Arré Checklist: Four Reasons Why Indians Will Never #DeleteFacebook


Arré Checklist: Four Reasons Why Indians Will Never #DeleteFacebook

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza

This morning, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton (who quit the messaging service last year – three years after Facebook bought it for $16 billion) had an interesting message for his Twitter followers. In the wake of Facebook’s ongoing crisis regarding privacy and revelations about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of FB user data, Acton jumped on the #DeleteFacebook bandwagon. “It is time,” he tweeted ominously.

Like Acton, numerous individuals across the world have pledged their support to the #DeleteFacebook campaign, and the need to wipe away the very existence of Mark Zuckerberg’s social network from their lives. Even as the campaign becomes woke, closer home in India, it’s merely a hashtag. No one wants to unfriend their blue-and-white online buddy!

It’s not so much about the debate. We Indians outrage about a breach of personal data as much as the next person and we haven’t – yet – given into all that bullying over Aadhaar. But FB isn’t merely a social networking site. For us it’s a news service, matchmaking app, motivational self-help guide, place to stalk our relatives, and most importantly, a “totally irrelevant information” generator.

Naturally, we have a lot to lose if we do decide to #DeleteFacebook.

The 8803729th wedding photoshoot: Going by the number of wedding pictures our Facebook timelines regularly regurgitate, the site might as well be called Wedding Book. Without its omnipresent photographic reminders, how would you have ever come to know that the classmate you had totally forgotten about just had a photoshoot that was no different from the thousands of destination photoshoots you’re greeted with every other day? Or that their wedding was attended by every classmate except you? FB’s primary purpose is to serve as an endless wedding album and we’ll never have enough of those.

Facebook is also a great place to run into woke misogynists in sheep’s clothing.

Pseudo woke boy’s monologue on feminism: Facebook is also a great place to run into woke misogynists in sheep’s clothing. Without it, you will have missed out on the year’s greatest performance that can any day beat Rajkummar Rao’s turn in Newton. The pseudo-woke boy will type status after status preaching his support for gender equality, move you to tears with his progressive views on feminism, and his selfless praise for the resilience of women saying #MeToo. Unknown to the world, however, he continues moonlighting as the creepy dude who’ll magically forget the concepts of consent and boundaries and harass women by taking advantage of his power and reputation. This endangered species is only found on our timelines!

Offending relatives you didn’t know you were related to: Every Indian family’s favourite hobby is now to increase and strengthen its presence on Facebook. As a result, nowadays you end up meeting relatives you’d never heard of, but who make their presence felt in the Friend Request tab. Whether you choose to accept or decline their request, one thing’s for certain: you’ll end up offending them. If you accept their friendship, they’ll likely get offended by the fact that you wear short skirts, put up too many pictures with your guy friends, and never reply to their gibberish comments. And if you don’t accept their request, be prepared to have your ego be the topic of discussion at every family gathering where your relative headlines as the victim. Who in their right mind would volunteer to give up this wholesome family experience?

Self-loathing of the highest order: Without Facebook, we Indians would have to face a bleak future where we’re forced to give up our national hobby aka laziness and be productive. You know what that means? We’ll also never be visited by the self-loathing genie anymore! After all, without Facebook how will we waste copious amounts of time mocking haiku poets and hate-reading terrible tiny tales? Without Facebook, how would we also compare every part of our dull lives with that of successful strangers and mope around the entire day instead of taking charge of our lives?

#DeleteFacebook might just be the worst thing that could happen to us. All in favour, press the Like button.