20

Of the mirage called Social Media

I considered de-activating my Facebook today, along with Instagram. The problem is not my time spent on social media, but the posts being thrown at me. My ‘suggested pages’ are full of influencers who seem to be drowning in brand new shiny things and enticing followers with the same idea. It ain’t good enough if it ain’t new and shiny enough. But better sense prevailed once common sense hit me in the face again. I need my social media active for the dog rescue work, if nothing else. Also, for a little bit of my own vanity, you know, right? And how it affects me, should ideally be in my hands(easier said than done!)

As a person with wavering self-esteem and social anxiety, ‘influencers’ can stress me out easily. From innocently surfing their feeds with honest appreciation, I find myself going down the dark path of feeling like setting my closet on fire. If I don’t have anything new every single time, it should not be the end of the world. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the exponents of minimalist living coming up with some bestsellers, and if I follow them, it wouldn’t take me long to fall into the depressed state of ‘why I don’t have ANYTHING?!’ So basically, in either situation, minimalism or materialism, I don’t have anything, and I am the end loser.

In a similar vein, travelogues and travel posts are having the same effect on me, where my life feels simply not exciting enough. Imtiaz Ali has done no favors to the middle class youth by making movies that glorify giving up everything and making #wanderlust the in thing. ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ is so overused that J. R. R. Tolkien must be cringing, from the beyond! I don’t want to depress people by launching into a tirade about my overly practical head and the constant turbulence of responsibilities and duties, so I just shrug and let it go. Situations aren’t the same for everyone, and so aren’t priorities.

Should I be jealous of the person, who is always out and about and has a g-astronomically gorgeous feed of choicest cuisines and craft drinks? I feel like I am not living up the best days of my life if I am not exploring every nook and cranny of the town, when I see a stunning picture of a cocktail against a very instagrammable mosaic wall. I may be whiling away my weekdays on my couch watching crap TV when I should be spending dough on the best looking Buddha Bowl. On the other hand, I may actually be saving myself some cash and energy and could perhaps be actually happy, but that’s not the point.

It’s easy to assume that someone’s beautiful FB/Insta feed is actually their entire life. That all the pictures showcased and curated aren’t just a part, but the entirety of their existence. That gorgeous face shining through the filtered sunlight in the trendy lace dress, might be covering up some anxiety that I may have assumed to never exist. The beautiful blue sea in throwback picture may be a disguise for uncertainty in the future. There is a reason why everyone’s feed looks and feels happy, joyous and enviable. We never know what is going on behind someone’s perfect life. It could really be wonderful, or could be a mirage that we are running towards, cursing our own life in process. I need to keep reminding myself, that moments of life cannot be forcefully created and curated. Every picture, should have a memory and a story. The story could be totally personal that maybe puts a smile on your face, or makes you tear up with nostalgia. But it’s yours to keep.

After all, why should I let anyone else have the power to influence me into believing that my life sucks? I am more than enough for that. 😉

23

Instagram nightmares

There are three horrors that a lady can face on social media.

1. Being stalked by an ex.

2. Getting hacked.

3. ‘Liking’ someone’s picture while on a stalking mode.

The third and possibly the worst horror is what I underwent last night and I am still recovering from it.

I had spoken to a guy for around a week in June-July before meeting him over the 4th of July long weekend. He was very cute and kind of fun, outdoorsy and smart and those were the reasons where we had sustained our daily chats and had decided to meet while he was enroute San Diego for his vacation. But the meeting hadn’t turned out to be too great, courtesy his weird hypothetical questions, for instance if Job > life partner and such other fun stuff. We never really spoke afterwards besides him thanking me for a restaurant suggestion in San Diego. But the meeting was alright and the location was pretty and I got a drink out of it. Meh.

Now, did I mention that the guy was kinda cute? So what does PB do? Look him up on social media. I had seen his Instagram account just before meeting up, and it was a public profile. I had sort of gotten an idea about his general personality from it and how many common friends we have(fair few) and if he is out of my league or not. In hindsight, he looked like he was!

I don’t know what got into me last night, but I decided to check his Insta account again yesterday. As I was sifting through his pictures, I came across a funny selfie video of him. It was one of his latest posts but was posted sometime back. I was trying to be very careful and tip-toed around his profile as to not leave any mark. I went to the video again and as I was watching it, I decided that I wanted the sound to come on too. Why? I don’t know. So I tapped on it. The music turned on. But, horror of horrors, there flashed a little red heart right in the middle of the video! While tip-toeing around, I had dropped 3 sets of pots and pans and 6 china plates! The room was hotter than 100 degrees and I started sweating furiously.

I instantly went into damage control, blocking him, hoping that he wont know. But for good measure, I repeated the same with my blog Insta account and I realized that my ‘like’ is permanently embedded there and I cant undo it. Ugggghhhhh. And I also couldn’t find the unblock list to go back and attempt to undo it further. I was stuck so bad. Even if I would have done all that and ‘unlike’ed it, he could have maybe seen the notification. Who knows? So I gulped the last bit of my pride down and ‘followed’ him. If he ever asks, I can say that we have few common friends and that the video showed up in my ‘videos you may like’ and it was funny. Very lame, I know.

Being that loser is better than being a stalker loser.

A pro tip: If you are stalking someone on Instagram and you accidentally double-tap, then smash your phone, set it on fire, and move to Malta.

PS : Sign of Best Friendship is when you drop the ball, and your BFF picks it up only to drop it promptly right after! We will sink together. 😀

27

10 types of people on my Instagram

I am a social media nut and I have said that many times before. I happen to have two Instagram accounts in my life and no, they don’t know about each other. *Evil grin* One account is my personal one, and the second newer, but less updated one, is my blog account. I am not totally sure why I started the second one, but wanting to show off the few fun things I do(rarely) to my blog readers is a likely reason.

I follow quite a few people on both these accounts and I have noticed some fun things about the kind of pictures posted by certain people on my feed. I decided to list some of the categories I could make out. I am going to exclude bloggers from the list because A.) I don’t want you all to get mad at me; and B.) I don’t want to categorize those as they can be exclusively fashion/makeup/food/lifestyle blog accounts. I had made a similar list with people on Facebook, and have a look here.
 
So, what kind of people do I know on Instagram?
 

1. One eyed monsters 
: I have queens as well as kings of selfies on my Instagram feed. I have never seen both their eyes in one shot and this goes for girls and even few boys. The hair is exactly the same with bangs on one side and straight shoulder length hair with layers. The face is always tilted in an angle. I don’t think they can ever get a Passport made, because they will never look straight into the camera! I have a genuine question. Do you use superglue to keep the hair in the same position?? 

I woke up like this. Really. And spent the next 20 min brushing my hair to normalcy.

 

2. Must-kiss-everybody : These people have a lot of love in their hearts and they go above and beyond ‘free hugs’. They want to give kissie to everybody. I think their parents forced them to kiss every aunt and uncle and this has resulted in the permanent pout. What else could the reason be? As for the duck face, they are just trying to figure out if they should ‘swallow or spit it out’. 😉

3. The Collagers : Every picture is a collage of 10 pictures. And IG doesn’t let you zoom. So all I see are tiny blobs of colors in a big blob. I also know many people who take 8 selfies and put it in one picture, as if they are the bombs and they can’t make their mind up about where they are the prettiest. Like, what? Please choose, about 5. That looks prettier and gets the story across. And my myopic eyes can see the pictures.

4. The Hunger Game-ers : All you see is food, food and some more food. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, snacks, Starbucks, everything makes their way on their IG. I specially want to mention Starbucks, because since the day it set up shop in India, it’s almost like they are handing out death penalty if you buy something there and don’t put up a picture. #maakehaathkakhana is a buzzword now, and so is #foodgasm. I have never seen #garmagaramchai so popular in the same field as #bruschettaItaliana. Also, what’s with a #iamsohealthynow when they put up a picture of a smoothie that they drink once in 6 months?

 

Sh*t we do to lose 10 grams.


Which brings me to…

5. Health bugs : Say hello to unnecessary tips and advices on how to lose that pound that you don’t want to lose. So, do you walk around lifting your shirt up, or is it a special treat for my eyes the 683rd time over? You look good, and could perhaps be fit, but please wipe that dripping sweat off first. 

I lift tiny weights and pretend to be a badass.

  

6. #Hashtagaddicts : #OMG #Toomanyhastags #icantmakesenseofasingleword #yourhashtagaddictionismessingupmyeyesightandmygrammar #pleasestopandsavehumanity

7. Moral science teachers : I want to thank you for imparting me life lessons with a picture of either your new haircut or a selfie or some crumpled paper on the floor. Everything has a deep meaning to it and I wish I had your insight. I bow to thee.

8. PDA-tors : They inspire me to fall in love, and express my love to my partner, ALL THE TIME. The second when they aren’t indulging in a show of affection, is a wasted second. God forbid if you can tear them apart during group pictures. Nope, sir. I am fine with it, as long as I don’t have a story to tell to a newborn of their conception. None of my close friends do this though and I want them to. Just for kicks.

9. Party animals : Thanks to these guys, I feel like my life is one big bore. How do you have the energy to go to every party, every concert, on every single weekend?! I am a dead zombie who is on the far end of even its zombie life(death?).

I step out once in a blue moon and make sure EVERYONE knows.

10. The Scrapbookers : The true memory makers, who only put pictures from old memory books and send me reeling into nostalgia. Sheesh. Sniff.
 
Now where do I fit? I am the most normal(YES! Believe it!) Instagrammer who puts a giant whirling mix of everything above! Haha! Except, life lessons. I am the last person in the world who should hand out those. Except you, Bhakti, I KNOW EVERYTHING.
I am vain AF, I put selfies when I feel good about myself, I put recipes when I feel like a Masterchef. I put pictures to show where I was on last Friday night, and it totally could be my own living room. I put nostalgic pictures of my buddies when I miss them. Basically, my Instagram accounts have everything under the sun. 🙂

I would perhaps be a PDA-tor too if I had a PDA-worthy person. Just kidding, #NoNopeNever.