The folly of Facebook


Class 8-9 (2017) was asked to write a screenplay, persuading one of their family members not to use Facebook and WhatsApp. Here is the best entry by Jyotirmoy Saha of Class 8. 

Me and my brother were playing chess. And a notification comes in his phone, he checks it out and shouts ‘Yes’.

Me: What happened? Trump is assassinated or something?

Brother (in an excited voice): No, no. I got another friend request, and now I have a thousand friends. Isn’t that cool?

Me: Well, check. And how many friends do you have in real life?

Brother: I have five of them, and one of them has one thousand and twenty-seven friends. I have to overtake him, he always boasts.

Me: I see. Well, make your move.

He brings his knight in front, and I had to back off. Then he made his move and continued checking Facebook.

Me: So Facebook friends are like points, I mean whoever will have the most amount of Facebook friends will be like the elites and whoever will have the least amount of Facebook friends will be like the slaves.

Brother: Aaa… not exactly like that, but ones with more FF are more famous in the class than the ones with less FF.

Me: FF stands for Fake friends, right?

Brother (raising his voice a bit): NO, it stands for Facebook friends.

Me: Is there any difference between Facebook friends and Fake friends?

Brother (in the same raised voice): Yes, of course. One has to do a lot of hard work to get Facebook friends, you can’t expect to sit at home and get a thousand friends. You have to take selfies in dangerous positions.

Me (in a sarcastic tone): Yeah, yeah, it’s an extremely hard work.

Brother (raised voice): And do you know how I got the last friend request?

Me: No. How?

Brother: Yesterday I posted a photo of mine with a snake around my neck for which I got 257 likes, and the last friend request came because of that.

Me: What will you do with all those Fake friends? They are not going to help you when you meet with an accident.

Brother: It’s called Facebook friends not Fake friends. And why are you taking it in this way? Facebook friends are there so that you can chat with them.

Me: And waste time, right?

Brother: I don’t waste time. When I am bored I have to spend the time somehow, right?

Me: Why do you have to spend your free time in chatting with those Fake friends?

Brother: That’s Facebook friends.

Me: Doesn’t matter. Both are same.

Brother: I have the free will to choose whatever I want to do in my free time. You don’t have to lecture me on what I should do.

Me: Freewill is a myth. I have told you that many times.

A phone call comes to him from one of his friend. He goes aside and talks, and comes back.

Me: Who called?

Brother: Ramkrishna, that guy you saw with me in the field.

Me: Yeah, yeah, that fat guy. Why did he call?

Brother: He asked me to attack my mirror base in Clash of Clans.

Me: I see.

Brother: And you know I have reached Town Hall 9, and its half way to be maxed up.

Me: How is that going to help you? When you go for an interview, will you be asked for your Town Hall level?

Brother (in a bit irritated voice): “Why do you always think in this way? All of my friends plays Clash of Clans. So I also play.

Me: Just like a sheep, following the herd.

Brother (in an even more irritated voice): Why sheep? The game is really interesting. Ones you start playing the game you will get addicted.

Me: Drugs are also addictive but they aren’t good for health.

Brother: You can’t compare Clash of Clans with drugs!

Me: Why?

Brother: Drugs are injurious to health, but Clash of Clans is not. That game is not going to kill someone.

Me: Oh, really? All this Facebook, WhatsApp and this Clash of Clans is just wasting your precious time, and ultimately that’s going to be injurious to your health. And do you know a person was killed because of a rumour that was propagated through WhatsApp?

Brother: But whoever uses WhatsApp should be smart enough to know which things are rumour and which all things are truth.

Me: You yourself believed in the rumour that the new two thousand rupees notes has a satellite chip in it.

Brother: Yeah, but after I came to know the truth I didn’t believe in it, right?

Me: I only told you the truth. If I hadn’t, then you would have continued to believe in that rumour.

Brother: OK, that’s enough. Come to the point, how is Facebook, WhatsApp and Clash of Clans going to be injurious to my health by wasting my time?

Me: Well, instead of wasting your time in those you can utilize your free time to do something useful.

Brother: Like?

Me:  For example, reading a book to improve your reading skills. Or you can learn cooking so that you can be a bit more independent.

Brother: And what am I going to do with my reading skills?

Me (in a pissed off voice): What do you mean? When you go for a job interview they check your skills, they will not check how many Fake friends you have or what is your Town Hall level.

Brother: A lot of time is left before I look for a job.

Me: You are already in second year of college, and you think a lot of time is left!

Brother: Don’t give lectures now, okay?

Me: When you will grow up and you will not have a chance to change your past, you will understand that I wasn’t lecturing. And it’s checkmate.

Then the game gets over, and he just walks out of the room. And after that he did start reading a book, but he continued playing Clash of Clans and posting selfies though it reduced a bit.