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How The Indian Caste System Has Evolved On Facebook

09/11/2016 9:37 AM IST | Updated 11/11/2016 8:42 AM IST
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This is my third running year on Facebook. After months of an off/on relationship, I have finally managed to commit and become a true blue Facebooker.

During the course of these three years, I've discovered that FB is the only place where it's perfectly acceptable to talk to a wall. It's starting to be a little like my fridge: I know there's nothing in there, but I keep checking it anyway...

I have checked it so often in fact that I have been able to discern that the ancient Indian caste system has evolved and donned a new online avatar. So, here are Facebook's four "social castes" in no particular sequence:

The FB Vaisyas

Selling the dream

The bros, the babes, the auntyjis and their betajis. These are the ones who incessantly post pictures of their buzzing parties and jet set phoren trips: template destinations, template postures, template smiles. Like the Vaisyas, they promote trade—they inspire me to throw parties to amplify my social bandwidth. They goad me into goading my husband for another holiday. They inject the excitement of domestic fights into an otherwise boringly peaceful married life. They are the Joneses who keep my envy meter ticking.

FB Vaisyas promote trade—they inspire me to throw parties to amplify my social bandwidth. They goad me into goading my husband for another holiday.

On the downside, their weeds threaten to spread out and swallow my precious time and smother my intellectual growth. So I try and limit this number to one or two—small enough to save my cerebrum from the tentacles of hedonism, big enough for a healthy dose of envy.

The FB Kshatriyas

Social media warriors

This lot are totally tuned in with the pulse of the audience. They are the warriors who excavate quotes from the womb of the net and share them on their timeline. Such is their command over their circle that they can garner 200 sycophantic likes even if they talk about their morning ablutions (how come I share something apparently sensible and get just 10-15 likes?).

They are like MF Hussein whose paintings were alleged to command a fortune even if he rhythmically moved his brush to whatever music was being played.

The social warriors can out-argue every social/political opinion expressed by their friends.

Definitely, the Kshatriyas.

The FB Sudras

The service providers

These are the ones who watch all the action from the sidelines, pitching in only once in a blue moon with some input. They are the fillers which help you climb the like ladder. Like the Sudras, their primary duty is to serve the other three castes. They usually open their newsfeed and randomly start spraying it with likes. The last time I posted about my grandmother's demise, I got 30 likes! Back rubbing is the name of the game. You scratch mine; I scratch yours.

FB Kshatriyas are the warriors who excavate quotes from the womb of the net and share them on their timeline.

On a positive note, the fence sitters are also the vicarious intellectuals who may not have the gift of expression, but they know a gem when they see one.

The FB Brahmins

The bearers of enlightenment

These intellectuals go by the commandment: have opinion, will express. Like the Brahmins, they are the conduit between God and us mortals. They spend their lives in the pursuit of knowledge and then pour it all out into the archives of Facebook.

They treat social media as a channel to spread light, awareness and knowledge for the upliftment of society. They are well worth a follow because they can pollinate your shrivelled mind with the gold dust of their perspective.

But they can also be polarizing. So you just have to cross your fingers and hope that their opinion is the right opinion.

***

Yes, some people are annoying on Facebook. But people are annoying in real life too. At least on Facebook, you have the liberty to sigh when your friend posts another self-congratulatory reference. It's much more tiring to hear the same in person.

The BEST part about Facebook is that you can even make money from it. All you need to do is go to your account settings, deactivate your profile and go to work!

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