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Of Facebook and exclamation marks

June 9, 2011

I have been on Facebook since early 2009, I think. And it has proven to be a most useful tool for communication and getting in touch with long lost friends. That’s obvious. I think everybody uses Facebook to get in touch bla bla bla. But that is not what this entry is about. It’s essentially about what I notice on Facebook. Generally just people’s conduct. As such, if you’re about to read on, tread with caution. What I am about to write may just be about you or something you may have noticed on Facebook. So I’d like to apologise in advance. The following are just my observations.

Firstly, I think Facebook is for the vain (including me). Everyday you see people uploading photographs of themselves doing stuff. Whatever it may be. People going on trips, lounging at home, being with loved ones and the list goes on. Generally opening up to the world. There are also people who upload photographs of their lunch, dinner, their cats, dogs, bikes (like me) any a host of other things. I must admit that I like to share certain aspects of my life too. I upload photos of my family (not really photos of myself), the trips we go to etc. And the thing is, as a normal human being, I like some attention. So when I get tagged, I’ll be filled with anticipation. Probably I get tagged in some old photograph from my school/university days or some family photograph. Don’t you think it’s the ultimate killjoy when you anticipate something nice and it turns out into something completely the opposite? You know, for example when you get tagged in some MLM scam like “login facebook dapat RM sejuta” or something along those lines. I’ve seen friends who expressly request that nobody tags them in those kind of nonsense. I don’t really get that often, so I’m OK for now and will not resort to such measures.

There are also people who will publish every single aspect of their life. “Had lunch at Restoran Ahmad Maju, with kari ikan, ayam goreng, pappadom and teh ais. The bill was RM7.” And there are people who get really “jiwang”, writing something like “he/she is the love of my life” or “life will not be complete without you”, well you get the drift. The term “status update” doesn’t really matter to these people. I think that’s why the people at Facebook now ask you “what’s on your mind?” rather than just asking you for “status” updates. To be perfectly honest, I am also guilty of these things (Although I don’t write about what I had/am having for breakfast, lunch or dinner or really jiwang stuff). Generally my updates are usually about what I’m doing at a particular time, about what’s on my mind (to keep up with the theme), some comments on issues that I feel rather strongly about and how I’m feeling at a particular time.

There are times when I get really irritated by people who update nonsensical stuff. There’s this person who cannot keep to good English (which you know is a major irritant to me). And this particular person is qualified to teach English for heaven’s sake (I hope the person’s not reading this or there’s going to be major aggro). I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact that there are people like that. And I do know that there is the “hide” option in Facebook. It’s basically a tool you can use to hide a person’s updates. But the thing is I just like the feeling of being supremely irritated whenever I read this person’s updates. I guess it’s just the sadist in me. I hope you understand my rather generous usage of “this person/this particular person”. You never know who’s reading.

You know in internet writing lingo if you write in capital letters you are actually shouting, right? There’s another way of shouting in cyberspace. Just update your Facebook status with something and add many exclamation marks after it. Let’s use the having lunch update above for example. It’ll simply go like this: “Had lunch at Restoran Ahmad Maju, with kari ikan, ayam goreng, pappadom and the ais!!! The bill was RM7!!!”, something like that. For the life of me I cannot imagine why people have to do that. As if the having lunch at Restoran Ahmad Maju update was not irritating enough.

One good thing about Facebook is it gives a chance for people to do business. By business here I mean real business (usually retail) and not those MLM schemes where you get tagged like crazy. I’ve come across many good products on sale via Facebook like children’s clothing, cakes and pastries, perfumery (murah sangat, probably pirated kot) and the like. As for children’s clothing, I’ve actually taken the trouble to survey the prices of the exact items in the market. I was rather surprised to find out that the prices in Facebook is up to 30 per cent cheaper. So doing your shopping on Facebook is definitely not a bad idea. Provided of course the trader you’re dealing with is not unscrupulous type. As for me, I’ve never done any shopping through Facebook, so I don’t really have an opinion on this point just yet. But the prices are definitely good.

I actually have a few more observations I’d like to share but I think I should just stop before I really infuriate people. But then again we are all for freedom of speech, right? I’ll probably share more in my coming entries. For now, I’m going to watch Bruno Mars on singing with a group of monkeys.

  1. Good post – I have similar feelings about the omnipotent social networking site.

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