Apocalypse now: How do we survive a post-Facebook world?

By Hardik Rajgor

If there were two words to describe how everyone feels about Facebook right now, it would be angry reacts. After failing to set appropriate privacy settingsfor its users, many have decided to unfriend the social networking website, as they receive a potential friend request from investigating agencies to look into the mess. I worry about the extreme consequences of this event, for the timeline of my life would be ruined if Facebook had to deactivate its account. I depend on Facebook in the same way the Trump campaign depended on Cambridge Analytica.

I begin my day by checking Facebook, even before I have brushed my teeth. Dental health is secondary to knowing how many likes I got overnight on the “Which Disney Princess is your soulmate?” quiz. I get more turned on by the red number on the notification panel than I get watching the “Ek Do Teen” remake. With no Facebook, how am I supposed to begin my day? Will I have to now concentrate on the actual wall of my washroom while taking a dump? I’d rather just unfriend that day!

 A big part of my office commute is going through the news feed and finding out which of my 2,462 friends got hitched or had a baby this week. It also keeps me updated on the happenings around the world, in the form of cute listicles and cat GIFs. How will I get my daily dose of information in a post-FB world? Newspapers? Really? There’s no place in trains to scratch your back or reach out for your pocket handkerchief, leave alone open a paper. Also, newspapers are so 1997. Their biggest problem is that they don’t even have a column to spare for fake news. How do you even get through a newspaper? It is not worth consuming if it is not presented in the form of an image, four bullet points, and does not confirm my pre-existing bias. Instead of discussing that viral meme, we will be debating monetary policy. Life will truly be a sux.

A post-Facebook world would also raise deep philosophical and existential questions. How will you tell the world “What’s on your mind?”

Facebook has made the (offline) world a more peaceful place. I do not have the scientific research to back my claim, but fights have gone down 50 per cent in the Mumbai local. Commuters are too busy on Facebook tagging people in comments and channelling their inner Hulks, outraging on their walls, instead of engaging in the everyday gaali-galoch for stamping on someone’s feet or stealing someone’s fourth seat. In a world without Facebook, how will we survive a train ride if we can’t tune out the bhajan mandali in the Virar Slow? Also imagine the horror of sitting at the window seat and having to look at all the visuals outside! Especially when you could use that time to stare at your six-inch screen playing Ludo Star with a computer algorithm.

 But FB is crucial to our existence in office – how else will we kill time between 9 am and 5 pm? When Facebook was blocked at the workplace, we had to bribe the IT guy so we could use it on a proxy. There’s no tax refund available on those bribes, so this will even be a monetary hit. Our unproductivity and workplace happiness are a direct result of being able to browse through dank meme pages and stalking that cute intern from marketing. An hour of Facebook after lunch is the most keenly followed ritual in the corporate world. Without it, life would be miserable: How much time can you pass staring at Excel sheets, white boards, and coffee mugs?

A post-Facebook world would also raise deep philosophical and existential questions. How will you tell the world “What’s on your mind?” Will I have to go to the railway station and distribute flyers with pictures of my lunch? Facebook is the best way to be connected with everyone and still never have to speak to anyone. Will I have to go old-school and visit people for tea and snacks and actual conversation. That is just depressing. How does one even make a new friend in a world without Facebook? The world could suddenly get a lot trickier, with all the real talking, interacting, poking, probing, and stalking.

I have been so engrossed in Facebook that Facebook ended up being the only friend I had. Don’t take it away from me, internet.

Heart Reacts only.

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