The flaws of Facebook

Published On: February 9, 2018 12:00 PM NPT By: Kalu Maila

My wife loves Facebook. I don’t. My wife gets all the news from her Facebook links while I think most of the news links you click from Facebook pages are fake ones. Yes, that’s the only thing on which I agree with Trump but, of course, the Orange Man doesn’t like the mainstream media except a few that support his way of thinking. 

Well, if you click on the links provided by our major dailies then it’s okay. But you have all these online news portals operated by a guy who knows nothing about news and his friend and they seem to have a huge following as well even if their news are mostly rants of some kind.

It seems that everywhere you go people are addicted to Facebook. A friend of mine who owns a restaurant has banned Facebook for his employees. If they are caught using the free wifi at his restaurant to update their profile pictures then they will be kindly asked to find another job. I think that’s quite harsh but he must be tired of his employees using their smartphones to upload their pictures while at work. It’s even sad to see customers at restaurants who come in groups to eat but are all engaged in their own private online world instead of talking to their friends. The irony is that sometimes they are actually talking (since commenting on posts can be taken as some form of conversation in today’s age) to one another through their Facebook posts.

I went to a private clinic a few days ago. I have been suffering from runny nose for weeks. I gave my patient book to the nurse. She didn’t even look at me. She just kept on bowing. I thought for a second. Maybe, she was influenced by the Japanese way of greeting. But then I realized that she was checking her Facebook feed. She grabbed my book and just tossed it on the counter and didn’t say a word. After waiting for an hour, I got my chance to meet the ENT doctor.

The doctor looked up my nose, checked my eyes and throat and told me that I need to have a surgery as soon as possible. He also asked me to get a CT Scan as well. I said fine and was about to leave but then realized that I needed to get my patient book. I asked the doctor for my patient book. The doctor was already busy using Facebook on his smartphone and handed me my book without even looking at me.

I went to the CT scan place and the guy had a big screen monitor and he was logged in on Facebook. I gave him CT scan slip and did the thing. Then I went home and my wife was busy checking pictures of her friends on Facebook. I thought of Mark Zuckerberg. Unknowingly, he has probably created the most evil thing in the world. 

Yes, social networking site do help us reconnect with our classmates, long lost friends, relatives and even our foes. But why on earth do most of us have to check our Facebook account every ten minutes as if our lives depended on getting new updates from our friends and even from folks who are not actually our friends but we are ‘friends’ with due to our habit of accepting all friends request even from a friend of a friend of a friend.

And my wife showed me some pictures of her friends. Some were getting married. They were photographed like celebrities. And then there were the married ones who were waiting for their babies. The wife with her baby bump was gently hugged by the would-be father. Congratulations but why on earth do you need to ask a professional photographer and pay him thousands of rupees or even a few hundred dollars if you live in the West to show the world that you are soon getting married or welcoming a baby. Just grab your smartphone and take a picture and post it if you really have to show it to the world. 

But my wife disagrees. She tells me that I’m the most boring husband in the world when it comes to being active on Facebook. Yes, I do have a Facebook account but I stopped using it after I got married. I told my wife that I used Facebook to show the world that I’m a smart guy by posting funny quotes, pictures of myself riding buffaloes and donkeys and had hundreds of likes for all my posts. Then I got married and I said I’m done with Facebook because I now don’t have to impress anyone and especially not the ladies.

Yes, I may have been selfish when it came to using Facebook. Now, I have been married for four years and my wife does post pictures of us every other week but my Facebook page has a picture of an elephant from our national zoo strolling about on the streets. And I took that picture a day before I got married. 

I tell my wife that if Facebook were to be banned in Nepal, then our productivity level would go up by a 1000% (and that’s not even mathematically correct). But my wife disagrees (you get the feeling she often does that, don’t you?). She tells me that Facebook is what keeps us alive regardless of corruption, pollution, and frustration in Nepal. Facebook keeps us sane. Well, at the end of the day, my wife is right and she will keep on using Facebook to get her news and updates from her friends. I will not use Facebook but will of course look at her feeds and then comment on the pictures of those who think they have to share everything with the world. That’s probably what keeps me sane: The cribbing, the complaining and, quite obviously, the hypocrisy.
The writer is a house husband who believes in changing, if not the world, the community he lives in one person at a time.

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