Art & Culture
‘Like’ My Page
Mark Zuckerberg, I am afraid, got it all wrong. The idea wasn’t bad, that is giving people the opportunity to market their goods and services on Facebook. The method provided was also easy: all we needed to do was to create a page, upload photos and information, and ask our friends to ‘like’ it. So, we got busy making pages to sell sarees, candles, jewellery and so on. Once done, we chased our friends to ‘like’ them. Once we ran out of friends, we added strangers as friends and within a minute of them accepting our ‘friend request’ we served them with a ‘like my page’ request. As the pages grew in numbers, there were more pages than people available to ‘like’ them. That is when we approached pets that had Facebook accounts and asked them to ‘like’ our page.
But, this ‘like’ business was not taking us anywhere! Our nice friends who had ‘liked’ our page and put words of appreciation on our posts were not buying our stuff. We tried improving the quality of our photos and the models showcasing them. But, nothing worked. So, then Zuckerberg and team, still clueless, came up with a new idea: they sent us nudges to ‘promote’ our page. For a small fee, our post would reach a larger audience.
That’s how my friend’s post reached Sunder Jaghina who lives in a small town in Punjab. He ‘liked’ her page. And, to express his admiration for her crochet pieces, he sent her photographs of his genitals. She is still recovering from the shock and has suspended her page, temporarily.
I also created a Facebook page to market my books. I knew the task wasn’t easy. It is easy to get 200 plus likes on a selfie with hashtags like #justbeingme #tuesdaymusings #innerbeauty #lovinglife. On such posts, there is a guaranteed drooling frenzy of praises with the best pickings of adjectives or with SUP? (In a recent development, some people post an image that says SUP? as a comment to anything, even if it is an invite to your grandmother’s funeral service.)
Sadly, my posts did not involve a selfie with hashtags, only excerpts from book. I got nothing. Not even a SUP? ! I had to think fast. I posted cover pages of my books. Still, nothing. So, then I kicked myself into the frame and posted photos of me holding the book. One friend liked it.
Finally, I succumbed to the promotion-offer. For a small fee, Zuckerberg and team let me choose my preferred location, demographics and made sure that a post on my page elbowed its way into people’s ‘walls’. I waited with bated breath. Some new ‘likes’ popped up. The first message that pinged me was from Mintu Chaudhary : ‘Hi, Wanna chat? I Punjabi? You?’ I was heartbroken. And not because Mintu Chaudhary was Punjabi and I am not.
I decided to stay positive and see if any book lovers would show up. Alas, it was not to be! Unless we can count Sant Badariya ka Chhora, Possible Man, and Y S Thakur Munna as bibliophiles. The messages from them, so far are:
‘Hiiiiiii!’ (six extra ‘i’s in it for a warm vibe), ‘Are you single lady?’ and ‘I am frandly gai. U?’.
Best-selling author Rachna Singh (www.rachnasingh.in) is a sit-down comedienne