Jan 4, 2009 - rant    50 Comments

Updating your life – online

If I were a pop psychologist I would say that the constant status change on facebook/gtalk/similar-social-networking-websites-that-I am-unaware-of is attention seeking behaviour of the worst order. I have no problem with people seeking attention or basking in the glory of self love, but if you change your status five times in a day, especially with open ended and ambiguous sentences like ‘Nishi is still looking …’ to ‘Rizwan is trying hard, really’ then I think a call to local shrink wouldn’t hurt. The more ambiguous the status is; chances are that you get more responses. The more naïve ones in the friend’s list always respond to such cries of help with, ‘Oh Nishi, what is it that you are looking’ to ‘I hope you find what you are looking for’ to best wishes for Rizwan who is trying really hard. Come on folks, what do you know? He might be constipated and trying really hard and updated his status while trying to take crap. Now would you normally go sending best wishes to people who are tying to take crap? No. But on facebook, it is the order of the day.

The funniest thing is, if you do respond honestly to any such status, it can lead to disastrous consequences and can jeopardize your relationship with your acquaintances – for life. Someone I know have recently gotten married and have changed her status very frequently but they were always about how deliriously happy she is now that she is hitched (the word hitched was mentioned in at least 5 of her statuses). After one such nauseating declaration of love and coupledom, I commented with this line: “I hope you are ready for the life long monogamy ahead.” She deleted my comment and went ballistic afterwards, calling me names and what not. She even asked some of her friends to socially boycott me. She wanted me socially boycotted because I warned her about monogamous married life? Facebook can do that people.

There are some facebook statuses that are less of a status and more of a declaration. For instance the politically inclined Muneeb Ahmed thinks the infighting has already begun amongst the Democratic majority or the arty Shamil Shams is of the opinion that Anand Bakhshi was one of the most underrated lyricists of Indian Cinema.

There are some statuses that include another person and can lead to interrogation of the worst order. For instance, this is the status my friend A had before she left for Italy last month: “A can’t wait for Italy! esp. since Tazeen has raised her expectations about the oh so orgasmic species of Italian men.” You can so imagine what must have happened afterwards. Common friends ganged up on me asking me why such delightful details were kept a secret and why only A was privy to that information. The most delightful thing I have experienced in Italy was the Italian Gelato (ice-cream) and I only wished I had such ‘oh so orgasmic’ encounters with Italian men. The interrogation sessions I had after wards would have put the interrogators at Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay) to shame.

Another thing I am absolutely sick of is the honeymoon related status updating. The past three months have been the extended wedding season in Pakistan. A vast majority of Pakistanis goes to Malaysia for honeymoons and I get status updates like A & B or X & Y are honeymooning in Genting or in Langkavi? Honestly, who gives two hoots if you are honeymooning in location A or B.? In any case, if you are busy updating your status on facebook, you obviously are not having the honeymoon you should have. Something is definitely missing.

So far, the most original facebook status I have seen has come from my friend Zoe. It goes something like this: Zoe is gun powder, treason and plot.

Clip to Evernote

50 Comments

  • you know muneeb ahmed – he gets around…
    (no, i dont know muneeb ahmed, but i bet he has 79 friends).

    but yes. we all have issues.
    but changing your status is not half as narcissistic or neurotic as blogging =)

    (so i let people be in their happy little worlds where they believe what they think matters. when it clearly doesnt. because they dont have an opinion to blog. i hope you are with me on this).

  • :)…hmmmm…mine implied the attention-getting angle….nice…:)

  • “changing your status is not half as narcissistic or neurotic as blogging =) “

    Hmmm…never thought of it that way….well the neurotic bit, I did, sometimes….

    You know, some guys in my college have a sort of a cult following of their status messages…which are usually themed, like “worst lyrics of the day” or “Mithun-da moment of the day”

  • Some days I think getting a facebook would be interesting … this is not one of those days. =/

  • i can relate to the sickness of honeymoon statuses.. and married couples using fb to talk and chat, making it so ewwww.
    that is when my status was …
    Seher’s height of speechlessness, ‘when a couple sitting face to face has to use fb to converse’

  • hemlock,

    the last i checked, Muneeb Ahmed has over 400 friends but as he is a freshman at UGA, it makes sense.

    Seher,

    Now this is beyond crazy! Sitting face to face and chatting on fb is the height of exhibitionism.

  • Thank you for pointing out this absurdity. I thought I was the only one sick to death about these mofos telling the world when they go to take a leak or what they had for dinner or how amazing their life is. Does it look like we care that you are chilling at Sabuhi Aunty’s house or waiting for your bhabi to cook you an amazing meal. The stupid New year resolutions are only adding to the facebook pollution.

  • hahaha
    that was hilarious and it even becomes more when it applied to me too lol…. i guess no one is gonna update their statuses NOW…
    but come on man… give them a lil room of their own… let them do if THAT makes them happy… 🙂

  • Lolz! I hope you didn’t use your friends’ actual names. 😀

  • Very interesting……
    “the constant status change on facebook/gtalk/similar-social-networking-websites-that-I am-unaware-of is attention seeking behaviour of the worst order”

    or It may be just their ‘Kid Mind”going through mental evolutionary process in public eye!
    upfront,out there! Nothing Personal to Us readers 🙂

    For Zoe,thanks for the self incriminating evidence,but at least you are honest 🙂

  • status updates are funny indeed. I too don’t understand the need for individuals to update themselves all the time.

  • hahaha! how true! you’ve completly hit the nail with this one! i admit i’ve once or twice fallen lure to commenting on the asking-for-pity updates of “i’m trying, really i am” or “i’m so sad tonight”! hmpff!

  • aditya: seriously. we all keep blogs thinking someone actually gives a ****… the only diff between changing your status and updating your blog is, the status is more, in your face/ notification on someone else’s homepage, while for a blog, someone has to come visit your site, so they cant accuse you of being self absorbed.

    tazeen: i’m also kinda annoyed by photo updates… we lead sad, sad lives.

  • funnily i do update my statuses… but mostly it is either for a good laugh or a declaration of somthin i wanna tell the world… lol !!!

    but it does happen every other week or somin.. at least normally… most of the times i do not even remember…

    but after my friends hav dragged me onto twitter its a different matter…

    i thought it was a status thing but its more like a Texting experience !!! with the whole world to see !

  • People,

    I personally think there is nothing wrong with status updates, as long as they are not about marital bliss, honeymoon locations, cry for pity/help/attention/love?

    JDee,

    I used real name and emailed them as well. I even blog under my real name.

    Daanish,
    Zoe is thoroughly original and seriously kick ass. THankfully, she is a Canadian and even if she declares to the world that she is gun powder and treason, no one would actually get alarmed.

  • im gonna change my facebook status to ‘potty aaaraaahhhiiii haai hmmmmppppphhhh’
    😉

  • This was funny 🙂 But I do have to agree with hemlock…there isn’t much difference in our writing about our life’s highlights or expressing our opinions on our blogs and someone with less word-wizardry doing the same thing via their status updates. And I guess we can’t control people’s right to announce what they want to either:) The perils of freedom of expression! But be it announcing their affection for a certain political school of thought or something as mundane as their skiing experience on their honeymoon — that’s just what they want their friends to know and from what it seems in most cases, what their friends WANT to know! WE, however, have a right to block them or (less intense) completely ignore their status updates on our facebook homepages. It’s easy…I do it all the time 😀

  • You have a great blog Tazeen! I’m glad to have found it!
    Since I do not have a facebook account so I might be displaying some of my ignorance here, but if the status update is not really that important then how is it that so many of us are aware of the different status updates people leave. I guess there has to be some inherent value in that update for so many people to be paying attention to it.
    A Happy New Year to you!

  • Cool post. I do update my status though, when something interesting happens 🙂

    PS: I never knew knew Malaysia was one of the honeymoon destinations for Pakistanis…

  • 🙂

    LOL, ROFLAO, HAHAhahaha, etc…

  • i for one believe that they shud change it from ‘status update’ to ‘wats on my mind right now’ – like for example if i say ‘my paunch is showing’, it means that im a little too bothered about my overeating, and so, it might help for the other person to know!….
    or is that too academical?

  • thanks for your profound comment on by blog leading me to this place i found valuable because it attracts attention with the most human feature we can have… the ability to think… to analyze…

    Tazeen in Farsi(Persian) means ornament… and you beautify in a unique way… anything inviting us to ponder is beautiful…

    i’m not much familiar with these virtual communities… though i can find lots of similar examples in real life in my country…
    the most ‘communial’ group i attend is my blog!
    🙂
    to tell you the truth, i think you’ve fed the thirsty fire of this exhibitionistic behavior by taking them very seriously…
    these are some social games people play… and it’s got some rules… you win when you ignore it not when you break the rules… breaking the rules means you are IN the game…
    🙂
    and crows are notorious for their ‘ignorance’!

    will be a frequent visitor… love this place…
    love this new window i found to the world…
    so can i say i love you?
    🙂

  • no offence to anybody but i’m rather surprised everyone shares a common disdain for facebook status updaters. is it like really true or are they just agreeing with you ’cause you’re so darn good at blasting them to bits if they don’t?

    or is it that i’m just mildly offended because i’m a pretty regular status updater myself?

    really good post though.

  • Hi Tazeen,

    I had an interestng encounter on statuses. It went somethign like this:

    Indian friend updates her status with “Annoyed at why Indian map does not show Kashmir”

    I being a Paki saw a great come back and said:

    “That is because Kashmir is ours :)”

    Can you imagine the comments I got from my friend’s freinds!

  • Terra,
    Oh you have no idea. Try going to Langkavi in December, you will find lots of young women with henna on their hands, they are all Pakistani young brides honeymooning in Malaysia

    Avaran,

    Nah, Mohd Hanif is spot on, though in my persoanl opinion, he was a tad too harsh on Musharraf, but I do agree with the rest. You are most welcome to Pakistan and see the country for yourself.

  • Human Being,

    Oh I know what my name means in Persian. I traveled throughout Iran in 2006 and every beauty parlour from Yazd to Orumiah is called ‘Markaz-e-Tazeeniyat’. You can so imagine how my fellow travelers had fun at my expense.

    Xill-e-Illahi,

    Oh we all do status updates, its just the marital bliss, constipation ridden messages i have grouse against. This is too much personal information and i can surely do without that.

    O,

    I think Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris alone. Its about time both India and Pakistan realize that and learn to live with it.

  • Ah… see this is where i dont agree with u. Why not? i say. what is wrong with exhibiting whatever and whoever.

    and as i have said before, facebook is an advertising tool and if anyone is remotely active on facebook, or writes blogs, changes profile pics even once a month or has ever added an album viewable to more than 20% of their friends is an attention whore.

    We ALL want to be the center of everyone’s existence. We want to be the envy of everyone even if its for something repulsive as picking our nose or going to the loo.

    its human nature to want to advertise/ inform your achievements. It increases self worth,after all u have worked ure ass off to be the best. yes, it is ridiculous when people advertise their self worth through marital bliss, but hey maybe for them finding a monogamous fuck partner or finding their someone to spend their lives with is the most valuable achievement.

    i mean what really is considered private these days.. we should all be glad that they’re not uploading any videos of intimacy, lets face it, can any of us ever resist those..

    as far as ‘A’ is considered, some people just have no consideration for scandalising lives.

  • I once changed my status to something along the lines of “Kung Fu Panda was best movie of 2008” (honestly it was) and was amazed and shocked at the kind of replies I got. Since then I have decided to not update my status anymore.

    But come to think of it, you have been changing your status frequently recently and changing your profile picture even more frequently. If I didn’t know you better, I would have said that your heart has started skipping a beat recently and you are trying very hard to keep your LOVE locked down

  • Asma Shabab,

    you just created a monster.
    You must copyright “monogamous fuck partner” ASAP. I predict its gonna go wild.

    Ibrahim,

    of course i update my status pretty frequently (on an average once a week) but they are never a cry for help or an announcement of marital bliss. In fact i love reading interesting, witty, fun to read updates. Asma and Kulsoom can vouch for that as I love reading their updates. Its just the whiny or deliriously happy ones that get my goat.

  • awesome!!

    i cannot agree more…i have fought with my so-called-antisocial frends whose status msgs force u to look up dictionaries/wikipedia etc and still leave you puzzled

    im the types who makes references to other ppl in me status messages – but nothing of the orgasmic sort 🙂

  • heh,
    this is one of the amazing posts I have gone through.

    keep posting-

  • and what about twitter? now that’s annoying – its like having status updates every second!

    i wrote an article on something that asma has written about – about the private becoming the public and all that..
    http://totaltrauma.blogspot.com/2007/01/goodbye-hello.html

  • lmao Tazeen! Brilliant Post.

    I update my status every few days…sometimes just out of habit, not that i have anything to say or that Im doing anything worth mentioning.

    I find it amusing how almost everyone on FB has built an image of how they want to be seen by others and how they can get so upset if that image is thwarted and the truth comes out.

    And you’re right, there are so many things on FB that are up for mis-interpretation.

  • LOL! Tez good one – I am speechless 😀

  • oh wen i do, that is wen i stop being constantly broke, ill know who to contact?

    but no, i dont get it, are u really sayng that the ISI is spending all its time fighting th jihadi’s? i mean, i dont for one moment think that all pakistani’s hate india, but i somehow feel like believing that the pakistani army as well as the intelligence whips up the hatred, as it sort of gives them a reason to be! but yeah, thats just an opinion….

  • Funny! I always wonder about the people who update regularly, wondering how can they can be living a life if they are always telling us about it. Oops, did I just say that? I’m horrible about updating, I forget or get busy or just well, life happens. 🙂

  • It’s true… I am always suspicious when people have the time to tell me what a blissful time they are having…. unless for them, facebook equals bliss!

    As honoured as I am to be called “thoroughly original” by the more seriously kick-ass Tazeen, I feel duty bound to confess that “gun powder, treason and plot” is actually a quote… commemorating Guy Faulkes Day in the UK…

    Love the blog!

  • Actually – come to think of it – some of us – gadget addicts – but not stereotypical devoid of life social outcasts – who own devices such as iPhones – take mere seconds to update FB status and then carry on about their moment in life…

    Also, in certain cases FB has become a way to keep abreast on recent happenings about their family/loved ones who live in far away lands.

  • @ Tazeen –

    Is not the internet big enough to allow those who wish to tell people about their marital bliss? Ok, so I am not a huge fans of those sorts of updates, but why be-grudge them? I am aware that there are those who have no time for chickenmonkeydog.com, but I can still post there in peace. If we can suffer the small-minded miscreants spreading hate and misunderstanding on the internet, certainly we can allow a little silly love too?

    (By the way, this comment is submitted in a friendly tone of voice … no anger here. Just wanted to point that out in case my language sounds rough. I am still battling jet lag and can’t really seem to focus my mind all that well.)

  • Thanks Zoe. I forgot the Guy Falks day and how much fun we all had with the fireworks.

    Zoobee, I agree with you to some extent but you would agree with me that you would NOT want to know the honeymoon details of people.

    Liam, you may be right. But I live in an overwhelmingly married and marriage oriented country and one is sooooo pressured to get married than any mention of marital bliss sets your teeth on edge.

  • Lovely post!

  • @ Tazeen –

    Ok, fair point. So it’s not so much the method of delivery as the message itself. I can definitely see how if the message is unwelcome in the first place, finding it so pervasive, indeed on almost every web page, can be tedious at best.

    On a tangential note, I enjoy learning more about Pakistan and its culture through your blog, so thanks for that.

  • lol.
    ‘if you are busy updating your status on facebook, you obviously are not having the honeymoon you should have.’ – my sentiments exaclty.
    First time here, nice blog.
    cheers.

  • Nino’s mom they think that they are making the world envious.
    thoughts you see… always trying to think what the other thinks.
    sad state of affairs

  • haha..yeah you’re dead right..gosh this is second post i’m reading which is related to facebook statuses..I wonder when last i updated my facebook status,errrrr two months ago?? yeah I think so:S

  • Twitter Updates

    * Tazeen is moving ahead – 16 days ago
    * Tazeen is trying to figure it out – 23 days ago
    * Tazeen in contemplating – 305 days ago

  • Props on the post! But I have to side with dude up there. Your Twitter has revealed you to be quite hypocritical.

  • It can be interesting to see the status updated, but they have to be willing to deal with comments that come when they write something. THAT is a part of social media people are not totally understanding yet!

  • Aziza and Harris,

    that’s three updates in almost a year. Gimme a break, will ya?

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