The ten minutes ride to school is one of the best time I get to have a good conversation with my daughter. I look forward to this. So much so that I feel cheated out of it if my husband insists on dropping her on route to an appointment at times. It's MY time with MY darling (she's his too, I know). Not that I make a big deal of it- for that'll scare her off, no doubt :)

Anyway, although I would love to talk back of the numerous rides and talks we've had, I won't, for that too will scare her off. So no, I'll stick to today's conversation. Today, it was actually she who started it. "Mom, do you think Facebook is dying", she asked. I thought of myself as a user and told her that my personal interest in FB with respect to uploading vacation albums and seeing other people's albums is certainly dying. Not to say I'm not a regular there, but there has been a considerable loss in interest. In fact, prevailing interest pretty much pertains to desideewar now. Of course, the mother in me definitely wasn't about to let go of this wonderful opportunity, that had practically presented itself on a platter, of discussing this further. So I go-

The problem with social media (she chose to hear it as Facebook) is two-fold,
a. It makes a 'stalker' out of normal people (exaggerating, of course), and
b. It provides a 'virtual' world, giving people a sense of wanting to live there, versus, in the real world, with real people right there in front of you, those who actually want to be right there with you.

You see (of course, I felt the need to elaborate), if you watch a 'friend's' album, leave behind a 'Like' at least, just to acknowledge you were there, you saw it (after all, he/she does intend for you to see it). The only time it's okay to "stalk" is when you're looking (even if deliberately) at pictures of someone who's not your "friend" (as in, on FB). In that case, the pictures were, in all likelihood, not intended for you, however, he/she did take the 'risk' of them been seen by others outside of their friends list.

As for point b, you're taking precious time out of those loved ones right in front of you. And that's a shame, because time- it's a constant, you only get that much.

My daughter, who has always been an intent listener, goes, "Yes, that's why I like Instagram."

"Dah", I go. That being a social media platform, has the exact same evils.

She clarifies that she likes Instagram, since it forces people to sum up their vacation/ mood/ event/ achievement in a creative manner since only one picture is associated with a given status. She likes looking at what people come up with, her love for photography pulls her to it. That's true. I'll give her that. But here's the problem. The race for 'followers' forces people to 'follow' and 'let follow' those that they're not close to. Sadly, even celebrities join this race to beat other celebrities. It's considered a matter of 'honor', worse- an indicator of popularity in all circles- famous or not. Aaye din (often in Hindi), you hear talks like Shahrukh's followers are less than Salman's...which doesn't help. When people started using their option of not displaying the number of 'friends' they have on FB, they actually became wiser in accepting the 'friend requests' that they got, some even 'cleaning up' their friends list. And that's what Instagram needs, I say. She agreed. And before she hopped off, I had this to add-

Remember, there's 'c' and a 'd' too- really important ones-
c. Never ever take your personal grievances with a friend to the social media. If he/she does it, take the high road- ignore (the comment/ status) and remove (him/ her from your friend list).

d. No matter how wise you think you are, don't think others are not. Please don't put statuses that supposedly show your well endowed wisdom but makes a mockery of others, or worse, hints at an experience you had with others?

"Okay, okay, bye, Mom". And she was gone, but not before I had imparted some of my supposedly acquired wisdom on her, presumably.

 (Photo Credit: Raashi K)