Okay, that’s not completely true. My wife likes me in real life, but doesn’t really ‘like’ me on Facebook. Or is it the other way around? I’m not sure. All I know is that I can’t always count on a ‘like’ from her. As for my mom, she isn’t on Facebook a lot, and when she is, it’s usually to look at pictures that her friends have posted, and perhaps read a message from me: “Mom, I just posted something on my wall. Please ‘like’ it.”
She immediately responds: “I loved it!”
Me: “No, Mom, I don’t want you to love it. I want you to ‘like’ it.”
Mom: “What is wrong with the world today that people don’t want love, only like?”
It’s certainly a different world than the world she grew up in. There was no Facebook and Twitter in those days, of course. There was no way to count how many people liked you – and if you happened to have a lot of followers, you put ‘Guru’ or ‘Swami’ in front of your name.
Nowadays, if you want to be ‘somebody’ on the Internet, you’d better have thousands of ‘likes’ and even more followers. And if you’re a real celebrity – or want to look like one – you’d better have a million followers or more. So what should you do if you don’t have enough ‘likes’ or followers? Should you badger your mom and wife to keep retweeting your tweets? No, not if you have a few bucks to spare and don’t mind having lots of friends and followers in Bangladesh.
As the Associated Press reported recently, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is an “international hub of click farms.” A click farm is a place where people are employed to do nothing but click. Using numerous accounts and network servers, they will ‘like’ you, follow you, friend you. Their job is to make companies and individuals look popular. And it doesn’t cost that much, as I found out when I made a call to Dhaka.
“ClicksRus. May I help you?”
“Yes, can you tell me what services you provide?”
“All services. You want followers? We can follow you. You want ‘likes’? We can ‘like’ you. You want YouTube views? We can view you. We are a one-stop Internet popularity company.”
“How much are your ‘likes’ going for?”
“What about Twitter followers?”
“For only $10, we can give you 1,000 Twitter followers. And for $1,000, we can make you a celebrity.”
“Just $1,000 to be a celebrity? Wow, I love it. Wait till I tell my wife that she doesn’t have to follow me anymore! What about Facebook friends?”
“For $100, we can give you 1,000 friends. That’s only 10 cents per friend.”
“Holy Kaká, I love Dhaka! Not since my college days have I had friends so cheap. Please tell me more. What will these friends be like?”
“We can supply any kind of friend. White friend, black friend, brown friend. Straight friend, gay friend, bi-sexual friend.”
“I don’t care about the color of my friends or their sexual orientation. I just want them to ‘like’ everything I post. Can you do that?”
“Oh yes, we can do that. If you have enough money, we can make you the most popular person on Facebook.”
“Even more popular than Justin Bieber? He has more than 60 million ‘likes,’ you know.”
“Of course, I know. We ‘like’ him a lot in Dhaka.”