Observations of a social networking spy

You have done it quite a few times, haven’t you ? See somebody’s birthday reminder on facebook and for the life of you, can’t even remember the last time you spoke to that person. Yet you type out a “Happy Birthday dude!” and get a “Thanks ! 🙂” in return. Like clockwork. And considerably boring as well.

I sometimes wonder whether we are wasting too much energy (not your fingers, the energy that powers some remote server that stores your perfunctory birthday greetings inside some remote data center owned by the technology behemoths) in getting people to exchange mundane niceties under the pretense of social networking. Most of the routines are as predictable as a Venkatapathy Raju stock delivery. I might be wrong, but haven’t you come across the following types one time too many on your social network ?

The newly weds/The new parents

The wedding ring with the hands slightly out of focus. The eyes, tack sharp in focus with the smile getting pushed into bokeh-land. Followed by photos of the honeymoon(not quite what you’re thinking). Usually in Thailand, with one mandatory photo of the lady’s hands around the guy, whose free hand is extended towards the camera held in reverse to take that stereotypical photograph. Because everybody else in honeymoon land are also on a honeymoon and are too occupied to click photos of other couples.

And the “Silly girl and 127 friends like this” bit. Along with the “You guys look perfect for each other” comment. 2 years down the line and there will be a photograph of the new born with the nausea inducing “Looks soooooooooooooooo cute ! (kiss emoticon)” comment.

Rude comment highly recommended, if just for kicks. “Such an ugly kid! (Yuck emoticon) I should’ve warned you guys on the day of your marriage itself. Do not create any more of your kind.

The lovebird

An offshoot of the first kind, these people forget that social media is not exactly their private couch. So you are bombarded with photos from every date they go on. Their album count on facebook will put the largest Mersenne primes to shame. The only people who like and comment on their photos are they themselves, usually with kiss emoticons and mushy messages that could make the late Yash Chopra stir in his grave.

The poet

Incomprehensible paeans and eulogies, usually for broken hearts. Sometimes, an added layer of encryption, with verses written in a local language, make it so incredibly dense that you’d be better off teaching your cousin to solve problems in integral calculus.

The photographer

Camera companies must be really patting themselves on the back. DSLRs so cheap, you could swipe a credit card and buy two dozen of them magnificent shutters and still have money left over to buy a couple of lenses. No wonder there are as many ‘Weirdo Photographer’ pages on social networks as DSLRs in the market. Each one thinks he has the potential to end up as the official Vijay Mallya calendar photographer someday. Or atleast a couple of national geographic awards in his kitty.

Do yourself a favor and put in a “Dude/Dudette, this photo compeletely violates the law of thirds. Also, next time, use a higher shutter speed, lower f-stop number and under-expose by 2/3rds of a stop along with spot metering and remember to totally avoid the auto exposure bracketing.” comment. That ought to throw Weirdo Photographer off his balance (ignore the pun) and earn you some good karma.

The bored networker

Often seen playing games or falling prey to the latest marketing gimmick. Signs up for every fake free t-shirt contest and iphone/imac sweepstakes and misleads others into signing up for one too with a “Wow ! I got my free t-shirt, you get yours here as well“.

Or relentlessly sends invites to the latest slum-building, brick-laying and puzzle solving game. If you accidentally stumble on to the game, you will find they are light years ahead of the nearest competitor (the ones who, like you, must have given up after the first visit) among your common friends; which probably is the result of hundreds of office hours spent chasing the wrong objectives.

The stalker

I honestly think the friend recommendations of unknown people you see on your facebook page are the result of a profile visit from strangers. How else can you explain a totally random “Murthy Manickavelu” who looks suspiciously like a south Indian film actor or a slick haired “Ranjith Nair” showing up as a possible friend, when you don’t share a single mutual friend. Again, this is a problem that must be endemic if you are a female.

 

There you go…some of the most common types I’ve seen on my facebook account. Comment below if you find a category I may have missed out on.

P. S.: No offence meant, to be taken in a lighter vein only. 😛

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