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Sunday, July 10, 2011


Blogging is one of my favourite pastimes and like any other engineering student gifted with eons of free time, I also spend a lot of time on the umpteen number of social networking sites that have professionalized the art of joblessness. As I was massaging my ego by letting the cheap pleasure of my status messages, blog posts and pictures getting “liked” by a lot of people get to my head, I was simultaneously pondering over the credibility of the same. Every time I scrolled down to check the news feed from then onwards, every time my eyes rolled over a positive comment, I started questioning the very reason behind the same. The idea of a selfless “like” or a “comment” seemed farcical to me.

The phenomenon of getting “good one” or a “nice piece” comment is more common on blogosphere. The network of bloggers and their relationships have been fabricated in such a way that the idea of individuality can be made to look obscure. For a blog to be noticed, the blogger needs to check out other blogs and comment in a hope that his blog may be looked into. Indian minds or minds world over for that matter, function lazily. So it’s only natural that a person may be tempted to ignore the post, gift the blogger with a “good one” comment or a “like” and get away. The ignorant recipient of the “like” love is thus flattered into checking out the liker’s blog! A smart fellow, on the other hand, may return the liker’s favour by re-liking the post without looking into it!

The phenomenon of laziness is negated by the length of the posts on social networks as the length is directly proportional to the amount of time to be spent on it. But then, there are other significant factors that influence psyches and induce the basic instincts of selfishness to an equal extent, if not more.  Gender discrimination is one (not the kind you get to see on TV though; exact opposite in fact).  

1.       The probability of a post getting “liked” increases if you are a female. It doubles if she is holding a newly born puppy or a teddy bear. It quadruples if the girl is cute.

2.       Boys have their own ways of attracting attention. Sympathy is the best way. Status messages that condole the death of a pet or a long message that elucidates the values of friendship and true love are most likely to get “liked” by girls.

3.       Other boys like the prospect of seeing a girl "liking" a status, so they "like" the same just like that, even though they don’t like it. Because they seem to think that a girl liking them becomes a possibility if and when the girl realizes the boy likes whatever the girl "likes". (Now that makes a good status message)

4.       Tagging is the most effective technique, irrespective of genders. For a post to be liked, all you need to do is tag a friend of yours. Now that friend’s ego gets massaged due to the fact that someone’s considering him/her important enough to be tagged. So he “likes” it.

5.       And then the most obvious and logical factor. The more friends you have, the more you are on the site, greater the possibility of getting attention.

Coming back to blogging, the possibility of a girl getting greater number of hits is higher because she is a girl. But then I’d still say it’s a man’s world. When someone likes a post or gives her a compliment, she can never be sure if that was for the post or her profile picture. Testosterone has always been mankind’s (not womankind: P) biggest problem! The same rule applies to a man too, but again the way the numbers function hits a roadblock of inconsistency here. You may not get noticed for your profile picture unless you’re Hrithik Roshan.
So what does it come down to? It’s a world of attention seeking rascals out there involved in a rat race. Why is it that I always seem to find an overdose of grace and excessive humility on social networking platforms? What happens to the “otha” prefixes and the “mairu” suffixes on FB? Why is it that I always find the Peter equivalents, even when the rest of the conversation is in vernacular? Why do we always have our best pictures as our DPs? I have never found a DP featuring oneself after getting a bad haircut done, though bad haircuts are quite frequent: not many talented hairdressers out there you see.
Negative commenting is an unknown phenomenon in the social networks. No one wants to call a spade a spade. Seldom does one feel the need to spit at a bad picture, seldom does one feel the need to condemn a shameless exhibition of private grief in public in order to evoke sympathy. Seldom does one feel the need to criticize a shoddy piece of work.
 Ignorance is the most popular form of response; every person is a Buddha at heart, as charming as the latest Bollywood sensation, as intellectual as Amartya Sen and as altruistic as Santa Claus. But conditions apply: only on facebook, orkut, twitter, buzz, G+ blah blah.




  1. In your words..."good post..nice read"...but couldn't agree with you totally...I mean no doubt many people really do everything you have written regarding social networks and networking sites definitely are a platform of satisfying one's ego...directly proportional to the number of likes and comments one receives but if the blogosphere also ends up in the same state then its sad on our part...!!!

  2. @ankita: i don't think the blogosphere is any different! i have been seeing this trend unfurl and expand its dominions of operation over time. its unhealthy, but i don see a remedy. its communicable and cancerous.

  3. I don't agree with you that girls get any unfair advantage. But loved the way you held up human psychology of Facebooking, especially the tagging bit. Made me laugh!

  4. @sudeshna: well ure entitled to have ur way. :) i am not gonna rebel and tell u to stop talking like this !

  5. This went on my status and was super 'liked':
    "A mahaan observation(not mine):Boys like the prospect of seeing a girl "liking" a status,so they "like" the same just like that,even though they don’t like it.Because they seem to think that a girl liking them becomes a possibility if and when the girl realizes the boy likes whatever the girl "likes"..LOL!:-)"

  6. cliched alrite-good post, nice read:-)
    and superb sense of observation:-)

  7. Ok.. you've attracted my attention because of sympathy .
    I completely agree with this one :)


  8. The blogosphere is you-scratch-my-back-i-scratch-your-back.

    I have seriously thought how can someone break trough this cycle. And I have thought more.

  9. Being polite and nice is such an Indian thing. We usually do not say unpleasant things straight away and take a more circuitous route to convey our thoughts. It is not a negative by itself. This is different in other cultures like in west where they are more direct and people generally don't take it offensive if spoken like that. This is not a negative for us. We have our own values and don't need to think it is wrong because someone from abroad is having problem dealing with it.
    Yes, agree the probability of getting likes or responses increases if it is a girl. However, it can work other way also, i.e., girls more interested in what a guy says. They say it is mutual attraction.

  10. @sairam: u have thought more? then pen it down thala, in ur typical inimtable style, i am waiting!
    @murali:i don think so. sycophancy is a universal phenomenon. its worse in places like UK. u will probably get to see straight forward and on-your-face kinda people in the lower strata of the society, not elsewhere. and i haven't referred to any india-west conflict here. i care a damn about what others in my own country think of what i post, leave alone foreigners. and i think ure confused, i'm talking about sycophancy and ure referring to diplomacy. i'm pointing fingers at mindless sycophancy for selfish gains. i'm all for justified politeness but dead against irritating and unnecessary "jalra" as they call it in tamil. and regarding ur take on mutual attraction, i agree. only that, attraction on one side is phenomenally high. its obviously not equal, thats ma point.