Social Media Pressure.
When I first heard Amit Tandon on his standup comedy expressing how FB and other social media platforms are creating pressure for individuals to keep up with the social activity others are involved in and posting pictures for all to see, I only took it as a humorous observation. I did not realise that people are actually feeling the pressure in real life to keep up the image of cool travelers who live a life full of ‘Happy getaways’ and do not suffer from ‘weekend blues’ or not being the ‘Happening population’.
The first time he(Siddharth) called it was Thursday evening and just talked about this and that and just not being happy generally, but when he called on Friday he was positively agitated, in all the ‘fast talk’ I could only understand that he does not want to spend the weekend at home. It seemed to be an emotional pressure of appearance and performance, further; he was unable to decide whether ‘spending the weekend at home’ was not a socially ‘unacceptable’ situation. In addition to all this trauma, his wife was introducing him to her friends who were having expensive getaways over weekends and vacations. She was obviously hurting on lagging behind for not being able to post her pictures on FB, Twitter, whatsapp, etc. and missing the wows, likes, etc that followed. As a last resort, if nothing that fanciful was happening they could probably do the ‘very expensive ‘ two new restaurants over the weekend and she could at least be able to post those pictures and show off to her friends on social media.
This reminded me of another occasion when a caller was under tremendous pressure since the family was unable to travel to any foreign destination for summer vacations which had been the practice for a few years. Every member was very distressed and unable to bear the trauma of not being able to ‘post’ their own pictures for the world to know ‘what they did last summer’ The pressure of ‘socially acceptable behavior’ is real now, which probably means expensive designer clothes, expensive vacations/ cruises and the works which can actually disrupt your family life and budget. When I look back, we as kids always traveled in summer vacations to some destination mostly a hill station with extended families and cousins. Travel was considered educational and children were encouraged to join and explore, enhance their knowledge, but I distinctly remember there were no pressures and not much debate about selecting the destination. It was a fun thing and we all looked forward to narrating our adventure and escapades to all and sundry with the excitement of the child. It was never the ‘most expensive quality’ as far as our mind registered but definitely a happy, fulfilling and enriching vacation. Life should/can not be measured by expenses.....it should only be experienced. Whenever we sit down with old friends or families hours pass by narrating those years of life and everybody is richer by at least some ounces of blood in our system not to mention the laughter and bonhomie.