Originally posted on Candles Online
Husband (looking into the mirror): Honey!!! Honey!!!
The wife comes running from the balcony with a phone in her hand. “Why are you screaming dear? You just spoiled my reel!! What on earth made you scream your lungs out? It better be something that needs my attention.”
Husband: What do you mean by “your attention”. Look what happened to my trousers (pointed towards his trouser that was unevenly ripped only on the left and interestingly it’s not even denim but a regular formal one).
Wife: Oh that thing! I did it. You know my friend made a reel with her husband in a torn shirt and got over a million views. I want to make a better reel and surpass that number, that’s why this ( and she giggles leaving her husband bemused). Honey we need to make funny videos to keep our numbers ticking. We can’t just relax and let others take a lead.
Husband: Yeah funny, hmm. Why don’t you switch on the camera and say that you are Smart!! Funny isn’t it? (Left the room with wife smirking and getting busy with her camera)
Sarcasm and agony were written all over that husband’s face which was just a reflection of the restlessness of his wife – restless to make her presence felt on the social platform, restless for churning numbers of views and likes, restless for relevance in the context of trends.
I might have given a fictional account of a couple but the scenario isn’t fictional altogether. From vacation pictures of celebrities to absurd challenges; from transformation videos to derision of people in the name of comedy; from cringe like breaking out dancing in the middle of the street to being violent to random people – all in the wake of getting “Viral” and gaining attention. What started as harmless fun has now attained the status of more or less a gluttony that has messed badly with our brains, draining off sanity and peace leaving behind a worked and worn-out mind.
Get yourself some rest: Often we hear the term detoxify and the importance of cleansing one’s body. Very much needed indeed in the wake of the content we consume (like literally what goes in -what we eat) and our relatively less physically active lifestyles. But with our exposure to social media and its content, our brain too has consumption. Wanted – unwanted; sensitive – bizarre; informative – crazy – say it, have it. It’s a buffet out there. And the brain too gets tired of consuming tirelessly a plethora of junk. And from consumption to serving dishes we have completed a full circle. And the problem arises when the circumference of that circle enlarges. When we are on the consuming side we more often than not let our thoughts processes skew and let emotions embroil accordingly. Let’s go to the other side of the fence. Once a post is made, the next desire is to see it finding the reach – having clicks, views, likes, comments, shares, subscribers, followers, going viral. It’s a pretty much numbers game!! Pretty entangled. And when those expectations are not met we feel bad and rejected. We are in a self-doubting mode – was it good enough? Worse, many also go through existential crises as for them it’s about getting those impressions. We may accept it or not, our brains too need detoxification – a digital one. Our thoughts need a break from that constant worry of being able or not to impress others. Aimless wandering aiming for a set of benchmark numbers is an ailment for sure. Evading from the social scene from time to time is the best possible cure/ detoxification method. This is not a new thing that I am phrasing out here but definitely a less-trended path.
Few exercises (questions) we constantly need to do:
- Does our private life need an audience every time?
- If the answer is yes to the above question then are we ready to ably handle the unwanted commentary (not supporting it by any means)?
- Why and how do opinions of strangers in the virtual world matter?
- Are you sure that all the happy faces on the internet are happy in reality as well?
- What if at this very moment “I forget my password for every social account of mine and there’s no possibility to retrieve the same for a long period”, will that affect my quality of life?
These questions from time to time will give a reality check. This is not bashing social media but a small attempt to bring to notice that conscious consumption/supply is of paramount importance. That lets the brain breathe and think. Our brain too deserves rest and it doesn’t mean completely devoid and deprived of thoughts/ ideas/ opinions but it means better utilization of it and not squandering it for trivial and unimportant things.
Sharing my experience: I am a politically center to right-aligned person. I was on Twitter where I thought I could speak my mind. But soon I found myself to be really affected by what others said. I rejoiced when I found the same voices, I disliked (always in the realm of cordial disagreement) the otherwise opinion (though pondering over arguments backed with strong reasoning and logic) and really hurt over crude comments that had the sole objective of abusing the people who don’t agree with their perspective. That left me thinking over and over, worried for some unexplained reasons. I was getting anxious and that was evident on my face. My husband intervened at right time. He said,” if you can’t remain level-headed and if social media debates are leaving you hassled, if words of unknown faces ring in your head, if you can’t see it as a way to pass of your time then you should better be off the wagon”. He was in a jovial mood when he said those things to me but I took it up as a piece of trial advice. Deleted my Twitter account, reduced my Facebook and Instagram engagement immediately. And to my surprise found myself lighter by many notches. My presence on social media wasn’t for the numbers yet it affected me as I was weak and let it do so. I always maintained and practiced – acceptance is the key!!
Be a Voice not noise: The point is how we create or consume content on social media. The presence of social media in our lives is nothing less than a boon where ideas, perspectives, creativity are given a buoyant push towards the public eye. But discretion is always necessary as to how the creators and the consumers behave. What we are experiencing now is a rush to be visible and seemingly relevant than actually making sense. This extreme pressure we are exerting on ourselves is making it a noise than a voice. Users’ discretion is so important, isn’t it?
Try to take a break and make this idea viral 🙂