Facebook comments

I find most comments on facebook fraud and think they don’t add value. These are of the format of “oh how louuvely! you are looking grrreat in this pic”. I don’t know what value the commentor is trying to add. They are essentially of the “i vas here” kind of comments, and do nothing in order to further the conversation. Yes, I believe that pics on facebook are there so as to foster conversation. To bring people together. To get different viewpoints on certain momentous events. And you have people spoiling the show with motherhood statements.

Speaking of motherhood statements, a batchmate from school has recently put up pictures of her newborn daughter. And once again most comments ranged from “oh so pretty” to “congraaaaaaats” to just “awwwwww” – again none of them adding value (plis to be noting that this is all context sensitive. There are certain situations where any of the phrases I’ve mentioned here add tremendous value. Just that they’re mostly grossly misused). I wanted to write a comment there saying “stop making motherhood statements” but then held back since the new mother was also of hte “awwwwwww” “soo pretty” types.

When I write comments somewhere, be it on other blogs, or on people’s photos, or events, or statuses, I try to make sure that I’m adding some value to the discussion. If not anything else, I’ll write something that could possibly lead to further discussion, rather than just leaving comments to announce that I vas there. Perhaps the only place where I leave out of place comments is twitter, where I’m guilty of putting the odd “i’m listening” comment.

And then there are people who put up their own picsΒ  on facebook. Someone, in a valiant attempt to mark their attendance, comments saying “nice pic”. And then you have the subject of the picture (that is the one that put it up) saying “thanks”. Even though the nice pic was supposed to be of the marking attendance type, I suppose it was a comment aimed at the photographer. I don’t know why the subject is even trying to claim credit for the pics – or maybe they just assume that it was their extra photogenic faces that made the pic as nice as it was.

I remember that back in B-school, a number of courses had marks for CP (class participation). And professors would emphasize that it was not the quantity but hte quality of CP that would matter. Occasionally you would have a Teaching Assistant sitting there marking people instantly on their CP. The threat that valueless CP would draw negative marks was enough to keep the discussions interesting.

So yeah you have people telling me that some of my CP on their pics is usually arbit. Arbit it might be at times, but at least it helps foster discussion. It raises crucial questions that might have otherwise not been asked, and helps keeps the putter of photos honest. It helps draw in other intelligent and mildly arbit people to the phpoto, and sometimes results in absolutely brilliant conversation. Now tell me – how many times have you seen an “oh so louuvvely” comment leading to brilliant conversation?

So the next time you want to comment on a picture on facebook, think twice, and think if your comment adds value. Think if it will foster discussion; think if it will make people pull up their socks and ask themselves uncomfortable questions. Think if it will draw in other similar-minded intelligent people. And even after all this you can’t decide whether to put the CP, you only have Gandhiji’s talisman to help you.

PS: you don’t need to think twice before putting CP on this blog. however, useless CP will be ignored and not be replied to


I was going through a friend’s wedding album. Here are the comments on one of the photos:

  • Great pictures! You look gorgeous, _________!
  • Aaaww…You look so beautiful __________! I’m so upset I missed it all πŸ™ Hope you had tons of fun!!! πŸ˜€
  • Congrats ___________:))

The friend (i’ve blanked out the name) hasn’t replied to any of them (and all the above comments are by girls – refer to megha’s comment below).

And then on another pic, there is a valoo-adding comment – which goes something like – “is this the part where you run around trees singing songs?” That adds great value. Unfortunately, the person who got married has replied to this comment with a fairly lame comment so I don’t know how far this conversation will go.

19 thoughts on “Facebook comments”

  1. Nice entry, though one point to be considered is that people put up their pics on facebook and orkut to invite such CP. People do put up 100 pictures of an event when only 10-20 would suffice.

    P.S. The CP Argument is wonderful. Maybe user comment ranking based on content and up/downvotes will be the next thing to hit web2.0

    1. problem wtih user comments (i’m talking about in general and not this specific instance) is that people put NED for it and give random arbit comments. won’t work at all unless you have a very limited set to rate – like say Amazon or Netflix

  2. Haha.. I agree to the post quite a bit. But the fact that you visit the page and see the pic doesn’t suffice for some ppl. You need to mark attendance and say “I was there”, so you’ll find the random comments. And regarding the profile pic kinda snaps, well… you need to credit the individual to come up with a good expression πŸ˜‰ [Arbit CP]

  3. Facebook’s Like feature is a much better way to put attendance. Doesn’t get in the way of any actual conversation.

    OTOH, if someone takes time to upload hajaar photos and nobody bothers to even put attendance, they will lose enthu πŸ™‚

    Compared to status messsages, blogs etc. with textual content, photos require very little effort for analysis. So more people tend to put attendance on photos.

    I am not sure people care too much about discussion on photos. They get used as an easy way to broadcast stuff and also as a record for future friends. People just use the real world album model online too.

    1. agree on the enthu front. but then, you don’t put valueless comments which the person can’t even reply properly to!

      look – by discussion i don’t expect to discuss global warming based on someone’s pictures of hte rain. it should be some kind of mad intellectually stimulating stuff! or sarcastic. or leg-pulling…

  4. er..when did facebook become a virtual b-school?…i don’t intend my pics to become case studies for discussion and nor do, i guess, a majority of people..you may personally feel that way and if so, add a rider to every album you upload that only comments that further the pursuit of “discussion” will be published..to me, albums serve two purpose…one was to tell the world that i was at a certain place with certain people doing certain things..and two and more importantly, it gives people a timepass activity to indulge in…comments help the first case by confirming to the uploader that his message has been received and help the second case by providing avenues for even more timepass…:)

    1. timepass

      exactly. comments on a pic should provide good timepass to everyone who looks at the pic. and “awwww you look gud” comments don’t add any timepass value.

  5. Awwwwww..
    Cho chweeet..

    On a more serious note, I agree with what you said but then Bj above pretty much summed it up. There are people who do not want everything to be thought spawning, sometimes there are people who do not want anything to be thought spawning. “lollzzz” and “dats mah pic” is enough conversation for them. So I suppose they have a right to be that ways, irrespective of whether we like it or not. Just like you have a right to make a post about it.

    On a related note, I loath it people start meta-posting i.e: posting about posting something. E.g: “Had an amazing weekend at XYZ, will post pics soon”, and this happens every three days. We arent really dying to see your pics A-hole.

  6. Yay! I finally agree with you on something!

    The one that annoys the hell out of me is when women (this is unfortunately very chick-specific) comment on each others pictures all day. Typical comments: “Babe, you look great!” or “Ooooh, you’ve lost so much weight” or “Stunning!”. I’m not against saying kind words to people but the annoying part is when women change their profile pictures almost twice a week- obviously the new picture comes in when the comments flattering the old one have reached a sizable number and the subject of the picture is starting to feel super neglected.

    In fact, the new ‘I like’ features helps here a bit- you don’t need to keep writing “Stunning!” or “Fab!” again and again

    1. wow. you’ve put in here what I thought of writing and didn’t since i thought i’d then be accused of being sexist. and interesting analysis about frequent changing of user-pics.

      problem with a lot of people is that “i like” is not enough for them. it is too grammatical, actually

      1. The latent lesbianism in comments like “Babe, you look great” is what keeps our mind engaged in fantasy world.
        The youth of the male species staunchly support such comments and discourage the blogger(wimp’s) attempt to demonize them.

  7. Heyyy congratssss: you sound like an ajjappa!

    Funny post, but terribly mind-numbing interpretation of the “comment” option. Maybe you use FB to share info and links, show your wit, share opinions and debate, and generally do a commentary on everything around you. But that’s just you. But to most others, FB is a freewheeling forum for people to keep in touch and share what’s happening in their lives and generally gas around without overthinking their actions. It’s fine to expect smart conversation, but it’s dumbass to impose / demand smart conversation starters on FB all the time. Some people may not be articulate enough or may not have the time / interest to indulge in them. Yet they mean well and wish to keep in touch in different ways.

    I for one use FB to express what I “feel”. Some people like you use it to express what they “think”.

    Infact I think the comment tab should be re-named because it automatically invites evaluations and opinions. Heck I think life is much more than just opinions and acting smart.

    So overall I think FB is a perfectly nice place with all its spontaneity, its variety in users and ways of expressing – and I doubt if it needs an I&B Ministry to do any “quality control”!!

    1. 1. facebook should give a “dislike” option along with the “like” option
      2. i should be allowed to “like” or “dislike” comments.

      i’m against any kind of censorship or rules or whatever. just that hwen i’m irritated i need to show my irritation, and in a non-destructive manner. i think i’ll start ATFing (ATF = arbit task force) any comment thread which goes “awwww you look soooo gud”.

      problem is this “awww you luk so gud” comments don’t create much gas also. it defeats the purpose of facebook being a nice nonsense timepass place πŸ˜›

      from now on i’ll go to all these comments and put my own comment saying “guLLenari” (jackal)

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