Man is a greagarious animal


We are in an era where everybody knows what others are doing and conversely, most people are doing things just so that everybody else can know.

I am not an exception to this phenomenon and what I write in this blog applies equally to me as it does to countless others I know of. I am writing about social media and Facebook in particular. When I was in engineering second year, I researched on Second Lives to do a piece for an in-house newsletter. The concept was a virtual world where you had a chance to live an alternate second life. Facebook is very much like that. If this were to be a debate and I have to pick sides , I am against the motion. Funnily enough, I am also aware of the fact that I could never get myself to leave fb,  as it is fondly called. Its like those lines from Hotel California – You can log out anytime but never really leave. I know friends who deactivated and then activated their accounts. The blessed ones are those who never had an account.

There have been enough studies on social media marketing and its benefits, I am not going to delve into that but what I did realize in the past week is that fb exploits the two fundamental natures of the human being to be social and to display. The latter one is partly a result of the former, We display because we want to fit in, we want to show we are better and we want to climb up the social jungle. That man is a gregarious animal has never been proven so correct till fb invaded our lives. The number of messages or calls I get asking about my marriage plans or discussing the caller’s plans is always on a spike when a wedding invite has been posted. My self-destructive tendency to gloomily retrospect also takes a hike when I see a change in job or an admit cracked as a status update. This I am sure must ring true with a lot of people. Tolstoy’s opening lines of Anna Karenina where he says every happy family is happy in the same way applies here too – every happy picture is happy in the same way, instagrammed !

Facebook is not just a place where only happy faces and photoshopped landscapes are seen, it is also the place where people freely pour out their angst. You can monitor relationships, unravel whole timelines of information and as well construct one. Its amazing the amount of time that goes into fbing, I post a picture, I want it liked . I write a poem I want it read and I check in so others can know. I would like to see the figure on the man productive work hours that are spent on this site . I am sure it would be significant. Man has never been more social than he is now and I am not sure that is a good thing at all.


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