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Haven’t we all scrolled through social media wanting the life someone else leads? But have you ever wondered maybe someone wants your life?
Suhana woke up in the morning and as was her practice every day, she picked up her phone to check on her messages. And like it happened every day her fingers moved to the social media application.
“Let me just see, if there is an update from anyone,” she told herself as she opened the app, but like every day the updates took a backseat. And now it was those gorgeous photos this time of her college batchmate with her daughter, which proved to be the cause of sorrow for Suhana.
Preeti looked so pretty, even with all the filters, I doubt I will look that beautiful. She and her daughter looked so picture-perfect. Meanwhile, her Vanya, no matter how much she dressed her up and taught her to pose perfectly for pictures, she never would. Why was she complaining about Vanya, when she, herself looked tired and dull in her photos.
Those comments describing Preeti as the “yummy mommy” only made Suhana more envious. She was angry now, why couldn’t she be in Preeti’s place. She had it all – picture-perfect looks, the most adorable child, and her huge following on social media showed was proof of her popularity. Suhana was angrily questioning, why was it that some people seemed to have it all while others like her spent their life longing for those good fortunes. This was so not fair!
In another corner of the world, Preeti sat hooked on to her phone screen looking at Suhana’s social media feeds. How she wished she could boast of those professional achievements on her social media handle as Suhana did.
She looked so powerful in her business formals. All those videos of Suhana’s little daughter singing and solving the Rubik’s cube only made her more envious and increased her longing for the life Suhana had.
Looking at those pictures, her life felt so mundane, she wanted to berate herself for choosing to spend all her time on her home and family. “All these successful people must be looking at me so condescendingly,” Preeti thought looking at the pictures on Suhana’s social media handle.
Anu was sitting with a morose expression on her face staring blankly at her living room wall. Her husband Yogesh was by now quite familiar with this expression of hers and knew he would be at the receiving end soon. He had seen her checking her social media feed only a while ago and knew this was an after-effect.
This happened every time she saw any travel posts from her acquaintances on social media. In a while, she would be berating and cursing him for the boring life they led. He would be admonished for never planning vacations and having killed her travelling dreams.
It wasn’t like they didn’t go on vacations, but Yogesh felt more than one vacation was not necessary. And this year because of the pandemic, he had decided to cut down on that, but not everybody thought like him and the result was an angry Anu.
But he also wanted to brag about owning that swanky car and post that video with him playing on his latest video game console on social media. He wanted to show the world all this. And he couldn’t make all those purchases if they kept going on vacations, why couldn’t Anu understand.
Next door to Anu there was a different storm brewing. Alka was looking at the video of Anu’s son Saahil playing the keyboard with so much confidence. There was another video of him trying to perfect the slam dunk on the basketball court.
How Alka wished she could post similar videos of her Purab, but her son was not interested either in music or sports. All he did was read books and write in his diary which he wouldn’t even let her see, let alone take a picture and post. There was no point telling Avinash, he would tell her to leave their son alone and get busy planning the next weekend getaway. She felt so envious of Anu.
I am sure all of you have found yourself in one or more of the above situations at some point or the other. A decade ago, when social media was making small inroads into our lives, we welcomed it with open arms.
Social media has been responsible for helping us track down long lost friends and acquaintances and reconnect with them. But over the years it has slowly taken over lives, to the extent that plenty of us are living our lives only for our social media feeds.
We want to ensure every moment is picture perfect and, in the process, fail to enjoy the actual beauty of that moment. Life goals are being planned in accordance with what people see in other’s social media feeds.
Do we ever wonder, we are often competing with people we haven’t met in decades and probably might not even be meeting in the future? The next time you see the photo of your friend a scenic background, like that and tell them it’s gorgeous. Then, move on with your life, don’t let that one post awaken the green-eyed monster in you who will wreck your peace of mind.
A version of this was earlier published here.
Picture credits: Still from Dice Media’s series Little Things on Netflix
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A dreamer by passion and an Advocate by profession. Mother to an ever energetic and
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