Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 01/11/15 12:23 PM

Humour: Let`s Face It!

  Let’s face it…

I really don’t know what the fuss is all about.

The pundits, that great faceless anonymous collective, tell us it is akin to opening Pandora’s box. That once you are hooked or wired as the case may be, the disease spreads in great galloping strides. That your ordinary life goes to rack and ruin.

I’m talking about a social media platform the name of which rhymes with Glazed Look.  I opened that particular Pandora’s box a handful of years ago, and have survived to tell the tale. And now, I want to deconstruct the myths.

They say once you get on, you stay on, all day and all night. This is not true.

Those of us with demanding children at home (and how they demand) , 800-word articles to write or that TV show we are addicted to watching, just cannot and will not stay online indefinitely.

Real life invariably intrudes and intrudes sharply. Of course, there is also the fact that those in the know er, know.

They know  there is a peak time to post,  so your posts will attract  the maximum eyeballs. They also know that if you stay online perpetually, people will realise you don’t have an offline life. Ergo, they don’t stay online forever.

They say you tend to post status messages that are banal, bragging, snide or plain obnoxious
by turns. Nonsense, I say. Online media is all about building up your own constituency and then broadening that baseline.

The  canny method is to post deep and profound  messages, at first dutifully giving credit
where credit is due, be it to Zig Ziglar, Khalil Gibran or that cat who wears tortoiseshell

After you are sure your posts are read by all and sundry, then you can (and will) post anything. I have seen posts lamenting a dogfight fast becoming a serpentine thread full of sympathy, empathy, helpful hints!

They say you invariably doctor the photographs you put up. Only the most naïve people would
say this.  I mean, just about every picture one displays is first photoshopped, right?

I mean, do we really let people see us as we really are, except when we go under the Witness Protection Programme?

We, my dears, call it curating. Not doctoring; that’s ever so coarse.

They say your posts  become vulnerable to cyber cruisers, trolls  and perverts.

Not if you have the necessary smarts and know how to put  your privacy patrol in place. Then of course, there are some sorry souls who feel wanted, needed only if the abovementioned trolls
and pervs accost them online. Different strokes, guys…cut them some slack.

They say your inner quality controller lies down and dies every time you click `like` on just
about anything and everything you see. Well, what exactly is wrong with clicking  `like` on everything you see, if you like everything you see? It’s unassailable logic.

Your wall is largely composed of posts by people like you who post things they appreciate, which in turn you are bound to appreciate.

So, I say just go ahead and click `like` on that post about 56 Greasy Foods That Are Actually Good For You, on the essay condemning that spot in the Middle East, on the post revealing how the other spot in the Middle East is playing the media, and on that bouquet of lurid pink roses wishing you a Happy Day.

Hey, who doesn’t want to have a Happy Day?

As for those people who post selfies of themselves at the reasonable interval of one every hour, dashitall, it’s their camera, it’s their face, it`s their life. And boy, it sure makes your life seem so much

They say you develop an inflated and unreal sense of yourself as a person. Really? Like you don’t already have an inflated and unreal …? Get real. You know you are special. Very special.  And when your favourite social media platform underlines your specialness, who is the winner here, huh?

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go check What Colour I Am. After which I need to
undertake a test that will reveal Who I Was In My Past Life. All this really is so much fun.

This ran in DECCAN HERALD of 11 Jan 2015.


Sheila Kumar • January 11, 2015

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