Saturday, 16 March 2013

Are you my friend? Oh yes you are.

"You are like a teenager," my sixteen year old daughter said, "what do you keep doing on the phone?"

My daughter had been down with flu and between soluble paracetamol, orange flavoured Neurofen, steam inhalations and conversations about the ever looming GCSEs, we had had some time together talking mostly about her worries over grades and how much work she would have to catch up on.

She seemed more worried about my affinity to my smart phone, then. Tired after waking a few times during the night and worrying about her, I had no energy to do all the things I had planned to during my March end annual leave.

All I seemed to have energy for, even after my eyes were stinging, was Facebook. I tried explaining this sudden interest to daughter dear. I had been part of groups of the schools I had attended for while now but this new group I had been added to was different!

I am one of those lucky people who went to an all girls school till year 10 and went to an all girls Medical School, probably the only one in the world. A group for my all girls missionary school, existed as I am sure groups would have existed for the contemporary boys missionary school too, there wasn't much happening out there. Much like the neighbourhood cafe where there is a steady stream of visitors, but nothing as exciting and tantalising as the night club.

But now I am part of this day and night club/group  on Facebook, which includes both the girls and the boys school. Boy! It seems to have set all our facebook accounts on fire.

Shivaniji of Awakening with Brahmakumaris fame, had tried explaining how we should be soul conscious and understand that the age and appearance of our body costumes, over the successive births and deaths we encounter, doesn't determine our journey over time.

I think facebook allows you to not see these body costumes and to people in this group time seems to have stood still. We (40-50 year olds) were actually behaving like a bunch of teenagers, chatting away at all times of the day and night...chats which would put the teenagers to shame, complete with romantic songs (with You Tube attachments), various emoticons, suggestive and flirtatious innuendos and numerous posts to relax, tickle and stimulate our hearts, minds and souls.

Coming back to the teenager at home, I am now having a problem practising what I preach. I got told off by my 11 year old- "Aaaaall this time you have been on Facebook"

I am not so sure how I would explain anything if they were to sneak peek in more detail.

I used to get annoyed in the hospital, when students would come into the rest room periodically to check their phones. I wonder whether I will be able to stop myself from doing that.

Mark Zuckerberg has done what spiritual gurus have been asking us to do. Live in the moment, make soul to soul connections pleasant and positive and be happy.

But sadly, I have, as I am sure all of us have, promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep.

I pray to God, to give me strength to pull myself away from the irresistible urge to keep checking for the red icon with the number of notifications on the usual blue facebook back ground  (a sight so addicting that I seem to see it in my dreams) at the dining table, while my children are talking, when I am watching TV, when I should be resting, when I could be reading a book or even when I am speaking on the house phone. O God please help me.

I need to do this or else I am going to have to tell my children- "Do as I say, not as I do"

And that, for parenting standards is soooo baaad!!!!

So long guys, gotta see whats happening on.....Ooops!!!

6 comments: said...

Fantastic penning down of a new age experiences of middle aged people. Could have been expressed any better, complete with the pull and charm of the forbidden and remorse- over feeling happy as we are all conditioned to feel and the fact that our kids are now having to reprimand "wayward" parents. Superb read.

Sandeep joglekar said...

Dear Nilanjana, read your recent blog about Facebook. I must say that in the very beginning when I joined Facebook, I used it quite regularly mainly to be in touch with my school and college friends in India, found interesting to see all their photos. But I am certainly not addicted to it and for last 6 months at least, I have not logged into my Facebook account. I now infact find it boring and bothersome, I will be honest that I don't find time these days due to our little one who is now 15 month old and started to walk everywhere in the world and exploring things for which we have to be all the time on our tiptoes and vigilant.

Vidya said...

Facebook for me, is a wonderful spy tool! LOL!! No, seriously, I don't post any comments or photos on my account, but I like to see how everybody else is doing! Mostly, the children of my cousin brothers and sisters. They were all a bunch of 5-6 year olds, sitting around me and my husband at our wedding back in 1999. Now they are all medical college students. One of them has even gone off to USA.

When I went to India last summer, I told them, "I've been following you guys on facebook. I know what you've all been up to!" Embarrassed, they all said "YOU SPY!!" :-)

Rajiv Rattan said...

The other all female medical college is in Pakistan - most likely Karachi.

And... I was reading your blog on FB ..... while I was talking to my friend on the phone....;-)

Sunny said...

a good blog Nilanjana, facebook has transformed our connections of last 30-40 years, equally it has added more materialism in relationships i'e; comparing holiday photos, age on face, fashion, cars, houses, status etc

Sushmita Joshi said...

This is your friend from fb.
Loved reading it....sounds like a pretty similar situation here too.My 23 yr old son commented on it just this last weekend, "Mama, what do you on fb all the time.....I would do that in school and college.....". I did not have a witty retort then like I do on fb usually. My avataar on fb is funny, witty, badass and brutally frank. I rejoice with my new found friends with similar backgrounds......I do not regret it at all....yes, my housekeeping has taken a nosedive but yes, my time here is worthwhile...
Keep your bakbak going, sure do make this friend happy.