ByÂ Parvathi Jayakumar:
*ping* Wassa homie!
XYZ likes your profile picture.
ABC has invited you to like Ramkumar photography creationzzzzz.
Well this is how we roll, don’t we? We live in the age where it is of paramount importance to let our friends, relatives, next-door-neighbour uncle, his brother and sister’s boyfriend know that we’ve just bought a new pair of shoes, what we had for breakfast, how our relationships are progressing and oh! the song we are listening to right now! How can we just push another second without continuously updating on WhatsApp what we are up to, take pictures of every little detail and without telling the world that we are having a night-out and sipping black coffee on the eve of our very important examination? Phew. Unimaginable.
Well, Facebook is in every sense chicken soup for the exhibitionist soul. Slowly and definitely, one’s self-esteem gets attached to the number of likes and comments their post garners, the offline popularity that this may fetch, the ‘intellectual’ status that they might receive since they like and appreciate Pink Floyd, Bohemian Rhapsody, upload cover photos of Stanley Kubrick and verbally attack Chetan Bhagat. Wow they must be something.
And you may ask what is wrong with the exercise? Yes, this is definitely harmless but you are losing yourself in the process. The vanity factor shoots through the roof. Not to mention that the motivation to better oneself, to genuinely gain knowledge and to widen one’s horizon is lost. What does one care about raising their standards if a superfluous image pertaining to the same can be created? And in the long run, how this image will benefit your being is something this author fails to comprehend.
Taking the interpersonal aspect of it, you’re not really building solid friendships or relations by obsessively checking when that person last came on WhatsApp or by frantically making attempts at striking conversations and establishing yourself as a creep. Unless and until you’re so strong willed as to never fall prey to such juvenile behaviour, you are going to have a tough time.
People take the effort and shell out money to chat endlessly and be in touch with people who don’t matter one bit in real life, for whom they have no genuine concern but still keep at it for the sake of ‘being connected’. Honestly, staying connected all the time is so overrated. Instead take the time out and hangout with people who offer you joy, good company and solace when you need it badly, once in a while. Or better still; learn to spend time with yourself. Fall in love with yourself, understand yourself and unravel the great mystery that is you.
There are so many things one can do while not obsessing over social networking. Now this may sound clichÃ©d, but read a book, go out and run, play a game, plant a tree, learn a new language! Embrace the variety and beauty that the world has to offer. Tear your eyes away from that dreaded screen and absorb the real world. Do different things and gain as much experience as possible, because ultimately, it is these experiences that shape your character, define your values and nurture you into a beautiful person.