I’m not. That’s an honest admission.
I have always wrestled with that obstinate hiccup when it comes to writing open letters to my spouse and children on special days, celebrating milestones, and happy occasions. It makes me experience a twinge of a hesitation each time I think of baring my heart and putting down my personal relationships in the flapping ramparts of Facebook or Instagram, for the entire world to experience and comment upon. Call me an anomaly, an ambivert, as I am a complete antithesis of my online personality in real life, but I do feel the sociology of social media brings in a convivial peep into the happenings in the everyday lives of people—sometimes, a tad too artificially bright. Perhaps my opinion of people logging into their accounts to post a worldwide alert on their health matrix, before they are moved into the critical care and saddled to the ventilator has something to do with it
I recall the initial exultation when I began locating and was simultaneously connected with scores of my classmates from school and college as Facebook slid into existence, creating cyber ripples. I valued (and still do!) the timely birthday and anniversary reminders that pop up promptly. Over the years, the ‘friends’ have increased, the community has grown, nourishing a sense of belonging to alumni groups and cursory connection with changing work colleagues, and has then over the years evaporated into a state of near-flippancy with social media accounts reduced to a reflection of airport check-ins and location check-outs.
Since sharing initially slithered away in the far recesses of my must-do online list, there were no kiddie achievements to report on the digital platform and net in applause for. For me, my digital handles function as an extension of my brand in the web world. Not as a faucet of freewheeling emotions, leaping up to amplify all that is deeply personal and private. There is a defining line, emerging by default, for me
Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard