10 things, thanks to Facebook, I know now (and wish I knew earlier)

This post is going to be the equivalent of a Swan Lake ballet in a landmine area. There will be blood my dear gadfly.

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates pointed out that dissent, like the gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. "If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me," because his role was that of a gadfly, "to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth."

I have a lovehate relationship with Facebook. And only NOW can I say I am coming to grips with handling it’s better twin, the Twitter beast, and using THAT for some good. For myself . Who else ? you ?! ha. go and read up Objectivism. Twitter is more useful any day vs facebook. A heretic thought I came to realize a few months ago (and it was a liberating one). Someday I’ll blog on how I leverage Twitter to keep up with my favorite people and topics. Today it’s all about Facebook.

I keep a very strict watch on my facebook friends number. 100 is a number I am comfortable with right now and ruthlessly prune the folks who are stealth ‘Antisocial Networking‘ douche bags : People using facebook to connect to other people but never communicating with those people once they have been established as a connection. Most in that world are. I generally have scorn for folks who cross 500 and pity for those who breach 1000…..a  1000 ‘friends’!!….. Who the hell are you kidding you sad attention  w**** ??

And then there is this fascinating concept call ‘Dunbar’s number’. Dunbar’s number is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom u can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar’s number. A commonly used value is 150. See Wikipedia for more. A good video on it here : http://goo.gl/HKC2t

Facebook has made me realize a few profound truths I would not have known without the medium. Think of it like a human nature exposé tool. SO here goes..
1# I am a pathetic Narcissist.

2# Luckily, so are most other people.

3# The majority of your facebook friends are boring people without any real original insight into life. Even after living it for decades.


4# Even more depressingly the majority of your facebook friends live quite, desperate boring lives. But pretend otherwise. Or vastly more probable and Kafkaesque :  Don’t know either of those 2 facts.

5# Stupid-Funny beats Interesting any day. A funny facebook will be clicked a lot more than one tagged ‘interesting/fascinating’. Our attention span now rivals a houseflies. A link to a block of long uninterrupted text is treated with the same revulsion as the one reserved for fresh vomit on your shoes.

6# Most people have NO damn IDEA what is actually funny or interesting. They hope it is their own life and its trivial minutiae updates religiously on the facebook update area. 1 person agrees with them on that observation. Unfortunately, it usually is the author. only.

7# The time you spend curating your facebook page is 10 times more than the time ALL your ‘friends’ have spent on your page. Combined.

8# Facebook updates, instead of being an afterthought to report on an event/activity has become the raison d’être. You DO stuff because you think it will be cool on facebook and by extension, YOU ARE COOL !

9# Time spent on facebook is better spent with the few close friends who are going to grow old with you.

10# The internet is a vast fascinating wilderness with a trillion interesting web pages and videos. Instead of trawling it and making sure others too get a chance to see that awesome article/video/link/concept, most of us use it for BMW mode (Bitching Moaning and Whining) , an internal head chatter car best parked in a dark dank garage of the subconscious. Or we use if for PEMP’ing (my ‘friends’…….Look,read,gawk at this update/snap and then PLEASE ENVY ME PEOPLE! or at least think of me as witty/erudite/profound)

You, of course dear dear reader, are NOT in the above population. you sophisticated Hemingway you. (confession : I have been guilty, at various times, of any and all of the above sins). If this blog left you defensive or angry, note I had warned you. There WILL BE blood.

[To be a hated gadfly, read two people with vicious passion : Hitchens and Nassim Nicholas Taleb]


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