Living for likes

2014-05-28 10:00

From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, Malibongwe Tyilo confronts his inner Sally Field

It all starts off quite innocently. I’m on the web surfing through sites, clicking through from timeline to Tumblr to article to TMZ video, then boom! Gold.

I’ve found an article, a picture, a video, so funny, so insightful, so awesome that once I share it, my Facebook friends will freeze in awe of my implied brilliance, humour and wit.

Their impressed hearts will pump just enough blood to thaw their arms so they can click the like button.

A few moments later, once they feel they’ve taken the required time to think of an almost equally brilliant response, they’ll shower me with comments through which I’ll hear the sweet sound of their slow claps in the distance.

On Twitter, they won’t be able to favourite and retweet fast enough. I’ll trend so hard that Helen Zille will scream: “Bring me my botox now!” Gwede Mantashe will follow me.

I won’t follow back. Khaya Dlanga will take a day off Twitter in honour of my brilliance. Khanyi Mbau will finally take that bow and retire from social media.

The moment will be so awesome that I’ll have to post a smug selfie for my Instagram followers, a smufie if you will. I’ll hashtag it #blessed or #highlyfavoured so they know how much better my life is than theirs.

They’ll shower me with enough Instagram hearts to add up to a three-digit, nay, four- digit total. My inner Sally Field will be like: “You like me, you really, really like me.”

So I hit that share button and then pass time by scrolling through my timeline while checking out the status updates of lesser minds.

Ag shem, Thato, still posting those sunset pics with the motivational messages: “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

Really now, how about I unfriend your simple ass. There’s poor Peter, still posting those cat memes. How positively retro. Here, be blessed with my superior update.

Five, 10, 15 minutes. Not a single like? WTF? Then comes the inner dialogue.

“Is it me?”

“Shit, should I remove the pic?”

“Okay, chill, give it a few more minutes.”

Another five minutes go by. The phone doesn’t vibrate, no red dot by the notification bar to break the monotony of that blue-and-white colour scheme. Why the &*%$ did they choose blue anyway? Why can’t I choose my own colour?

Relax. Check timeline. Thato’s motivational sunset has 100 likes. Really?

Breathe. Check Twitter. Crickets. Helen Zille is trending. I unfollow Khaya Dlanga just for shits and giggles.

Back to Facebook. God-fearing Lebo is grateful to some higher being for this day. I permanently hide this and all her future posts from my news feed. I remind myself that I must get better at screening future friend requests for basics.

Then a moment of sanity hits. I remember that I “don’t give a f**k”, I’m all about “do you boo” what other people think is their business.

My self-esteem so doesn’t depend on what a bunch of people who are probably offline think of me. Really, whatevs, totes over it.

Oh wait, red dot, a like, from highly motivated sunset Thato.

Surely the god of Lebo’s understanding is trying to mock me. Nah! Delete post.

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