This is your life, and it's ending one Facebook post at a time

The social media site, Facebook, turns 10 years old this week. (AFP)

The social media site, Facebook, turns 10 years old this week. (AFP)

Did you know that some person on Facebook has a cat who can't play the piano, but she's found this video of this other cat that can and shared it on her page, and now it's on my news feed and so now I know it exists too? Fascinating.

Or that some thirtysomething is going through an existential crisis and is dealing with it by posting selfie after selfie in between quaint little status updates laden with passive aggression and subliminal messages? Profound.

Or I bet you didn't know that without Facebook, you would never be nagged by an endless number of notifications that you had to play Candy Crush Saga, or Farmville, or sign up for some birthday app, so that you could remember everyone's birthday in the whole wide social media. Helpful.

*Scroll, scroll, scroll.*

*Does quick scan of news feed.*

*Likes randomly.*

*Scrolls back up again.*

Facebook: "What's on your mind?"

*Types something profound here (probably quotes a 14th century monk who fought for women's rights or something like that. Doesn't think too much about said monk.
Just that he's making status sound clever. Monk probably not real. Monk probably a figment of someone else's imagination, shared on someone else's feed, in meme form. Did not think to verify – it's on Facebook.*

*Hits "post".*

*Smiles in admiration to self for making wise choice when it comes to status update and not announcing new body mass index number, or current meal. Wonders how many likes, shares and comments it will get.*

*Scrolls, scrolls, scrolls.*

*Skips long status updates about politics and people who tend to be too vocal (Facebook is not the space for this. No one cares).*

*Starts to work self up about aforementioned status updates.*

*Comments. Engages. Gets involved. Lacks attention span or constructive opinion. Gives up.*

*Thinks: "People are idiots."*

*Scrolls back up.*

Facebook: "What's on your mind?"

*Types: "I hate people who feel like they need to have an opinion about everything, who think Facebook is a platform for showing off how clever you are. We know you know a lot of words okay? Geez. Get off my wall, you are so annoying. Besides, what you're saying isn't smart anyway. Get a life (insert a minimum of about nine exclamation marks here)."*

*Hits "post".*

*Considers deleting person who inspired above rant but then remembers it would be weird to re-invite them at later stage. Also considers that deleting them might upset them so much that they hit the "block this person" button, making stalking and inappropriate inquisitiveness about said person's life no longer an option. More than that, there would be no reason to post rubbish on Facebook about someone else's Facebook habits ever again.*



*Notices article from the New York Times or similar news publication about something really, really important sounding. Doesn't remember what it is the next day. But definitely knows it was really, really important sounding. Enough, in fact, to share on own wall.*

*Shares on own wall.*

"So incredibly smart and clever," thinks everyone, everywhere, ever, always. Obvs.


*Wonders what ex-partner is up to ... *

*Stalks ex-partner on Facebook page. Relationship is over. Facebook friendship maintained. Gets upset at sight of ex's Facebook wall.*

*Thinks: Ex is baby-sitting another person's cat? What?!*

*Writes lengthy wall post on best friend's wall with messages detailing actions taken by ex on ex's own Facebook wall in past three years since ex has become ex.

*Scrolls up.*

*No Likes. No comments on own status updates. Has existential crisis. Posts selfie.*


*Scrolls back up.*

Facebook: "What's on your mind?"

*Types: "This is your life and it's ending one Facebook post at a time."*


Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee became Africa’s first social media editor in a newsroom at the Mail & Guardian, where she went on to work as deputy digital editor and a disruptor of the peace through a weekly column. A stint as the program manager for Impact Africa – a grant-disbursing fund for African digital journalists – followed. She now pursues her own writing full time by enraging readers of EWN and Women 24 with weekly and bi-monthly columns respectively. She also contributes to the Sunday Times and a range of other publications. Mohamed Dawjee's inaugural book of essays: Sorry, not sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa, is due for release by Penguin Random House in April 2018.Follow her on Twitter: @sage_of_absurd Read more from Haji Mohamed Dawjee

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