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Social Media

The Smart Smartphone!

Photo credit: Piya Mukherjee

Sunday was the day of an important festival in India. The traffic in Delhi, which is always busy, had gotten even busier. Travelling to meet someone, I sat through the jam patiently. There was no other way. 

On a toll bridge, I sat in the car watching the passenger in the car ahead of us having an altercation with the person at the toll booth. Inquisitive after a while, I rolled down my window to get slice of the story. The passenger in the car in front had refused to pay the toll and was adamant he was right in doing so as he was a senior government employee.The person operating the toll booth would not budge. There were no special rules for any one, everyone has to pay. 

Must mention the toll fee was INR 25. 

The argument continued for 20-25 mins. By then, a lot of young people had stepped out of the car, all with smartphones in hand. They did not intervene neither did they create a scene. There was no commotion. Each one of them clicked pictures of the car with its passenger and the registration number. They did not stop at that. They were plastering it all over social media. 

Soon the people in the car realized what was going on. They swiftly paid the toll fee and sped away. The traffic cleared. The toll booth operator was clearly the hero of the day. It is not everyday that someone takes a tough stand here. 

While a large part of the country is still caught up in bureacracy, the pseudo status symbols and misuse of power and designation, it is very refreshing and encouraging to see the young generation take a step towards what is right. They are doing so smartly and very socially. 

Story credit: Piya Mukherjee

Reliving Childhood Through FaceBook

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as a digital picture or social media. Yes, there was that time indeed and actually it was not very long ago.
Back then, a picture would be clicked, the tape roll would be printed and preserved in a photo album. Flipping through an old family album within the confines of your own home, you could relive memories of your baby bum, your first bike, your kindergarten friends, the summer holidays at grandma’s, a birthday picture, a glimpse of your room, a picture of an old house from where your folk’s have moved since. Precious memories.  That album was like the most prized possession on earth.
Now in today’s world, if the same pictures surfaces on the social media it is a totally different story.
A friend of mine had his kindergarten class picture posted on FB by a classmate of ours. Everyone who was recognizable was tagged in the picture. My friend was too. Three decades old memory. Sounds wonderful right ? Well turns out not so much for my friend. He was picking his nose when the picture was clicked. The picture not only had him tagged but people started tagging him in the comments. That’s not the end of the misery.
Someone posted it on his timeline “Such wonderful memories. I hope you have seen it.”. Before it could be hidden from the timeline, people had already started liking it. People included family, friends, co-workers, in-laws, neighbors and some acquaintances whom he did not remember.  His aunt wrote “How adorable”. His mum said “I told you !” The picture was eventually removed from his timeline. But the damage was done.
He was the “The Nose Picking Boy Of The Day”. The secret was out. He had only managed to keep the secret from his kids. When they had asked where he was in the picture, he had told them he had missed school on the picture day.
I exactly know that feeling. A junior high picture of me from the 90’s with a Gabriella Sabatini haircut (Please Google if you don’t know what the means) is not what I wanted to see on FB. I did not want to be tagged. I did not want my husband to see. Hell, he does not even know I was a tennis fan back then. I had cringed to see the picture. Worse, he was overlooking my shoulder. So I said “I don’t think I am there in this picture.”
He had smiled and pointing at me said “There you are.”  
A hair cut imitation is perhaps still OK. What if your baby bum pictures show up on Facebook ? Nah! I am not kidding. It happened to a cousin of mine. A young and single guy, with tons of female friends in his friend list. Thankfully he had not been tagged. But making the connection was not so difficult because his own dad had put those pictures. He had two options. He could unfriend his dad or pretend it was not him. He did the latter.
That is not exactly how you would want to relive your childhood. Family album tucked away on a dusty shelf in the parent’s house was way better.
That reminds me, there is a lost childhood picture of the husband with long hair and wearing a girl’s costume. A picture that his family is immensely fond of. Don’t ask me why. I need to get a hold of that from the family album. You never know. After all, my mum-in-law is on Facebook too.

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