You know you want to, but should you?
I was in half-a-mind to get rid of facebook, then I realized it’s my only window to the outside world, considering the outside world is now on the internet. Although as a comedian; social media is more of a requirement than an addiction. A following on social media gets people to my shows and blogs. I find it impossible to abandon this time-consuming project and move to a world of birds and meditation. However, sometimes social media annoys me as much as the next guy looking for a reason to complain.
One afternoon, the app on my phone buzzed with a notification. It said, “Ajay Samson has tagged you on a comment”. Ajay is a busy man too, he never tags me on pointless posts. I was in the middle of a meeting with a client. My attention was no longer on the monotonous thoughts of my client. As the client narrated an idea which they thought was amazing, my mind pondered on what Ajay could have tagged me on. What if it’s important? What if it’s about a show? What if critical information about the Netflix show I’ve been following? My thoughts ran wild like a dehydrated hound chasing a mirage in a desert. I finished my meeting and stepped out of the recycled air chamber they call a meeting room to pull my phone out. He tagged me on a photo that said: “Tag that one friend who does not know spellings”. Huh!
When did tagging your friend on facebook become the new “nudge-your-friend-on-the-shoulder-at-the-mall”? Some of these tags make as little sense as the plot of a Rom-Com novel. An activity as pointless as the “Wasssup?” you throw to an acquaintance in a social gathering. It’s greeted with “nothing much” and a minute long awkward silence. According to a recent survey, an hour spent scrolling through Facebook can use up about 100 MB of mobile data. Data I am thrilled to consume to give myself the illusion of social interaction and stay up-to-date on the world. It’s essential we don’t spend this data on unproductive shoulder-nudging. Right?
The reality. Tagging your friend on a baseless post increases engagement of a page run by a person with a walnut-sized brain. Facebook works on a simple logic — the more engagements a post gets, the more it is made active on your news feed. By tagging your friend on a post for four seconds of awkward nostalgia, you are basically promoting the mediocrity in the world.
As a counter-argument, I want to make posts which hit the extremes of this issue. Either be extremely specific or bizarrely generic. “Tag that one friend who you tag when you see a post that says ’tag-that-one-friend’”. Being super specific also helps… maybe. For example: “Tag that one friend who has a pale brown skin, a thick handlebar mustache, dark black eyes, black and white hair, a scar under the right eye and at one point seen driving his car recklessly over 100 km/hr on one-way roads”. Now if you get a tag for the above post, you just caught a notorious criminal. That was the description of 1993 Mumbai bomb blast mastermind Tiger Memon.
If you agree or disagree to the points made in this post, Share on social media and tag that one friend who would like to agree or disagree to this.
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