Are We Becoming Social or Anti Personal?

Are We Becoming Social or Anti Personal?

We live in this hyper-social/ultra social world where sharing/posting on various platforms has become sort of a competition. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Linkedin that most people are on. These are the daily sharing ones but there are special ones too. There’s Tinder (and many more competitors) for hyper (blind) dating where you choose to meet random people based on their profiles, there’s similar Grinder but for same-sex dating. There’s Quora-like platform which is about question and answers, and you can’t imagine what all questions get answered with ease and in detail on Quora (I have found answers on Global Economic Crisis to where to find caps in Ahmedabad). There’s SoundCloud for singers and music lovers and there’s Zomato for food lovers. And then some of us also write blogs.

One more major social media eruption and we’ll all collapse.

All this means just so many profiles to manage. There are apps to help you manage multiple profiles at one go, there are books and websites that guide you on how to be popular on each of these platforms. I know people, who maintain at least 4 of these social media profiles, on daily basis. If you don’t post stuff, then you’re the stalker. You have to just keep scrolling down whatever app, staring into the oblivion, deriving nothing in return. Then there are people who are on just one platform but spending a huge part of the day on it.

It’s so ingrained in the system that it has become an involuntary behaviour. An average adult is distracted and complains that he/she doesn’t have time to read books- well obviously. People in offices are distracted. Many corporates have banned Facebook in office time.

Travel has never been so competitive, everyone is in the race of posting amazing pictures of them having fun- whether it is on top of a mountain, or a busy street or a private dinner; and most people want to do it right then. People who can’t travel too much, share pictures of the same trip periodically. Although the caption is something absolutely philosophical, shows or says nothing about the place- we post it and then wait.

The eternal wait is to see the number of likes. The Higher number of likes is always a jackpot; it basically means appreciation- perhaps something that most of us are otherwise lacking in our lives so we are trying to find it online.

Image From BuzzFeed: http://www.boredpanda.com/satirical-illustrations-addiction-technology/

The others click until the camera/phone says memory full. The trip is basically blurred because you weren’t there during the lunch conversations or the quite musings in the forest or the joy of getting wet in the rains- taking it all in- you were just looking for frames, clicking pictures, counting ‘Likes’. We are only giving our partial attention to things in front of us.

It is not enough to be happy, we want to show it to the world and take their acknowledgements on it. It’s not okay to be sad, some people “feel lonely with 16 others”.

We are posting talking to our newborn on Facebook. We are talking to the dead, telling them how much we miss them-On Facebook. We are wishing our parents and partners sitting next to us on Facebook. Our dinners have become quieter and less fun than how they look on the photos on Facebook. Important errand for the weekend is to change Facebook DP and Cover Photo. Whatsapp dp and status need to be changed on daily basis.

There are norms. And everyone who is not following the norm is considered abnormal. There is lesser or value to individual space. Solitude is considered selfish. People sitting without phones, just generally looking at the sky or going out for solitary dinners are spotted with sympathy. The world has gradually become more about what we show to the world than what we truly are.

I had quit Whatsapp around a year back and got instantaneous slapping for people around. They thought I was being crazy. When I said, I want time and space and do not want this kind of communication, they thought I was being selfish, unreasonable and arrogant. Perhaps what bothered them the most was that I was making a statement that I had more work than them and did not have time to waste by chatting with them on Whatsapp. I did not mean any of that. Whatsapp was always a crowded world. The continuous insulation of dopamine (dopamine is a hormone that is released when you’re too anxious or excited) in me, wanting to check my phone so often, even when there was no notification- had become a habit. I’ve always feared addictions. So one fine day, I quit it. I told myself that if I can’t cope, I’ll be back.

Turns out, I survived. I’ve never been happier. I deleted the Facebook app, made a decision to use it only on the browser and on 2G and turned off all other notifications. So when I sit on my work table, there’s no distraction. When I am with my family, there’s no notification. When I’m writing, the internet is off.

Social media- whatever and however you choose to share, is a brilliant place to be if you know what and how much works out for you. You might as well manage 6 profiles if you enjoy it. But if there’s something that is missing, if there’s something you are noticing, listen to yourself. People who love you, will not leave you over quitting/reducing your presence on a social media platform. You have to find your own Zen (peace).

(Find more of such images on internet addiction on BuzzFeed: http://www.boredpanda.com/satirical-illustrations-addiction-technology/)

Confessions of a Serial Reader

Home is where the books are. There’s a reason why home is our comfort zone. It’s a place our tattered ego gets fixed, the self-confidence gets rejuvenated and there’s love all around. Books make a huge part of my comfort in life, not just at home. But even otherwise.

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It could either be my cowardice or a strange kind of fear, but when I move outside my house without a single book in my bag, makes me feel like the most vulnerable person in the world. Even when I am going to a movie and there’s absolutely no chance I am going to get a chance to read, keeping a book is a must. It’s a safety measure- better safe than sorry.

Continue reading “Confessions of a Serial Reader”

Quora Answers: Are You Open with Your Indian Parents?

Quora Answers: Are You Open with Your Indian Parents?

This was a question that someone asked me on quora. Perhaps the person wanted to ask if you tell everything to your parents and do they know everything about you. This question comes to us many times. Here’s my answer:

I don’t know what you mean when you say ‘open’.

Daily Communication

I’m not on Whatsapp. We (homies) have a secret, island-like app- mum, dad, dadi and me- which we use to communicate. It works exactly like Whatsapp and better- no statuses, no stories- simple shit. When am I coming home, whether I’ll be late, dinner at home or not, details of a trip that I am planning, sharing photos from the trip, sharing my friends’ numbers, etc. I like to keep them updated with these little things, so they are not unnecessarily worried and know what to expect. Apart from that, my parents are really cool too. Because it’s a once in a blue moon thing that they’d randomly call and ask me, ‘Where are you?’ (which is a regular and hourly think in a lot of my friends’ families). They never call unnecessarily or trying to spy on me.


Morning Conversations

 Most mornings, we end up talking about things. These are very open debates about things around, politics, some social issue, what’s happening at work, etc. There should be scope for such conversations in every home. The parents and the children feel heard and don’t keep their feelings, thoughts hidden or suppressed. This is called catharsis.

Difficult Conversations

 I am one of those emotional people who cry when they are trying to explain something while they are hurt. So I either write down a letter and tuck in their cupboard or I write a long text explaining my side. Recently when I was going through a bad phase, I wrote to them how I know they love me but I need time. Letters can be incredible. It feels awkward initially but it might actually work. On better days (when I don’t begin crying while sharing my emotions), these conversations smoothly happen on the table too.

The Myth of ‘Telling Everything’

 It is a myth that you must tell everything to your parents or to anyone you love dearly. Each one is an individual first and has their own private life. I don’t tell EVERYTHING to them but I make sure I tell them most of the important things in my life that they need to know. After growing up, not just parents, you don’t need to tell EVERYTHING to ANYONE.


Here’s the actual answer. To see what other people answered, go to this question on Quora. I keep giving such answers on Quora. You can Follow me on Quora.

Low Budget Getaway: Jodhpur

Low Budget Getaway: Jodhpur

In our sincere attempts to grow up, which is largely a conscious decision after being pointed out quite a few times by our elders we forget to cater to the child within us. We tell as many people as possible about how mature we are, and slowly we start believing our own lies.

We are not happy and there’s no way we are meant to live and die in the same place where we were born. The truth is that we are meant to travel, just as much we are bound to have a career and marry someone and have babies. But this truth is conveniently taken away from us.

In 2015, on my 24th birthday, I made a resolution to myself that I will travel once every month, low budget and on weekends. I pretty much did. And you can too. If not now, sometime soon. This travelogue might help you dream.

July 2015: Jodhpur

Basics:

  1. Why Jodhpur: Small city perks: beautiful fort and a unique Blue City, people have painted their houses blue to maintain some coolness in an otherwise hot atmosphere.
  2. Distance from Ahmedabad:
  3. Preferable AC Sleeper Bus (Night journey)
  4. Stay: Cosy Guest House
  5. Trip Duration: 2 days (Weekend)
  6. Budget: Rs. 4500-5000 (per person)
  7. Ideal Season: Monsoon (It doesn’t rain there but it will be cooler), Winter (Avoid Summers)

What People say you must do

  1. Visit Mehrangarh Fort
  2. Jaysar Mahal (Opposite Fort)
  3. Clock Tower
  4. Raja’s Palace
  5. Museum
  6. Mandore Gardens
  7. Shopping from Rajasthan Handloom

Continue reading “Low Budget Getaway: Jodhpur”

How Interviews are Just About the Power Game

Meetings are about the art of role-playing. Almost all of them. Apart from, of course, the ones where you meet your closest confidants. Even friends group have clear power equations. I had read somewhere that it takes 10 seconds for a person to decide the power equation in any conversation. I would say it takes 5 minutes if you play an underdog. But it is difficult to drag beyond that. Your body language, confidence, smile- everything gives strong signals and may very well work or go against you.
During my time at CollegeBol, I’ve interviewed many hundreds of candidates. Everyone has a different interview style. Some people like to sit with the candidate for 45 minutes and then ask them to come once more. Mine was different. I would sit with them for 20 minutes at max. I would prepare beforehand what I would want to know the person. When in an interview, I would always observe more than responding. If the person is terribly nervous, I would make the vibes a little more comfortable. I wouldn’t want to miss a really good candidate just because he/she was nervous on a particular day. If the person was over-confident, I would try to dissect and break it. As simple as that.
While Over-Confidence can kill, Self Assessment is the best. One must have an indication of whether one has an Upper Hand in an interview. At times you can know about it beforehand. If an urgent hiring needs to happen, etc.
 

Continue reading “How Interviews are Just About the Power Game”

What Being Bed Ridden Teaches About Life

What Being Bed Ridden Teaches About Life

As far as I can remember, I’ve had a very good immunity to diseases (no touch wood). Hence, before 2012, I had never been bed-ridden for a continuously long period. In 2012, right after the month, I graduated from college, I met with an accident. I don’t remember how it happened (even today). I woke up in the hospital with a nice lady by my side, asking me to relax. She was the one who had taken me from the road and brought me to the hospital. But I didn’t know a thing. Basically, the accident. those twenty minutes of my life have been erased from my memory. They say I had made 4 calls in that period. I called Papa and also told him to come and see me. I don’t remember a thing of that sort. A lot of people express their shock at this but medically it’s a very normal thing. This is your brain’s way of absorbing shock.

So ya, this accident made me bed-ridden/jailed for more than a month. My face was destroyed (And to my mother’s shock, no doctor was giving any guarantees of recovery. The badass that I was, I didn’t give a damn about it.), my lips were swollen to the point that we couldn’t check if my teeth were fine (I couldn’t eat for a week), there were stitches below the nose- above my lips, my knee was badly hurt and I could not get up or walk without support. It would have been fun to post the pictures from then but I don’t happen to be a sadist so won’t.  Continue reading “What Being Bed Ridden Teaches About Life”

Why Evernote is my Productivity Machine

A new document is like a blind date. You know that if it works out, it will be amazing but your mind tries to block it as much as possible. You feel nervous and anxious. Especially for writers. Writers Block is the ultimate reality. Life is a block. Writing happens somewhere in the middle.

 

But it’s not just the writers who need to write. Note-making, journaling and task list making should be a part of everyone’s routine to be the most productive.
Evernote is an app that can be downloaded on your laptop and your phone. Everything you write gets synced at both the places.

 

Here are the reasons why Evernote is my favourite app:

Works as a Diary, Task-list, Journal: You can constantly make notes on Evernote, create task lists and mark them as complete when done. It also acts as a documentation of your work.

Syncs with Laptop and Phone: You just note down something, somewhere on the way, and when your computer is connected back to the wifi, whenever you open it, you’ll find it synced to use.

 

Notebooks: You can maintain various notebooks such as one for work, one for personal use, one for journaling, etc.

Saving Web Pages, Articles Offline: One of the best utilities of Evernote is that, it gives you a Google Chrome Extension, “The Web Clipper”. Once you add it to your chrome, you can get Web pages or articles saved to your Evernote, for whenever later you want to read them. And yes, these articles get saved offline too!

Articles Saved Offline in One Click

Psychologically Stress-Free: Easy to use; technically, you don’t have to ‘open a new document’ on Evernote. Nor do you have to SAVE anything. Anything you write gets Autosaved. It doesn’t create a build up and lets you write. You don’t have to OPEN documents if you want to check something. You can just scroll through your written works. Everything is open already. So it’s like all your work until now is there for your support!

No Need to Save or Open

There are so many more things. You can tag different documents, share them very easily. It has a paid version too with more features. But I’ve loved the free version and it works out well for me. You can set a password on the Evernote app on your phone, so it stays safe. The Laptop they don’t have a password system for the free version. Also because it is assumed that your laptop itself has a password of its own.
In 2016, I read a Life Hacker article by Maria Popova, the founder of the popular content company, BrainPickings. She had mentioned how Evernote helps her write better. I thought to give it a try and it worked! Evernote has helped me write much more and be more organised. Nothing substitutes my love for physical diaries and writing in hand. But yes, Evernote is the other best friend.
To each, their own. The point is to find your own hack!