Oxford Dictionary by 2015 or earlier would have included another word to its vocabulary – “LIKEAHOLIC” and it would mean – A person who is addicted to “Social Media”. A human being would be declared a “LIKEAHOLIC if he exhibits one or more of the following symptoms: ( I’ve chosen the male gender just for convenience. These attributes apply to both genders )
- Except for the few hours of sleep, he is in one of the social media sites
- Considers fashionable to communicate to his immediate family members through Facebook(FB)
- On waking up in the morning instead of brushing his teeth, reaches out to his smart phone to check updates on FB/Twitter
- Updates status on FB as if it was a diary. “Standing”,” Sitting”, “Shitting”,..
- Enjoys traffic Jams while travelling so that he gets that time to check updates on FB/Twitter,..
- Gets into serious withdrawal syndrome on long haul flights and the 1st thing he does when the plane lands is – you know what!
- He is chatting on FB thro Whatsapp while tweeting to his LinkedIn contacts
- And so on
That social media has changed the way we communicate is a no brainer. As somebody said – “These days News no longer breaks, it tweets”!!!
In the pre-social media era, ‘like’ was just a simple word expressed when you want to appreciate something. These days in the FB era, the word “Like” has attained much larger overtones!!!
Like in the society, one can see different people types on social media like FB/Twitter,.. as well. There are the
- Watchers: People who are members and regular visitors. But they don’t post. Just watch what’s happening.
- Likers: They don’t post either. But make it a point to “Like” whatever they see.
- Braggers: Updates are all about Me/Mine/Myself. They don’t care a damn of what others are doing
- Check-ers: Don’t do anything but keep “Checking in and out”. Idea is just to tell people that they are roaming
- Show-ers: Uses FB/Twitter/LinkedIn to show off his talents – writing/sketching/singing/acting/photography,…
- Sharers: Their posts are only “shares”.
- Copiers : Posts are by and large of the “Copy/Paste” variety
- Promoters: Posts are only about their products/company/programs/religion,…
- App-ers: Who play around in the App center and keep ‘farming’/’harvesting’ or providing ‘lunch idea’,…
And there are people (like yours faithfully) who are a combination of some or many of the above!
By the way none of the above types is a problem – it’s the way people are.
The point is – which type are you comes second. The 1st issue is ‘are you there’? These days you are considered technologically challenged if you are not on the popular social media. “You are not on FB????” – There you go – your market cap is down a few million dollars!!! Then the next question – “You are not ‘active‘ on FB ???” Another few million dollars gets scooped off. (Fortunately I didn’t stretch that logic further and go for subscribing to the Facebook IPO. For real, by now my market cap would have taken a posting oops pasting had I invested! Somehow post the IPO, the market is not hitting the “Like” button on the FB share so much!)
Obsession of being ‘current’ on social media can be a time-consuming affair. Thank God for small mercies – “MySpace” did not get too much ‘space’ in this part of the globe and Orkut was rendered ‘kaput’ by Facebook. I rued the day Google got active in the social media by adding “Google +” to its repertoire. Rued because then you have another site to ‘hangout’ and update your status. Thankfully Google+ is turning out to be a dud! Also must thank technology for the “linking” option. You tweet your status and the same gets updated in FB/LinkedIn,.. Or vice versa.
There’s a voyeuristic tendency in all of us and social media like FB has played to that tendency. We are all interested in knowing what others are up to. And in that sense it has just replaced the gossip sessions of the yesteryear. Physical gossip has become Virtual – that’s all.
Having said that, I relish being a part of this circus! Personally for me, since Sep 2008 when I first hopped on to the social media bandwagon like FB, Twitter,.. it has been a discovery.
- Like connecting with my primary / secondary school mates with whom I had lost contacts since I left Class 12.
- Re-establishing contact and memories with my engineering and B School mates.
- Hi touch and exchanging notes with my erstwhile colleagues
- Seeing the big smile on my mom’s face when her in-house vegetation pictures get a few likes from her granddaughters.
- Getting an opportunity to show my appreciation to others
- Being a great stress buster of sorts – going thro some ‘LOL’ posts and adding your 2 cents, taking potshots at celebrities, politicians the way you feel,..
- And lastly has given me a forum for creative expression. Today I’m attempting to do things which I really “Liked” and that happened because of the “like” button my friends hit liberally when I posted something interesting for which I’m ever thankful!
In that sense I’ve become a “Likeaholic” but I am not regretting yet! As they say, for everything there’s limit beyond which it becomes overkill. I hope this “likeaholism” stays the course.
And don’t forget to hit the “like” if you like this post!!!