit it. I had quit once, but returned in a few months. We share a very “I hate you (like I love you) relationship.
But the larger problem is that social networking has gone beyond being just a means of making friends and staying in touch, and has moved on to become a way to take out your frustrations and take revenge. Remember the incident where a guy announced on FB that he had dumped his girlfriend, and the girl promptly went and killed herself? People take the “What’s on your mind” thing way too seriously. I think it’s time FB took some very serious screening steps. Because the day is not far when Facebook will make the complete transition into Fucked-up-Book.
Ok, now I’m off to shave my legs. I don’t want to open my FB tomorrow and see “Lolllllzzzzzzzzzzzz: 289 shares: 659 likes: 2120 comments” on a pic of a very familiar-looking pair of legs.
I once saw an article about a missing girl being circulated. No one bothered to read the comment which was posted just a day after the upload - That the girl has been found. Please do not share. Still people kept on sharing for god-knows how many days.ReplyDelete
I promptly clicked the 'Ignore' button for gross posts. You are right - butchered dogs, whales, goats and the 'share and save this poor child' kind off posts put you off completely.
There is one rubbish string of posts going on currently - where in Jesus/Shiva/Ganapati are found in cloud formations, branches, leaves, etc...Maybe the Gods themselves are laughing and so we are not getting 'mukti' from such people who post them.
One superb post Spiff...am sure this is gonna get circulated ;)
Oh ya, I've seen the Shiva in the clouds thing. :/Delete
Thanks, Visha. :)
I think the root of the problem is because we're forgetting a very important term here - Discretion.ReplyDelete
Just because there is a platform to share doesn't mean that one should put up random rubbish (for want of milder and non abusive word) and spam not only ones own but others feed as well.
My thoughts exactly!! Watever happened to Discretion!Delete
TOTALLY agree. Yeah yeah I do. FB is nearing trash now.ReplyDelete
BTW, what's the obsession with shaving? :P
No obsession, darling. Just a mere menion. :PDelete
People have forgotten to draw the line and that's the problem. Not only FB but on almost all the social networking, people are more interested in the gossip rather than effective sharing/communication.ReplyDelete
And the thing is people don't use it even for those 1 or 2 useful purposes. With the likes of FB statuses and pranks today, how do we know what's serious awareness stuff and what is not? And keeping in touch with friends? Most FB users seem to have strangers on their friend list rather than real friends.
Whatever the FB lovers call me, I say that it sucks and has disgraced the concept of privacy. I am glad I quit it.
Damn, I wish I could quit it again. :/ Just not able to. Because it gives me a lot of fodder for writing.Delete
So Damn True!ReplyDelete
Each incident has been very well justified.
It seemed all good when it was to a limit of spreading awareness or for fun or whatever..but now, its heck of a burden these days!
Don't know about lolzzzz but your post may as well get
289 shares: 659 likes: 2120 comments ! ;) ;)
P.S : Just joined your blog after seeing " So if you have nothing good to say about my writing, remember, I might just kill you " :P :P
Welcome, Kinara! :)Delete
And thank you. :)
he he.. totally agree, I have blocked a bunch of people's posts because of these very reasons. :)ReplyDelete
I unfriended a couple of people because of this. Ugh!Delete
You are so right. Superb post. I think it's for some serious Code of Ethics for social networking site.ReplyDelete
What I can't stand the most is gory pictures. Just why do people have to put up such painful pictures to drive home a point.
Exactly! there's enough gore being shown on TV. I cna't take it on FB as well!Delete
FB is boring.I unfortunately an admin of two pages - hence, I stick around. The number of people I have unsubscribed from and removed from list because of such barbarism. Talk about philosphy; FB is that last place one would seek. Btw, I read the other post on rape-of-the-whore, and passed it to a couple of gult friends at hyd :P Dont kill me as yet; lets see where it goes. Brilliant stuff :)ReplyDelete
Eeshwara, these gults are very touchy about the 'rape' and the 'whores'. Should I go into hiding yet? :/Delete
I just deleted my account a couple of days ago. I hope to never return. IT makes me a very angry person. There is too much fake to it. Been battling writing a post about it. Lets see. :)ReplyDelete
I like this post. Much like all your posts, its honest and straight :D
Congrats on this external writing thing :D so cool you be :D
Thanks, babes. :) But not as cool as being a journo like you!Delete
No longer a journo actually. :) Can't write for a living it seems like :)Delete
use twitter, much less crap AND comes with an unfollow button ;)ReplyDelete
I haven't gotten around to tweeting yet. I'm afraid I'll get sucked into the vortex. :/Delete
bingo!! on the spot!!ReplyDelete
People have definitely run out of something sensible to share!! "share if u luv ur kamvali bai" was perfect !! that's how it is now...
You hit the nail on the head with this one! One of the main reasons why I have only real 'freinds' on FB - the ones I have worked with or studied with. Even among them, I have had to de-friend a few for rubbish posts!ReplyDelete
The standard of any place, here FB depends on the people in it... I think people forget that it's ulitmately a site for sharing and not throwing CRAP...ReplyDelete
@Nirvana: I know! I've unfriended a few mysaelf for the same reasons. :/ReplyDelete
@Jas: Exactly. The actual purpose is blurred now.
Ha ha....:-D I always maintained Facebook actually lacks a critical 'R' between the A and the C....ReplyDelete
It wasn't necessary when it started. But now, definitely yes!Delete
I see random rubbish on my homepage almost everyday. While some quotes and images are inspiring, the others seem to be intentionally posted to demean people. Which is quite sad and pathetic!ReplyDelete
Oh and the "if you love you mom/dad items just piss me off" .. I don't even bother. And the ones who like and share, I feel just wanna show it off rather than having true emotions. Really! I hope better sense prevails.
Exactly! It's as though it's become cool to insult and demean others on a public platform!Delete
Can I share this post on my FB page....ROTFL...ReplyDelete
Just kidding...I don't even post on FB, forget sharing :P
Please go ahead and share. What's one more in the sea of nonsense being shared.:PDelete
Thats disgusting! Fb has taken over the trend of email forwards. Send this to 10 people, you will get luck in 3days, 20 in 2days and 30 right away. Lol.ReplyDelete
Sharing is good for awareness and making people think about it. I am quite sure that people might be looking at her picture and commenting instead of the purpose of the picture. Uuh it doesnt seem to have a purpose
Exactly. It doesn't seem to have any point at all. :/ I don't think it was a feminism-related pic anyways!Delete
you're kinda ignoring the main reason ppl share stuff - to exhibit, to show off. Though I have no clue why somebody wld want to flaunt their armpit hair.ReplyDelete
So true ya.ReplyDelete
I am all red and fuming when I see such grr-I-need-tolearn-the-bad-word-for-it posts on how girls are bad adn tehre are some "not so quotable quotes" doing the rounds about how a guy will never forget a girl but a girl can forget just like that and go on to be someon'es babe etc. makes me wonder whether all sanity is lost when on fb !
I have been so angry and this post made me feel so good that I ended up giving a hi5 to my monitor (muahaha!) :)
Well, in all honesty, FB has reunited me with long lost friends, and has also helped increase communication with them. But yeah, the way I see it being used now - it does look hilarious!ReplyDelete
It's called sick-mentality. More of a 'scare' than 'share'!ReplyDelete
LOL.. that was quite an article. :) And yes, perfectly well placed disgust - at a well-disgusting article. Seriously, what do people think while sharing such pictures???!!ReplyDelete
Really enjoyed reading this one, Divya.
@All: Sorry for not replying individually. Thanks for the comments, folks! :)ReplyDelete