You thought you were getting it all free, didn’t you?
That you’d get to do your own thing, your own way? Have loads of fun? Break a few hearts, put a few aristocratic noses out of joint in a merry free for all?
As your poor mother tried to din into your thick skull many times, there’s no free lunches! You think all you’ll need to bring is your winsome self to the party and have a rollicking time, but turns out, it was not. As soon as they’ve firmly got you into captivity, they let loose this little guide book on you. Just to help you out, you know? So you don’t feel lost…
They smile in simple benevolence for bringing such joy to your life. What they leave you with, is THIS! The RULES!
Sociologists many generations hence will cite Facebook as THE turning point in human history. And no, the human race will not be extinct by then. We will survive all apocalypses- Mayan or not- to be on Facebook.
The rules then, without any more flak:
‘Like’ everything your eyes rest upon. ‘Like’ it when someone’s child gets a job and when their wife runs away with the driver. You must ‘Like’ it when they’ve had a new baby in the family as also when their father dies. Your approval must be uniform and unbiased.
‘Likes’ are the way we give each other positive strokes… even (especially) when they aren’t positive. Your ‘Like’ is a way of telling others that your soft, luminous and loving gaze is fixed upon them in abject adoration- in return for their gaze of abject adoration turned upon you. It is a way for you to reassure them that short of a total annihilation of the earth (which we will never allow because this is the only planet with Facebook!), there is no way they can get away from that adoration. It will always be there… dripping softly on their head with cloying, sticky, finality.
If you are a newbie, your sensibilities will often revolt against clicking ‘Like’ on some of the fruitiness you come across. Control your wayward wildness and click ‘Like’. Think of it as throwing a scrumptious slice of moist, rich cake in front of a starving street urchin. You revulsion would find much solace in the enraptured gaze of those grateful eyes. Trust us, we know.
One of your new benchmarks for self- worth shall be the number of likes you get on your posts and comments. For the ‘normal’ among you, let us spell that out clearer. More LIKES is better!
For example then, if you change your profile picture and you get only three likes, you ought to trot along to the nearest hardware store to buy a good stout rope to hang yourself with. Unless you prefer drowning. We’re perfectly okay with both.
It amazes me that we are all on Twitter and Facebook. By “we” I mean adults. We’re adults, right? But emotionally we’re a culture of seven-year-olds. Have you ever had that moment when are you updating your status and you realize that every status update is just a variation on a single request: “Would someone please acknowledge me?”
As a world citizen, it is your duty to click the share button compulsively. The less fastidious you are about the stuff you share, the better you’ll connect with people. After all, there must be someone who has a taste for the stuff floating around on cyberspace. How will you give them positive strokes unless you share things they can relate to?
When sharing inspiring memes, don’t pay any attention to whether or not it makes sense. In fact, don’t read the things at all. To be on the safe side, share everything indiscriminately. Never mind if you’ve shared it before. Never mind if it has been doing the e-rounds since you were in your diapers. Just click on share and you will have done your duty to make the world a better place.
Oh and remember, bizarre is the new ordinary. Thus you must never, ever, confirm if the tips (read rumor) you are sharing is valid at all. Lets get those Snopes people go out of business. Impudent upstarts!
You are what you share.
We cannot emphasize this enough.
When you see one of those pictures on which the deity of your choice (or your network’s choice) is depicted and you are exhorted to share it immediately so that you’ll be suspended in good luck for eternity and if you don’t you’ve just sentenced yourself for some crispy frying of your tender parts for (again) eternity- don’t think..! Share it immediately.
As proof of the deity’s instant benevolence, you will not fail to notice that you got a ‘Like’ on your new ‘Share’, will you?
Have an opinion about everything on earth. Acquire the talent to present a well- masticated opinion as your own. The more mouths it has been chewed in, the better. When spouting such an opinion, you MUST present it as an earth shattering discovery. You simply MUST… or it is no use spouting at all. That element of novelty (even when it is not) is the fuel which will project it into the next mouth… and so it will go… ad-infinitum. Can you imagine the string of boosted self- images such opinions will leave in their wake?!
Imagine the thrill of shooting a well- rounded opinion without having to go through the trouble of sifting through facts, separating them from innuendos, weighing them carefully in the scales of your fairness and only then kneading them into a ball with a sprinkling of compassion..! It is so much easier and efficient to take a ready made ball into your mouth and propel it with all you are worth. The farther it goes (the more likes and shares it gets), the bigger your self- worth. Was there ever anything more delightful?
What’s the point of doing anything if nobody’s watching?
Your Facebook wall is your new ‘couch’. It is a punching bag, a feather pillow and invisible (making) paint all rolled into one. It is the ultimate rant machine. To make full use of it, (a MUST do for all enlightened, erudite citizens of the world) you must nurture your peeves until they are the size of… er…. Jupiter (let us be conservative to begin with).
If you have had no opportunity for collecting peeves, (God! You’re SUCH a pathetic wimp!) go manufacture a few! To help with that, first develop a sense of entitlement which could eclipse the milky-way. Develop also the habit of turning every stone on God’s earth and expect slugs. If you do it right, you will find entire colonies of slug under the tiniest pebble. If you don’t get it right, keep trying. If you get tired of that, go to that hardware store. Please.
While on the subject of angst, please remember that the world is dying to hear all about your terrible childhood where in third grade your mom only bought you fifteen new pairs of shoes in an ENTIRE month. And if you don’t share- in minute detail- every aspect of your broken romantic relationship- people are likely to go into a decline, waste away and die painfully.
Your broken romances are improperly presented unless the announcement/ descriptions are liberally interspersed with endless rants about what a loser your ex is. This must be judiciously peppered by ‘positive thoughts’ about how stupid they are for having lost you because you are so absolutely awesome. Don’t worry, no one will ask you why you stayed with the loser for a zillion years if s/he was such a loser. No one will have time to shoot holes in your story; they’ll all be too busy clicking on ‘Like’ and ‘Share’.
These days, most of us have the attention span of a meth-addicted squirrel.
~ Kristen Lamb
Your second benchmark for self- worth is the number of ‘friends’ you have on your FB friend-list. In order to be friends with the whole world, remember the concept of six degrees of separation. You can study it here. To make full use of this concept, prowl around your friend’s friend-list. There will be a neat little button placed to the right of each name bearing the legend ‘+1 Add Friend’. Click on that button indiscriminately as you scroll down the list. Then repeat, repeat, repeat. That’s all there is to it.
If you feel shy (!) of foisting yourself upon total strangers (what are you doing on FB again, you revolting freak?), choke that feeling off. You are doing the universe a favor by forming a densely packed web of connections. By any chance, if you are not able to choke the feeling off, for your own good I will have to insist you make that trip to the hardware store.
. . . It’s people talking about each other behind their backs. That’s the vast majority of this social media, all these reviews, all these comments. Your tools have elevated gossip, hearsay and conjecture to the level of valid, mainstream communication.
Don’t share anything that would make people think. You don’t want to burden your friends unnecessarily. Moreover, since these rules are uniformly applicable across the world, in a few short months, Facebook will be cleansed of all but the most popular (read inane) stuff. The people who wasted their time generating thought provoking or moving stuff, those who reminded you of your human endowments of intelligence, compassion or humility, will have visited their nearest hardware stores. The disease, in other words, will have been eradicated.
These rules are easy to follow. All you need to do is to turn a few switches off inside yourself. Trust me, once you have turned them off, you will experience immense peace. Within no time at all, you will forget you ever had them.
And we’ll live happily ever after.