No, I don’t think I am an introvert. I love meeting people, making friends, and mingling with people who I think share similar wavelength as mine. Yes of course, I would not make a conscious and weighted effort to get myself into conversations with people or make an extra effort to befriend people with a hidden agenda in my mind or just for the sake of it.
In my previous company, our team was forced to open twitter accounts and tweet about our organizational achievements, achievements as a team, and achievements of people and organizations that would be interested in doing business with us. In such an arrangement, such a hype was excusable, and although forcefully, we had to meet our performance goals that were aligned to our social media presence, hence we tweeted with skillful and sinful indulgence. I hated the act of unwilling or forceful broadcast of achievements that people were least bothered to listen to, but responded and re tweeted the same because maybe their goals were also invisibly tied to ours.
After a brief stint with my profile on Facebook, I deactivated my account because I felt I was interfering too much into other people’s fancy lives and peeping into their rosy and plump affairs. I was indirectly keeping a tab on my friends’ holidays and eating habits. What happened to them in the toilet today and what they burnt in the kitchen yesterday. Maybe I wasn’t happy with my own life or there was so much less happening that I did not have anything significant to brag about. God knows why, but assuredly for the better, I got off Facebook and continued living a normal life. I no longer had to witness the ridiculous expression of love of a husband and wife, who lived under the same roof, but greeted each other only on Facebook and gave a thumbs up on each other’s posts only to go back home and turn away their faces. Even Bajirao and Mastani would have gone green seeing their love. I felt that there was nothing more to it than self-glorification and that the Facebook world was a rehabilitation center for people who lacked serious purpose in life. (These are just my perceptions, so excuse the bluntness.)
So I resumed my ordinary life and started breathing normally. I did not have any peculiar or distractible withdrawal symptoms, rather, I was glad I withdrew myself from the world of illusions.
But fate had its own mean ways, and I found myself at the threshold of social media once again for some selfish reason and again for making my voice heard amid the din of a lot of other voices way beyond the decibel levels of my meek one. When I dusted my long forgotten desire of becoming a published author, wise men and women told me that if I needed to be heard, or if I needed people to acknowledge my existence, I had to hop on to the social media circus ring lest I be caged behind the tents and be left to fend for myself.
I did take the advise with utmost seriousness and had myself set up a personal twitter handle. Clandestinely activated my Facebook account and pinned a lot of writing stuff on my Pinterest boards. Yes, (eyes rolled up emoticon, baring the milky white part of the eye, whatever it is called scientifically.)
I felt that twitter was less intrusive and more productive, if you followed the right people and groups or the right handle. You could say anything without using a hash tag and still be contended of having said something, at the same time get away with the rubbish you uttered, for the simple reason that no one heard you. The first two weeks on twitter went on with constant stalking and re tweeting of wise men and women. In the process, following people and hoping and longing to be followed back, but in vain. The moment I held my phone, I saw myself sneak into twitter and scroll up till the end to catch up with what I had missed while I was away. That was a painful exercise for my eyes and the constant vertical movement of the iris fatigued it as much as it did, my mind.
There was so much information around me, that I felt I was improving my general knowledge but at the same time I felt that I was not being able to quench my thirst for all that knowledge. I hopped from the second paragraph of an article to the third paragraph of another and then came back to the fourth paragraph of a totally different thread. Those were the most tiresome days of my life, that came next after my graduation days. I had expressed my opinion a few times, and this time around, mustering courage to add a couple of hash tags and handles (woah!, I sound so sophisticated), only to realize the futility of the courageous act.
Slowly, I felt infected. I felt miserable that to be heard, I was having to do something that I despised. I wanted to make a natural effort to make my voice heard, and not with a deliberate intention of doing something because that’s how it was done in today’s world.
I even thought of going back and living my farming dreams and then writing something slowly and steadily as I grew older, and make it worthy of being noticed. I almost gave up! “A victim of poor social media presence or an under performer”. Every thing that was social, was in suspended animation: I still had my Facebook account activated just sitting out there and blinking into eternity, I had my twitter handle dangling by the beak and I still wanted to write a book. So I fixed up a time for my social activities, which did not deserve more than half an hour of my productive time. I subscribed to a couple of useful websites and news portals of varied genres to keep me focused and informed. Occasionally I checked for notifications, and took a whiff of savage contentment, and resumed the tasks that would eventually lead me to my dream creation– my Novel.
I don’t care if it does not sell or be a bestseller. I only care about the feeling of contentment I will have when I see the book on the stands or in a row of dusty books shelved to be sent to Blossoms or Bookworm… After all I have done justice to my conscience. Isn’t that what eventually matters?