Journalist, likes people-watching, no-DSLR shutterbug, revels in the absurd and the nutty, loves books, blogs, travel, food, and tries not to be a cantankerous customer.

Sravanthi C

Some enduring mysteries about Facebook usage

| Updated on September 24, 2013 Published on September 24, 2013

BL24_FACEBOOK   -  The Hindu

This is a post about some enduring mysteries about a favourite pastime nowadays – and an attempt to guess/understand why.

1. Why do you like your own status on Facebook?

Is it a healthy dose of self-esteem? Because it adds to the popularity of the post and goes up to the top of the pile? Or because you like the event/achievement/emotion you are putting up in your update? I can understand it if you have quoted someone and like the quote a lot, or it gives you points or freebies if it’s some kind of a sponsored post or a contest, but otherwise?

I searched the Internet for possible explanations and came across a few comments which confirmed these statements. I also came across several Facebook pages (with several Likes) protesting this habit: “Liking your own status is like high-fiving yourself in public” is one such. There are other such pages which cannot be named here.

“You put up a status because you’re self-absorbed, in the first place, so why like it?” wonders a friend. Why, indeed?

2. And while we’re at it, why oh why do we go and ‘like’ updates about people dying and being hospitalised? Surely there’s some other way of acknowledging that we read the message, like saying, “I’m sorry, how can I help?” Maybe FB should come up with appropriate buttons for these emotions and make things simpler for those at a loss for words.

3. I get at least four invites every day from my uncle to play some game or the other. I painstakingly ‘Turn Off App’ and ‘Report App for Spam’ but the invitations, for the same game and others, do not cease. I am sure it is some devious kink of FB’s, and not my uncle’s, that is sending me these invitations. Being a new user, Uncle probably does not know FB is taking over his friend’s list.

4. Then we have those photo quiz/puzzle/optical illusion updates which urge us to give an answer or type a specific number or word in the comments and watch some magic unfold. Really! The thousands who oblige reassure me we as a race have not lost faith, hope and a touchingly innocent capability for wonderment. I am no cynic – I have tried my luck too. Just like we did in the early years of e-mail which promised that something miraculous would happen the minute we hit the ‘Send’ key.

And I was about to rant about updates that come peppered with hashtags because their purpose or purported capability to display all posts tagged the same was not evident for a long time. I now realise something tagged as #Sundaybreakfast works better than something tagged as #Imademypooriswithmaidanotwheat. Hmm!

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Published on September 24, 2013
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