Facebook, what’s on your mind?

Do people write diaries these days or is that an outdated concept now? I mean before I go too far with this, is this even a valid question in the days of Facebook, Twitter, blogs and the likes? If not diaries, how about the pensieve from the Harry Potter books? Is that a workable concept? For those who are not into Harry Potter, pensieve is this big pot that Harry’s professor, Dumbledore, uses to store his memories and to empty his mind. Anybody can then have fun taking dips into the pensieve and focus on only the parts you want to ponder over. Harry uses the pensieve to understand Voldemort’s mindset and is a key element in his eventual victory over him. The visual effect of the silvery memories floating in the pensieve and Harry’s entry into it (as shown in the movie) is very cool!

Facebook, what's on your mind?Now this sounds strangely familiar as we use a social networking site like Facebook to send out status updates. A second after someone has posted an update; people are scrambling to take dips in the pot. Of course the difference is that by asking the question ‘What’s on your mind?’ Facebook first puts something on your mind and then lets you throw it out there. So it is questionable how much it helps with the whole “emptying the mind” :-)

That begs the question: Facebook, what’s on your mind? For example, Facebook’s mind has conjured this ‘Like’ link. Is that it?? ‘Like’ is as far as Facebook wants us to go when pondering over a post? Yes, the Comment box is there, but the Like producing a cute little Thumbs Up image is far too tempting, right? I send out many Likes too and accept very happily all those that are given to me, but how about the following options just for kicks?

  1. Need Help: I think I like your thought, but I am not able to understand it fully, so help me understand.
  2. Felt It: I know what you are saying. I have felt exactly the same way, so thank you for sharing!
  3. Living with it: I am not really interested in what you do every minute of your life, but when I friended you on Facebook, I also chose to live with this agony. Yes, I am reading every one of your status updates.
  4. Do Better: I don’t post any updates of my own, but I have the audacity to be opinionated about others’ updates (and I also go a step further to write a note about Facebook updates ;) ), so I am going to say that you can do better than this.

The list of options can go on, but I have a feeling that’s not how Facebook’s mind operates. Having all these options is far too messy and risky. So then how will it operate when say people get tired of writing updates and clicking on the ‘Like’? Maybe there will be a Facebook application where you can select what your common thought patterns are. Based on your selection and your history of posts, the application can then automatically send out updates as well as comments on your behalf. Then even before I get up in the morning and think of brushing my teeth, I would have sent out a whole bunch of updates about how my day is going to shape up and even commented on some of them! Imagine how so very “connected” that would make me! :-)

[I had written and shared this note on Facebook in August, 2009. Facebook has come a long way since then. With the introduction of Facebook Pages for businesses & communities, the ‘Like’ has taken a whole new meaning and it’s interesting to see folks strategizing to get a zillion Likes to their Page. The Like is still going strong! Also see my recent post: 10 Ways to Get the Facebook Likes We Deserve]

Author: Prachi Sukhatankar

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