Saturday, March 1, 2014

Facebook Personality Types Part 1

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By Babawilly

I stood before my mother armed with my Sony camera, waiting for that look on her face that said ‘I am now ready’. As she adjusted her hand bag and pushed a little at her glasses, she did not implore me not to cut her head or take an out of focus picture. She simply communicated her hope.

‘Wilson, I hope this is not going straight to Facebook’. There you have it. That indeed is a diagnosis if there ever was one. If it is true that mother knows best, then I can safety conclude that I have a ‘Facebook problem’. Like all people with social media ailments of the brain, denial came as second nature. ‘But I don’t put everything on Facebook’ I said. Those around smiled knowingly.

Well, in my defence, I am not the only one. There is safety and comfort in numbers. With millions of users (9 % being fake registrations, you them. The girls in love with your profile picture just wanting to know you better) there has to be a myriad of Facebook neurotics out there. Now what is a bit of colo-mentality between friends? We cannot all be normal can we?

I cannot remember who said this but there is a school of thought that says if people point you out as having a problem, you do indeed have a problem. Please don’t argue. If more than one person says you have a Facebook problem, that is your diagnosis. The more you deny it, the guiltier you appear.  Take your diagnosis like a man and join the brotherhood of millions and sing like the Party Rock Anthem Guys- Everyday I’m shuffling or I’m crazy and I know it.

The life of a Facebook crazy individual starts with the Facebook shuffle. You reach over and grab that smart phone first. There is no need kissing your loved one with a bad breath is there?  Morning pleasantries with real human beings can wait joor. Alone with your phone, you get notified about all the birthdays in your social circle and you give a shout-out or ‘like’.

Best thing about Facebook is Birthday alerts. No more birthday cards because we love to save the rain forest. Next come birthdays of those too young to be addicted to Facebook; you friends’ cute babies. Here is where the women go ‘awww’ and the men think ‘School fees o!’ You like and move on.

Next the new born babies get liked and parents congratulated. That is followed by the ultrasound scans queuing up to be liked (picture na picture). Then the wedding anniversaries start to filter in. 12 years ago on the day I said ‘I do’ to my angel…… 12 years a wife…….and the Oscar goes to… (I promised myself not to be cynical in this article).

Next you start to like all the wonderful holidays (suppressing the urge to be envious), selfies (suppressing the urge to comment ‘you no get work o’), quotations, complains about Nigeria, more cute babies, videos off YouTube etc. etc. and amazingly all this is done while still sitting on the toilet before you have even have had the chance to brush your teeth.

If Aretha Franklin was starting her career out in this day and age, the song I Say A Little Prayer would have gone, "each morning I wake you, before my weave and make-up, I like a Facebook picture of you"…. Shower, get dressed and breakfast. Breakfast might even be photographed and uploaded to Facebook. This is the story of the millions of Facebook crazy folks out there. Since people and personalities vary, what we see on Facebook will reflect the diversity of mental states of the humans behind the pages. The world can be roughly divided into extroverts and introverts.

The extroverts come up close to you and talk with their mouth full of Gala while the introverts keep their distance not wanting to offend or encroach on your personal space (There is no introvert in Nigeria). These introverts think so deeply that by the time they arrive at a conclusion, the moment might have passed. They are always thinking about the future so it is no surprise they don’t wear the current and trendy clothes.

These introverts own tomorrow but are not in touch with today. They are the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Never the life of the party but in the long run, they are the main facilitators of the world party. Nothing new there. We always knew that Extroverts made money fast and lost it faster while crafty introverts cook up sure ways of relieving the extroverts of the burden of managing finances. They manufacture the bright and shining item that never fails to attract the attention and wallets of the flamboyant extroverts.

Both personalities groups, the introverts and extroverts, share similarities in their experiences on Facebook. Social media has changed everyone forever.

Everybody is now a DJ. Thanks to YouTube you can put up links of any music on the planet. Everyone can shoot films from their phone that go viral. Technology has made life easier for all. I recall a day in University in the 80s when we had such a brilliant day in the sun and were taking pictures of ourselves.  It took two months to see the photographs and the owner of the camera had no money to develop the film. It was worth the wait however. That is a wait not for today’s generation. A few seconds after a nice time, the pictures are on Facebook for the World to see. To think there was a time you attended weddings and did not get to see the pictures for months!

Read Part 2!

Dr Wilson Orhiunu

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