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Sorab Shroff

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I'm Fab. I'm Techie. I'm Sad. What Kind of Facebook User Are You?

Posted: 25/07/11 18:33

"Finished charity work, now impromptu cocktails and some pierogi in a secret Shoreditch bar: what a weekend!" How much insecurity and effort goes into a Facebook update like this? All at once, this person's update is trying to broadcast how ethical, how fabulous and how achingly cool this person is. People's Facebook updates cheer me up no end. They seem to contain all of human life - how we are and how we secretly desire to be seen by others.

Then we have the techie Facebook user whose updates focus on coding, 'source codes' and a then just little but more about coding. I understand none of these updates. "Going to override equals but skip hashcode," they gush, relentlessly. I read this and wish I was equally passionate about something the way these guys are.

The drama queens are the most interesting: "Sad, broken and devastated, my dear friends - can't breathe," a friend's update said recently. Within minutes, forty friends rush to comfort with urgent comments like, "You ok? Sending you love and hugs my love!" It almost always turns out to be nothing - some work tiff or the pasta hasn't turned out right.

I'm the sort of Facebook updater who bangs on about various causes I believe in. Linking to petitions and events, imagining that a post here and a point of view there signifies progress. 'Free Ai Weiwei!' 'Sign the petition against Uganda's death penalty for gay people!' It's the equivalent of reading Nelson Mandela's biography and pretending that makes you a political person. Although I strongly believe that speaking out about what we believe in is important, people who post stuff like this are usually full of self-righteousness, so I have to be careful not to get too preachy like Ned Flanders.

My absolute favourite updates are about love, friendship and family. No matter how clich├ęd and mawkish, it seems to display the warmest sides of ourselves. A new born baby, someone writing about their anniversary, how much they love their husband or wife, picture of the kids. Much cooler achievements in my book in comparison to pierogi and cocktails in a secret Shoreditch bar.

In case you've heard rumours about a select crowd migrating to Google+, creating a less hysterical version of Facebook, don't worry. Almost all the people I know who are on Facebook are slowly making their way on to Google+ as well. Just like Facebook, Google+ is full of urgent, angry and fun updates, giving us an insight into people's real preoccupations.

A friend of mine in his forties recently updated his profile with, "Yo bro - dog!" I'm still not sure what kind of Facebook user that makes him.

 

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