(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.