I always used to have my perception of Facebook as ‘someone’ with utopian virtues as it takes full care on its part to make sure that no one gets offended due to any of its features; the same perception that we generally keep reserved for the people of ancient times who were very amiable in the way they behaved. The features that led me to this are:
- The very first thing conspicuous by its absence is the ‘dislike’ button. Though I do realize you all must have had this sudden urge of slapping a ‘dislike’ over a post after being miffed with the hogwash contained in it. Yeah, surely you can show your displeasure in the comment box but the impact of a “20 people dislike this” would be more hard-hitting than the few comments which can be removed by the person who had posted that crap. So you can say fb has done its bit to prevent people to act as spoilers and to inculcate the trait of bearing the misadventures of others in them. But to expect a direct control of fb over the content would be a tough ask landing the very existence of fb in jeopardy.
- You do get a notification when someone accepts your friendship request but there is no such provision when someone ‘unfriends’ you. Facebook certainly doesn’t want to be the bearer of that unpleasant news to you. Though sooner or later you do get to realize that you are thrown out of favor and now can’t irritate that person with your messages and absurdity which you proudly declare as your sense of humor, though the other person finds no sense in that.
- One of the most notable and widely used features, I guess, is the ‘Privacy Settings’. It is a lifesaver for the impostors as well as those having a reserved circle and don’t want everyone to have an insight into their life (Why the hell are you on facebook then??). Well, you certainly can’t ignore the friendship request of your siblings, mother or father, so what you are left with you to show your bratty coolness is to resort to Privacy settings. And fb pledges not to reveal your post to the concerned people. And then you go on uninhibited, relentless expressing your flair with chutzpah. (Lately this new feature ‘Ticker’ is proving to be the undoing of many as it is intruding into your privacy by making visible to all what you go on ‘liking’ around on Facebook. Hope to see new privacy settings for facebook activities. )
Of late facebook too has developed some features which irk you like nothing else, characteristics that are typical of present generation. Topping the chart are ceaseless game and app requests. I know you have got a broadband connection and are an avid online gamer but not everyone considers fb a playstation , so spare them those requests. Then there are these silly apps with strange logic of their own to furnish results and conclusions. Latest of the features is the one in chatting which shows whether your message has been seen by the other person or not. So the time lag between ‘seen at..’ and ‘…. is typing’ lets you know how much the other person is interested in the conversation (this rule fails when you have a poor net connection). And you after waiting for a while end the chat sadly, one of the few instances when an fb feature rubs you the wrong way.
In spite of this cocktail of pros and cons, Facebook plays its role best as a medium to communicate for some, as a refuge for some, as a platform to celebrate some achievement and as an emotional gutter for some people lamenting the mis-happenings in their life or intending some message indirectly to someone via status updates (Why dont you state directly what you wanna say? Be bold!).