As I grow older, I realise my tolerance for bullshit is reducing. You can by now mostly see through the fakes, the forced accent with special emphasis on R like therrre and Amerrrrica, the toxic, the opinionated and especially the unkind ones who can’t even fake kindness.
So for people like me, with the passage of time, I am beginning to enjoy isolation so much more. The old friends you return to, who have known you for ages, generally don’t throw surprise character revelations every month. You kind of by now, know them well. So cut to the chase, I have begun living a virtual life of newfound friendships. I have been happy since.
Just yesterday as I was walking back after a meeting from my usual cafe in Koramangala. I met two happy ladies maybe in their 50s, cackling away on the steps. I love happy women. I also have a disease of smiling at most people, it comes automatically. Even the snobs who think your smile may cost you an onion.
One of them came close to me and said with all her exuberance that she was meeting her Facebook friend.
One was a Malayali and the other was from Benares. The more voluble one looked at me and said she noticed me inside the cafe and was sure I am a North Indian. I wanted to tell her I am Bengali but her wide-eyed happy discovery, I did not wish to break. I asked her how she knew. She said she recognised one from a distance. I told her yes, I was raised in Delhi.
Their happiness over that coffee was so heartwarming. As I got off the steps I kept thinking of the number of people I have met on social media and how they have helped me find work projects and attended my reading programs. How I feel connected to a world on my phone without dealing with the list I drew out in the beginning. Some have truly enriched my life with help and suggestions on work.
I have met wonderful people on social media. I was getting advice and scary stories about how social media is a bane and not a boon. Oh! How I beg to disagree.
Like all new waves and changes, there is good and bad to it. People are blaming bad marriages, depression, less social contact because of social media. We prefer to look away within, rather find faults outside, it helps us stay in a cocoon of comfortable lies.
People like me who have shifted cities twice, I found my pre-teens friends on social media who I thought were done and dusted.
Yes, you do get the occasional and the silent stalkers who are active AF on this medium and do not acknowledge any post, but when you see them in person, they tell you oh we know all about you. I read you travel, your fun life and a very judgemental look that says, you pleb.
I am like “how sweet” you are such an intellectual & such a private person unlike me. But why don’t you like my nice filtered photos? They are filtered like you. They laugh and some catch on to the sarcasm and some don’t. Que sera sera.
The world is changing, I took long to catch up and lost many years of people like my writing and my rant, egging me to continue. Earlier I was in a club of the same kind of crabs who know one another and find ways and means to stay down with each other in their slow crawl upwards. And if one goes up they find ways to crab you down.
Social media is great, everyone has happy stories. They call it fake. But honestly isn’t it just like the club of similar “real people” in clubs, all happy and all picture-perfect, very little truth there.
The happiness on those two women at the cafe still rings in my ears and I could relate to it. It took a late ex-boss to force me to join social media. I regret, I joined late.
We are going the digital way. Either we accept it or remain the dinosaur. I do get the “available men, bare-bodied request and I get scared. But I quickly delete it and continue like I am doing today. I prefer this than the real fake friends you meet over a drink who regale you with their perfect life stories in tony clubs. I like the virtual club and for the real deal when I need a tear to be wiped away I have my old friends forever.
I am so grateful for this medium to help me deal with the fake accent on print rather￼ in person. I don’t want to hear a twang when all your life you grew up in Ulsoor, GK or in Bandra or if you went abroad for a year, 20 years back for a course. I like you on my wall.
I love Mark Zuckerberg. The intellectuals post rarely and they feel so important and you have the plebs like me trying to get back to work after years, who do once a week post. Jai Ho social media the new shape up or ship out. Twitter is for the politically informed, Instagram is for photos, Facebook is for the older lot and I have been warned of Snapchat by my son. If I join and his young friends find me there, he will delete all my social media handles. He has all my passwords in London. 😂