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One meets many characters through Facebook that one would never have the chance of doing in actual life. These virtual acquaintances have many potentials: some stay as acquaintances, others become friends, and some reveal themselves as adversaries. These categories in which people fall, are far more defined on Facebook which gives one the luxury of getting to know the character through their written behaviour. This is extremely difficult to camouflage, as writing is more revealing of the true character of the writer than of the type of information delivered.
Some people on Facebook try to portray a character which is all-knowing but gracious about it. Then when one follows them long enough one finds that they tend to use a great deal of other peoples’ words without giving credit where it is due. They might not be even aware that they are doing it deliberately. They just need the resultant gratification of people’s appreciation.
Some Facebook users want a continuous presence by constantly sharing bits of information ranging from breaking news of any type, to jokes, to pictures, to famous saying – a hodgepodge of data without rhyme or reason. The motivation behind doing that is rather illusive. Is it being a closet scoop reporter, or is it the need for constant attention and always seeing one’s name in print? One goes into their profile and finds absolutely nothing that they have written personally, so it is impossible to assess who they really are.
Other Facebook users are dedicated completely to one aspect of their life. They are so focused on that particular aspect that no matter what else is going on in the world, to them the only thing that exists is what they are interested in. These are generally very dedicated people who give their whole to that one obsession to the exclusion of everything else. They are quite appreciated in their field of interest but rarely make contact outside that field.
Then there are the Facebook butterflies who like to gracefully flit from place to place, leaving little treasures of beauty and fun wherever they touch, but nothing substantial about who they really are. These are balanced out by the heavily serious Facebook users who are going on and on, forever laboriously drumming into one their own point of view of everything that they see, hear, touch or perceive. They could be very interesting, but eventually tend to become a bit suffocating.
There are those who write beautifully and could rivet one with their description of a flying ant’s wings, and others whose style is so pedantic it bores one to tears getting through a subject that is usually fascinating.
There is the passive aggressive character who hides behind a deceptively mild style but who harbours deadly poison in every sweet, kindly seeming phrase. Though these are usually more difficult to fathom right away, but there is a dead giveaway to their true nature. They insist on being always right and they are never gracious in their victory. They pummel their quarry with sickly sweet rhetoric, but are never generous in return. It is a sign of the true passive aggressive.
Other types of Facebook users are those that have caught on to the potential within that medium to promote their business or to use it to defraud others. Hackers are a whole different breed of users.
Facebook is so full of a myriad of characters. It is a microcosm of the world. Shakespeare would have had a field day with it.
22 June 2016

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