My best friend and my confidant is my girl, my daughter, my pride and reason for joy. A young woman of accomplishments, beauty and grace. One who speaks as good as she moves to dance tunes. One who can lead and one who can assert herself when needed. A child and a woman, a girl and a lady all at once. Sometimes I wonder at the fierceness of her independence when she surprises me with her care and the innate child that she is.
Well, one such evening, my lady did me a favor. She removed the Facebook app from my mobile and said, “Mom, you love writing, don’t you? Now you will have more time for it”. I turned to argue but decided to give it a shot.
Can I live with out FB? I mean, can I exist without checking the FB, almost frantically as if my very life depended on it? I am not great at making new friends, though I am kind of pleasant and all to stay my friend for a long haul is an uphill task.I ,for one may not respond. I might reach out and ask about my friend’s whereabouts but to expect me to wish someone on birthdays, to reach out with niceties on regular basis is too much to expect. I might just read the message and go into my day dreams, that happens a lot with me, and age has not dulled my dream-abilities!
Given this situation, it is clear that there are not many people remembering me or trying to connect with me. There are not many people constantly updating me with valuable information. Yet, there I was hanging on to the app that told me who is doing what, which places they visited and what they ate and did not and I hanged on to each update as if it were my life line.My chief excuse was that the FB helped me connect with my students, which it did. Apart from checking FB I also like to or have to work, write, clean, cook, read,drive and teach for survival yet I was a parasite living on others’ happiness, their intimate moments of joy and sorrow.I derived some sort of voyeuristic pleasure out of their existential pleasures and pains to overcome my own.
I am still on face book and I am still not very infrequent but dislodging the app was a boon to me. It has been my effort to decide upon on particular time in the day to check the social media and I am struggling to implement it.
I used to write lots of letters to my friends and again there were not many of them, Suvedi, Naveen,Soniya then Bindu and Sudha and some times to an uncle or aunt or a sister, that was all. I wrote regularly and enjoyed sharing what I felt until the business of living got the better of me and my writing abilities. Sending greeting cards was in those times a regular annual event. Achan would get me and my brother new year cards of our choice and we would sit down to write to all those distant and near cousins, relatives, family friends,elders. I remember how I used to send the best greeting cards to my home from my school hostel. It was this year, when she visited me that Soniya told me that the sisters who ran the school themselves sold us the cards they had received! Oh! I never knew that. I had a huge collection of letters and greeting cards which I preserved with a lot of care.
I remember how thrilled I was when I got to social media like Orkut and then Google Plus and then Face book. It was great to see all my school and college mates,my teachers, my students active on it. It is still wonderful to be remembered and to be thought of . It is great to greet someone and be greeted in return. But as my wise girl says, “mom, it is a gossip engine and see how hooked you are to it” “True” I have to agree. It’s not just me but my father and other elders in the family who are out there battling it out on FB for a few seconds of attention like me! It is that we are all hooked eternally, inescapably in the tentacles of social media. Yet, my father sits down everyday at sharp 5 pm on his desk top to check the online world, the rest of the day he is free off it and rarely bothers about it.
I don’t know if I will be entirely off the FB. It does not look achievable to me at this point in my life, maybe some time, I will have enough things interesting in my own life to bother about peeping into others’ for life-worthy moments!