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Being a Citizen of a Fairy-tale Country

A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2016 of The Himalayan Times


Facebook is just so fairytale a country that I’d love to be its citizen. 

I live in a virtual world where my neighborhood toll hits near thousand. Most often, all of those independent members are from separate household, many currently residing across the continent. In terms of nationality, caste, gender, age, color, religion, political views and socio-economic background where can one find such a diverse society as facebook? Answer: Nowhere. As a netizen, that’s exactly where you want to be the citizen of. 

I garnered the official citizenship status of facebook in mid-2007. For those wanting to acquire one: you would be eligible if you are 13 or above and great thing is that you don’t have to disavow your original citizenship of your residing nation or simply that you can have dual citizenship. After all, your inner self might dwell as data in electronic sub-space, but your physical body needs to function as a life for which needs a nation and a proof to certify you are of it. Quite simple to register yourself, fill up your few credentials and submit it to the bureau. You are done; just keep on updating info and photos.

Facebook reflects every breath and cough of this millennial generation. As much as it shows ostentation as in adventure, extravaganza, success or achievement; it also seems to be wielded not, blatantly, to show sorrows, frustrations, deaths and failures. Don’t your finger itches when you wait to connect your smartphone to 3G networks dying to update your check-in at Copacabana beach with your best friend? These days, nobody goes hiking stealthily to Mount Otemanu when they are in Bora Bora without announcing it very loudly and clearly, repeatedly even, at facebook. So, facebook has now consistently been the milestone tool to show the major life events, particularly more exciting and palmier. It is in here a human life is depicted in a timeline down the scroll.    

What is more popular than China’s great wall or Berlin’s wall? One too many youngsters who scribble thousands of graffiti at Facebook wall might not have heard of both. Why this craze of camera? Every shot in the park or elsewhere is taken only to be ultimately uploaded or—sometimes unfortunately—deleted. Most of the photos snapped in best bib and tucker and vibrant atmosphere are fated to be streamed into the facebook newsfeed. It’s almost like there are hundreds of slothful screwballs sticking their eyes at the screen and waiting to react to your photo, and in hope of getting way more reactions you have already redacted them from any photo editor app burgeoning like mushrooms in the app store. What was and is front camera for, of a smartphone? When needed one answer: video-call but now selfie. Selfie! Ah, what a term, even a dictionary does not recognize but oddly enough every toddler poses with a pout whenever s/he sees front cam. Selfie today is just not a photo-shoot. It’s a popular trend, a vogue and every loner, who never gets a company to click a photograph, has, luckily now, got opportunity to update profile picture. There wasn’t selfie stick business blooming if there weren’t selfie trend. There would not have been wefie coined if there were not selfie first. Facebook, most of all, just harbors these rattling good citizens who are all into this creepy business. Oh Jesus, how much I like them.

Social media, not sparing facebook, get new definition for many too words. Viral is one among such. When something was viral, it was a disease that used to be dangerous and contagious, but which is only secondary meaning to the present world of internet. When something is viral, you share it, your friends see it and share it, your friends’ friends see it and share it and the friends’ friends’ friends’ circle is simply endless that the post affects almost all until it becomes epidemic.

Most entertaining feature I often use is Poke button. When I click poke button I feel like I am personally and physically prodding them and making a hole onto them. But is this the hate thing or a gentle reminder or something like waking up a sleeping whacko? Curiosity plainly remains unanswered. It’s uncertain what to expect when you poke one of your friends. While oftentimes you get another poke of reply and that only from another nonplussed fellow. Simply like the LIKE button has recently been rebranded with multitude of reactions from a simple like, wow to angry, is not it a high time that the poke button was also refurbished to incorporate punch, slap or shoot?

Yes facebook is a country which has more population than China, the most populous geographic nation on the Earth. Around ninety percent of millennials use facebook and who does not use, falls into dark pit of isolation. It provides you the boundless opportunities which are still to be discovered. You cannot know the update of long-parted childhood friend living in Cecily and Oscar winning Brie Larson vacationing in Maui in the same minute from reading newspapers. You are to savor assortment of things: jokes, news, games, and whatnot only at the expense of data. This country is rich and is filled with so diversified a population you can never imagine. I love being its citizen; all the more so because time will soon come when it would be whole-world a single country.   

             ©Adhikary Rabindra 2016

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