Ashok B. Boghani

Feb 10, 2020

2 min read

Facebooking it

I recently read on Facebook a response from a person reacting to a picture my friend had posted from Vienna. He said that, “I was in the same area last week but did not Facebook it.” Besides creating a verb out of posting on Facebook, he seemed to be implying that he had indeed taken the trip and should have advertised it in order to make it real. That made me think of an old philosophic adage “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

I suppose the new adage would be, “If you took a trip and did not Facebook it, did you really travel?”

I am as guilty as the rest, if not more, but a trip is not complete until pictures are posted on Facebook and we receive a bunch of accolades in terms of “Likes” and comments. In fact, it is interesting to observe the entire dynamics of posting and responding to travel pictures on Facebook. So here goes…

The traveller posts 100 pictures of his trip to, say, Warsaw. He says, “Having a wonderful time in Warsaw.” What he really wants to say, “I want you to know that I am a world traveller. I go to places few people have gone to. Yes, a part of the experience was miserable, but I cannot show that to you. I want to share with you only happy smiley faces. I know, I am spoiling the pictures by putting us in the middle of everyone of them, but how else can I prove that we were there and we had fun. How else can I make you jealous?”

The respondent, if he has not gone to Warsaw would say, “Looking good. I wish I could do what you are doing.” What he really wants to say, “OK, stop bragging. We know you can afford it. Stop showing off. Besides, why do we need to see your faces 100 times? We know what you look like.”

Real fun begins when the respondent has gone to Warsaw. Then there are a variety of responses. One is, “When I went there in 1984, it was very different.” What he really wants to say, “Hey, travel to exotic places is my territory. Stop invading it. I was doing that when you were still in diapers, so stop bragging about it.”

Another response is, “Good. Do check out that little café in the plaza. They serve killer goulashes.” The real intent of the comment is: “I am such a sophisticated foodie that I remember good meals even thirty years afterwards. I know that in all likelihood the café is gone but how else can I exhibit by sophistication?”

Yet another response is: “When we were there, we hiked up a mountain nearby.” The objective of the comment is to convey, “You wimp, you just take some conducted tour, unlike me, a real athlete with an independent streak. I don’t want to tell you that the hike was miserable and destroy the image I have created.”

It is all fun and games, driven by our ego.

I am a retired management consultant who enjoys reading and writing on a variety of subjects. I am fascinated by people, places and physics.

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