x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Facebook sharing has ruined just enjoying the holiday moment

Social networking has changed the way we used to collect memories now it's all about posting pictures and how many "likes" we get from our friends.

It is that depressing time of year when the summer holidays have ended. The bottle of sun block has once again begun to collect dust from lack of use. The tacky key chains that appeared so desirable in the tourist souvenir shop have been hidden out of sight.

All that remain are blissful memories and camera memory chips full of photos. Hundreds and hundreds of photos, and we know exactly what we plan to do with them. We will be putting them all on to Facebook, and urging our closest friends to “like” them so we don’t look like loners.

When I was little, I documented my first holiday abroad – to Paris – in a scrapbook, filled with boarding passes, Eurostar tickets, torn-out pieces from Louvre pamphlets and a photo the Emirates Airline air hostess took of me. This was thrust under the noses of protesting friends and dinner guests, and their verdict demanded – usually a weak “how lovely”.

Technology has spawned a modern equivalent of this obnoxious practice. As I scroll through my Facebook news feed, I have no option but to encounter hundreds of photo albums. It is essential, of course, to think up flattering, witty comments for these, or risk facing the wrath of the subjects of the photos. These dastardly plotters know that animosity can be discreetly expressed by not hitting the thumbs up button when it is my turn to post something. The sudden influx is because everyone’s return flights are just landing back home in Dubai. I know because of all the statuses I saw that were something along the lines of “Just touched down in Dubs!”

I am at a loss to comprehend why anyone would think that their 1,000 snaps are all that interesting to the rest of the world. I have had enough of historical monuments in Europe, African safaris and beaches in the Maldives. The group of friends partying in an Ayia Napa nightclub will only serve to make me jealous. I couldn’t care less if you had toast with baked beans today.

Rather than enjoying the moment, it is now imperative to show the world how much fun you’re having. Besides, pictures of a person on Facebook do not resemble the person in the least. My profile photo makes me look much better presented than I am, lacking the usual healthy quantity of pimples, glasses and frizzy hair.

You could argue that if it irks me, I should simply avoid Facebook. But I don’t want to be the only person in the universe who doesn’t know that X is now in a relationship with Y. Besides, sharing useless information serves the purpose of establishing a hierarchical system – the top dogs are the ones whose posts have the most comments. Now, let me just check if that awe-inspiring shot, of me grinning my head off in front of a carousel by the Thames, has gathered any “likes” yet.

• The writer is a 17-year-old student in Dubai