Friday, December 5, 2008

face value part 4

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Do you sometimes feel that you have many more friends than your Facebook friend list shows? Do you attribute this feeling to an inflated sense of your own popularity?

Before you pat yourself on the back like a trainee contortionist, listen carefully to a little voice saying ‘It’s not you, it’s us’. You are hearing the voice of the Sharelock-Holmes-type person on your friend list.

The-Sharelock-Holmes-type personality
This personality type contains the split personalities of Facebook. No, not like Jekyll and Hyde, because at least they surfaced in turns. The dual personalities of the Sharelock-Holmes type speak at the same time in the same sentence on each Facebook status update. One half of the split wants to be discrete and secretive, while the other wants to tell all. And they both get their way.

Classification: The story goes that for years after the birth of Facebook, eminent psychologists struggled to analyze these complex characters, and finally threw up their Freud texts in defeat. No one else wanted this daunting task, until a team that sold advertising space in newspapers volunteered to complete the classification process (there’s a school of thought that feels that the team heard split purse instead of split personality, but there’s no concrete evidence to support this view).

Applying their skills of splitting newspaper pages into any shape and size under the guise of innovation, the advertising space sellers created this classification of the Sharelock-Holmes-type personality.

Horizontal split: To understand this subtype, imagine a person whose head is covered with a secretive deerstalker detective type hat, while the body wears a flamboyantly unbuttoned trench coat. This subtype wants to be discrete and flashy at the same time.
This Sharelock-Holmes sub-type creates status updates like: Miss Cama has finally done it sutra style, but can't talk about it.

Vertical split: In this sub-type, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. But the right hand not only knows what the left hand is doing, it makes it a point to broadcast it to the world (ok, only left-handed people will truly understand the unfairness of this situation).
A typical status update might read like this: Godot is waiting for a waiter. And only God knows why. (notice how poor Godot or the left hand is clearly at a disadvantage).

Front page solus split: Both these personalities clamour equally for action, since both want to be at the centre of attention.
They typically have status updates like: Gemini wonders if she should or she shouldn’t.
Or Namedropper can’t choose between Obama and Paris Hilton.

Statutory warning
Whichever sub-type of the Sharelock-Holmes-personality type you have as a friend, you need to be careful about one thing.

They're all hugely infectious.

As you read the status updates of this personality type,
one half of you feels disgusted and wants to ignore these desperate attention seekers. The other half feels sorry for their dull lives and forces you to sound interested. Sometimes, one half of you gets irritable, while the other half is curious. OR, one half of you wants to put on a poker face, while the other half wants to poke out these cheap gimmicks.

See, you’re already on your way to becoming a Sharelock-Holmes type person yourself.

Watch out for: The-CV-in-a-nutshell type


  1. Totally digging your FB personalities. :)

  2. thanks mala! am grinning like a cheshire-cat-type personality at the compliment...

  3. how many more to go ashwini....hilarious, way to go. I think you must compile all of these and print it in some publication.

  4. thank you rahul.

    4 more in this series, rajesh, unless the updates on facebook throw up a new angle. and thanks for the positive reactions... yet :P