The ringing of the phone could not be ignored any longer, so I reluctantly picked up.
"Hey Baba, are you awake?"
My initial reaction was to reply in the negative. After all, an affirmative answer was somewhat redundant, but I took a deep sigh and replied calmly.
"Yeah, what's up bro?"
"Have you been up for long?"
At this point, I could feel the calmness start to recede and a red mist slowly descend.
"Bro, what can I do for you, men?"
"Have you logged on to FB yet?"
I rubbed my head in frustration and switched on the kettle before replying.
"Nope, what am I missing? Did someone die?"
"Noooooo, I just wondered if you have seen my status. I know you would have liked it and commented if you have."
I was not happy.
"Bro, are you saying you woke me up because of Facebook, really?"
"I'm sorry, I was just surprised, that's all. I updated it around 8 this morning and no one has said anything. I know this particular status is about an issue close to your heart, so I at least expected something from you."
In truth, at that very moment, the only thing close to my heart was rage.
"Okay, I will log on later and see."
Most people would have left it at that, but alas...
"I don't want you to think I am forcing you to like and comment o, in fact, I have liked it and made two comments already. The status was looking lonely and neglected, so I thought it best to add something. I am not a loser, it's just very awkward when no one likes your status."
"Oh, you are definitely not a loser," I replied, doing my best to be convincing.
"Thank you bro, although I must confess I do feel bad liking my own status. That's like kissing one's reflection in public. What really got to me though were the five people who unliked after liking....that is so wicked."
I shook my head, sipped my scary-looking black coffee, and said a few comforting words before saying goodbye.
All my attempts to reassure my friend his status may have been quite deep, hence making people uneasy about commenting or liking it, failed. I gave him the example of someone who used Facebook to announce the following:
"To my so-called friends: your prayers have come true and I am now divorced!"
Suffice to say everyone avoided that one for sure!
What I really found depressing was the guy's surly mood, all because no one liked his Facebook status. That is like being depressed because no one laughed at your jokes! It's bound to happen sometimes, right? What is the big deal in anything to do with a crappy FB notice. Are you an insecure teenager? Who cares? Liked, unliked, commented, uncommented, what does it really matter?
But to my utter surprise, apparently, it really does matter to some. My aforementioned friend actually went as far as sending me a Facebook Link solely dedicated to 'unliked' statuses...hahaha. I had to to see it, to believe it. These people are evidently jobless and without any concrete purpose in life.
And yet, there is more. I used to believe I was really clued on with trends, but there is something really sobering when you read stories of people who had to go to jail, because they inadvertently uploaded evidence of their crime on Facebook!
The platform is called social media for a good reason. It is designed for effective communication, bringing people together and not for marginalising each other with puerile updates. Its purpose is more banter, discourse, etc, not for announcing how many hours one slept, the frequency of one's bowel movements or why one's child has been suspended from school.....again!
When launching his now unbelievably popular platform, Mark Zuckenberg was quoted as saying:
"At Facebook, we build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people's capacity to build and maintain relationships."