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Scrolling, Scrolling And More Scrolling: Is Social Media Turning Us Into Imposters?

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Looking London, Talking Tokyo — this analogy is true today for millennials and even Gen Ys (born between 1989 and 1997). The situation is turning into an issue that can get uncontrollable if we do not take cognisance of it soon.

We wake up and instead of picking up your toothbrush, we scroll, scroll and scroll. We do not find anything productive by scrolling. Of course, tracking our medicine or even finding a hospital bed empty to get Covid treatment is a different scenario.

But what we do end up doing the first thing in the morning is filling our minds with the competition that is seldom needed at that hour of the day. Seeing your friend’s night out, their relationship posts, camaraderie and your peer’s marriage add to the anxiety that we are not wired to handle well in the morning. We end up comparing ourselves to them. How beautiful their life is, the pitiful lifestyle I am living in, how fluttering their relationship looks like, how many achievements she has got, and me, well!

The truth is that we were not taught how to handle these uncertain things. Our brains are wired to take in only so much right after it wakes up. Whenever we wake up, our brain’s stimulus is adapted to only certain trajectories. Talking about our childhood, these trajectories were either video games, board games or even completing our mathematics assignment.

In a way, we were to consume information that we knew in our minds. We knew what completing our math assignment looks like — we would be spared scoldings from our parents. But in the age of social media, we would not know what these social media posts in the morning will do to us.

In the morning, not only does sunlight enter your room, but the friend you were very close to has gone to a scenic place. You get to know all this not through personal conversations, but social media posts. This hurts you. This creates some anxiety inside you.

How come did she not tell me? She did ask me if I was free this weekend, but I was on a clock and had to finish my presentation. Next thing you know, they are there. Without you. The situation does not end here. The comparative idea of making the most out of the weekend comes to your mind, just because you saw something in the morning by scrolling, which made you restless for a while.

To cope, weekend blues started hitting you. These blues create a neuron message inside your head to make your weekend most productive, which is not at all related to work. I mean, that is what a weekend is supposed to be: going out, hanging out with friends, snapping a steering wheel even though you’re not in the driving seat.

We have become our own shadows. We are not really who we perceive to be in front of social media. It is not that we are not enjoying our own selves, but the idea of being our perfect selves on social media and showcasing how our lives are so perfect by adding filters and snow-white captions tells us how influential this social media has grown into being.

We cannot do without sharing a picture of our dinner date meal. We cannot do without making a video while the driver is driving, even if it means hovering the phone around the driver’s seat. We are not really this person, yet we turn out to be. We are not the captions we think of all day, we are not the filters for which we spend almost 15 minutes before posting the picture.

Yet, somehow, we are convinced that competitive posting is healthy living. No, it is not. While sitting in a restaurant, the real background story might be that you had a big fight with your partner. You are really upset and to compensate, you want to change your mood. Your partner was not really up for it, still, he had to agree. But on Snapchat, you post this surreal caption with that meal, without mentioning the conflict with your partner.

With that mirror facade of a photo, viewers believe how lit your life is. You end up seeking validation from your viewers so that you can actually enjoy the moment, which you already are, by eating that delicious pasta. Even your partner is sorry for that argument and has mended ways by now. Yet, your happiness did not come as a cherry on the top because you did not receive any response on your post, no reaction. You end up going home, disappointed.

It is not our fault. Seeking validation fuels our fire. This mirror image of a very splendid life we live is nothing but an illusion of the greater good. We are becoming our own imposters. Sometimes, we do not recognise ourselves. Seldom do we know that we ended up spending over 45 minutes scrolling, scrolling and scrolling. We are so fatigued by this inactivity that we cannot get past that security gate to buy fruits for ourselves. And worse, yet, our grocery items are lying in the shopping cart on that app, but we cannot check out — the price is high and it is making us indecisive and concurrently, we can afford Apple 12.

What are we turning into? Remember, we are still our own heroes. We can pull the plug before it is too late. Stop being an imposterr to your own selves. There is something real out there. Have a concrete conversation with your friends, invite them over for dinner, make the moment enjoyable. But don’t be a xerox of something you are not supposed to be.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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