I didn’t even notice that I was smiling, but surprisingly, Shuntoo did.
“You seem very happy about something,” he said and I looked up from my computer. “What happened? Somebody posted a funny picture that somehow gives you certain re-assurances that your life is good, that…….” he continued in his usual sarcastic manner.
“No Shuntoo!” I interrupted him, and my God! It was such an exhilarating feeling, it felt like sweet revenge, and I made a mental note to do that more often, to get him at his own game. “It’s none of that philosophical bullshit,” I explained, “it’s just that my page has 10,000 plus likes now.”
“Hunh!” Shuntoo exclaimed cynically and went back to concentrating on his cigarette and whatever he was posing to read.
“What do you mean hunh!” I was irritated, though I was trying really hard not to be. “You don’t think it’s anything to smile about!”
“What?” he said. “That there are more than ten thousand facebook users who clicked ‘like’ on the page you created on facebook?”
“That more than ten thousand people like my page,” I corrected him.
“Which you take to mean that more than ten thousand people like you!”
“No, I…….” I thought it over for a moment. “Well, yes……in a way! So what’s wrong with that? Does some part of your twisted mindset believe that it is nothing to be happy about if more than ten thousand people like me?”
He closed his magazine and I had that sinking feeling you get when you see a Shuntoo monologue on its way.
“Bacchay!” he began, knowing fully well that I hate it when he calls me that. “I have no problem with you smiling, or even laughing; all that is good. But just be clear about what you are happy about. That more than 10,000 people, which by the way is just about 0.00001 percent of facebook users, clicked ‘like’ on your facebook page. Since more than 900 million people have facebook accounts and all of them technically have access to your page, 10,000 ‘likes’ is just…..”
“Come on Shuntoo!” I interrupted him again and this time was even more fun. “That’s just lame. So what if….”
“I was just trying to put everything in perspective,” he didn’t let me finish. “I never said that you shouldn’t be happy. After all, that is what humans do. We are brought up in an environment where we want our parents to like us, then our teachers to like us, our peers, our bosses, all kinds of rewards are based on who likes you and who doesn’t. Eventually our whole life starts revolving around getting as many likes as we can from the world. If you get a like from your boss, you can get a promotion, which will result in getting a like from your social circle and …….”
“Now you are…..” I tried
“We want likes” he was the master of interruption, I guess I couldn’t beat him “from girls, from people in positions of power, from any random person we come in contact with. It is normal human nature. But somewhere in that race for likes we completely lose our fundamental values. We begin choosing to do the wrong thing if that brings us likes in life rather than do the right thing which might bore people and they might stop liking our lifebook pages. It’s all about cheap popularity, about attractive advertising, about letting people know that you are something, attracting them, making them like you and then ensuring that they hang on and God forbid, don’t press the unlike button.”
“Oh Shuntoo! Why do you have to take the fun out of everything.”
“Awww bacchay!” the bastard said, “Why worry? Put another of your pseudo-intellectual craps on your blog and you might get ten more likes. Then everything will be okay!”
He smiled and went back to his magazine. And I sat staring at my computer, not sure what to feel.