Let’s just cut the chase and admit it. If our smartphones were temples, then our social media is God. Most if us can’t get by without scrolling through a few gigabytes worth of selfies, memes, tumblr/Twitter screenshots, ‘challenges’ and pet/baby videos a day. The dopamine hit is real, immediate and potent. If lucky (or unlucky, same difference) enough to have a 24 hour long dopamine rush from a phone, congratulations, you’re addicted to it. It’s a whole lot more visible than drug addiction- find me a young person who can unbury their noses from their phones and computers long enough to get addicted to something else, they’re not many of them around. And if you are one of the endangered breed who can actually live without social media, welcome to social media atheism. Because in the end, it’s all ‘moh-maya’ (an illusion). That being said, I had deleted my Facebook and Instagram this new year, just to have a go at it (trust me, it’s a lot more peaceful now). Now I get that social media is a blessing to many people- a form self expression to some, a way of relieving negativity for some others, and even a source of earning money (and decent money at that). But it’s not done me much good and so I gave it the boot. And while at it, here are some highly interesting people I’ve met on the Internet.
1 The Selfie Monarchs
Selfies. Front face selfies, side face selfies, selfies from above, selfies from below, makeup selfies, natural selfies, adventure selfies, sofa selfies, not to mention catfies, dogfies, momfies, dadfies and I-don’t-know-what-fies – name it, and someone or the other has it on their accounts. Some people have them all and more. And what more, they can’t stop taking more selfies. On the sidewalk, in the grocery store, all over University campus (even by the crocodile infested sewer they call a river), in class, in front of some random stranger’s Harley D, or Audi Q3 or BMW or Merc or whatever expensive ride they see and in poses that would likely win them a spot in the next big movie or fashion show. Like selfies are their life- to each their own I guess.
2. The Fake Photographers.
Now I really admire the genuinely good photographers and their well clicked, insightful photographs. But now, every Tom, Dick and Harry with a smartphone and a photo editing app or two is a photographer. And such obviously edited photographs with loud, garish colour compositions, a complete mess for contrast and sunsets. Only sunsets. Some iodine blue, some blood red, some blinding orange, some about as violet as a botched paint mixing operation. Any more of this and my eyes would bleed. Like no. Go learn some quality photo editing and then edit your sunsets. They’ll look much better, trust me, and win more appreciation while at it.
3. The Fake Depressos
Depression, anxiety, OCD, etc are serious and usually debilitating mental health issues. People who have to deal with them every day and have to take medication to get by passably are quite literally fighting against their own minds. Some win, and survive. Some don’t, and commit suicide. Mental illness is not a means to gain sympathy from people, nor is it trivial enough that being sad for like 5 minutes because the coffee was too bitter becomes depression or being organised becomes OCD. Don’t trivialise mental illness by faking it. Please. You only look cringeworthy, not cool.
4. The Extreme Activists
Like yes. Everyone is human, regardless of religion, gender, sexuality, skin colour, height, weight, body shape, etc and deserve to be treated as such. But some people are more human than others apparently. Tell one of these guys about a doctor who treats poor people for free, they’ll tell you how ignorant the doctor is because they support a particular political party (like wha….? That’s still helping the poor isn’t it? And what’s the doctor’s political leanings to you, breakfast?). And not to mention the extreme feminists (the feminazis). No, ladies, you’re not superior to men because of your gender. Neither are men superior to you. You’re about as good as them. No more, no less. It’s who you are as a person that matters more.
These guys have nothing better to do than say terrible things about other people. Some make sexually suggestive, usually unwelcome comments below posts, some make derisive comments on body shape height and weight, some have a field day deriding people because, duh? Like they really don’t have much better to do. Or the intellectual capacity to accommodate other people’s ideas, and differences. Same thing. It’s why they’re called trolls (they have pea sized brains too, apparently).
6. Sex Pests
Read, paedophiles and pests in general. These are the worst kind out there. Especially the former. Like spare the children out there will you? They’ve done you no wrong. And then there are people who don’t know the difference between compliments and harassment. One dude genuinely thought he was complimenting my friend when he commented on her boobs. He apparently didn’t know the difference, but when asked, admitted that he wouldn’t like it if someone directed that comment to his sister (and probably punch the living daylights out of them for it). So there we go. It’s fair game for people to make that sort of comments on other people’s brothers and sisters, but unacceptable if someone else says it to their own brother or sister. Listen up ladies, gentlemen and everyone in between, ‘You look beautiful/handsome/great in that *insert item of clothing*’ or ‘That look suits you’ or ‘You’re so intelligent/smart/joyful/a ray of sunshine/etc’ are compliments, and comments on other people’s private parts are not. The latter counts as harassment. Take notes please.
There are a lot many more types of people on the Internet. Some good, some not so good. I don’t seem ti recall them all (and will update when I do). Till then, I take your leave,