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Don’t you see the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expresses in exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten… every year, fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller…

From George Orwell’s 1984

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You’re having the time of your life and you think of a witty line. Instead of calling your friends (who might or might NOT laugh) on the phone and telling them what you just thought , you put it up on FACEBOOK and wait for the world to think over it and give it a stamp of approval. Then you can go dancing around in glee , shouting to the real world that ___ many people (virtual people who’ve probably never even met you or might not even understand what your saying) LIKEd your witty line!! This is the world we’re all swimming in, today!!

I remember this one photo I’d uploaded as my display picture, a couple of months back. Mind you, this picture wasn’t shot by a professional or a ‘Monkey with a DIGI SLR’, neither did I have a nice outfit on, nor was I exposing cleavage which normally does the trick. In fact, the photo was shot with my webcam and it was as clear as blurred web shots normally are. So, getting to the point of this photo; I put it up on Facebook and for some weird reason, it got a couple of instant LIKE’s! I passed it off as them trying to be funny and went off to sleep. I go to work the next day and half way during my day, I get a call from one of my friends in college, informing me, “80 LIKES Anjali?!! Wah! Wah!! Celebrity ban gayi tu!!” (translated means “Wow! Anjali, you’ve become a celebrity now!!“) I was zapped!! I didn’t believe it and when I went home and logged into my account, indeed, a lot of people had LIKE’d the picture and the number was now a 100+… I didn’t understand it!! How could a blurry picture of me get so many likes as I’m not that attractive woman everybody is pining for and I never have been. I’m slightly pudgy now, what with all the junk food I’ve been hogging off late and have really bad skin post my smoking days.

It wasn’t until I was mindlessly going through friends’ posts on my home page and liking their posts that I realized I was paying more attention to the posts which had a couple of LIKE’s. It was only then that I realized the ‘Herd Mentality’ of Facebook users!! When we come across something as interesting, it’s interest is generated NOT by it’s content (most of the time) but by the number of Like’s. We give in to these Like’s and let the world decide for us whether we look good or bad, our posts are funny or lame and we thrive on their approval!! We change display pictures almost immediately, when we find that they didn’t get as many LIKE’s as we expected. I even went to the extent of deleting a photo which got 0 Like’s!! (I have a 120 Like’s image to maintain, you see!!)

We sit on a high throne and judge others as they openly judge as right back! It’s a funny world we live in, when we have more friends on Facebook than we do in real life and we’re updated about their whereabouts that we could stalk them in real life if we were a lit more jobless and creepy! Someone just lost a mother… Like!! Someone just had a baby!! Like!! Someone just broke up!! Like!! Someone just learnt how to drive!! Like!! Sigh… I just got my PERIOD!! Like?! Okay, I agree that the last one was a little bit exaggerated!!

I realized that I cared more about what 1368 people on Facebook felt about me, my posts, my friends, my family and MY LIFE more than I did about myself!! Now that I’m almost done with this article, I’m already plagued with the thought that once it’s on my wall, how many people will LIKE it… Hehe… Now I love the fact that I’ve made all of you think twice before LIKEing it 😀

(Credit for the connection of the quote goes to Cyborgology)

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