I love those how things are made documentaries. I’ve always wanted to make one, but I could never find anything that already didn’t have a ton of stuff published on it.
This morning, while uploading a picture to Facebook, I realized, it took me a little more than 15 minutes to write a funny and quirky tagline to go with. By the end of an excruciatingly painful narrowing down process, the tagline didn’t quite go with the picture at all. Even so, it put my mind at easy. There was something distinctly ‘me’ about it. And I’m pretty sure, less than five percent on my friends list would get the humor behind it. Yet, it made me happy.
That got me thinking. Everything time a brilliant idea or thought pops in my mind, it takes on an average of about 20 minutes to translate in to a Facebook status message. And anything that requires more than fives minutes of serious brain activity, needs a how things are made kinda post about it. So here is..
A stimulus. Could be anything ranging from a comment someone made, a line from the book you are reading or something as trivial as a dripping tap.
A parallel. All of these above mentioned stimuli must coincide at that point with the thoughts in your mind. This is the very point where a status message is conceived. Right there, thats where a status message germinates.
But that’s not it. In order for you to feel excellent about yourself, you’ve got to post it on Facebook. And that’s where it all begins. Interval.
After this, it could take anywhere from about 20 – 30 minutes for it to be reworded, edited, polished and posted on Facebook. A raw thought is open to criticism. So before you type in your status messages. You consider the different types of people that would read it:
Immediate family you are ‘friends’ with on Facebook: this is the group that is affected the most by your status messages. They are either elated or offended by your thoughts. In any case, they are the ones that will not comment or like your status messages. They will operate under the disguise of ‘we don’t login too much’. Trust me, there is no one, absolutely no one who doesn’t login at least once a day. Anyway, back to my point, your immediate family is the one you think about the most before you post a status message.
Influencers: Now this group is very important from a personal as well as professional point of view. It consist of professors, ex-bosses, seniors, difference makers, potential boyfriends/girlfriends, crushes that could turn into lovers and prospective in-laws you are friends with on Facebook. They could form opinions about you based on your status messages and posts. Depending on the stakes (a family alliance or a professional position you’ve eyed for a while), you can either consider or ignore members of this group.
The herons: This is actually my husband’s find. By definition, a heron facebook user is one who is always logged onto the social networking site. Whether he’s a busy investment banker (yes, I do believe they have facebook accounts too) or someone like me with a lot of time at hand. Heron’s are often the first ones to ‘like’ and comment on your status message. Whether they argue for or against it, a heron will always have something to say about your publicly posted thoughts.
Occasional likers or commentors: You don’t want to offend this group. Because they are the creme-de la- creme of Facebook users. They are intellectual, opinionated, classy and the thinkers. They comment or like a status message not for its mass appeal, but because they see greater intellectual value in it. The slightest activity from them and you could count yourself amongst the likes of Socrates and the other philosopher dudes.
Passive likers and commentors: Interesting group. They would never like or comment on anything, but the next time you see them at a party or social gathering, they’d casually slip your last explosive status message in the conversations. Something like, ‘ how about that status message you posted on Friday 8 pm about the marijuana industry in the US’. You know they are out there.. they just love to camouflage themselves.
The Duds: You don’t really have to consider them. They are so dumb that even the most easily understood status messages would be a puzzle for them.
The witty commentors: Finally. More often than not, this group will only comment if they are contributing to the post. This could either mean, that they are refuting what you said or adding to what you said or correcting your grammar. Let them be. Don’t think about them.
While you’re running algorithms on all these different groups of people in your mind, a modified yet acceptable version of your original status message is keyed on to your page.
Finally, consider yourself. While the long drawn filtering process has taken care of all the affected and not so affected parties, you still have one more person to please. Yourself. At this stage, depending on how happy you want to make yourself, you can either post the modified, altered version or go back to the raw, crude, maybe a little offensive and uncomfortable version of your status message.