Do You Need Social Media Validation?

Social media is such a curse at times.

It is 3 in the morning..I can’t sleep so I’m on my phone. I browse through Instagram accounts and the process continues like a chain reaction; one account to another then another and another!

I occasionally end up on someone’s account and I don’t know her. “Wow! She is pretty”, I tell myself. This girl is extremely pretty and it’s been just two pictures and I find myself wishing I could be a little like her. I want to dress like her, smile like her, photograph my food like she does. Then there is this other person, travelling and making the best of life. Paris- Barcelona- Venice- Maldives- Greece; he has been everywhere and God! Those pictures! “You have a terribly boring life” I tell myself as I continue to stare at the beautiful landscapes in those fancy pictures.

This feeling of being like somebody when you are not even aware who you are wishing to be is negative. It is toxic.
It’s funny how easy it is to get validation on social media. Click a fancy picture, apply a few filters, add trendy hashtags and voila! It rains likes, people envy you and your life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am one among the crowd..pretty active on social media. I have all the major social connects on my phone and I spend a substantial amount of my time on these platforms… completely drowned in all that it has to offer.

The point is, my self esteem or happiness does not in any way depend on it anymore. I learned my lesson quite early.

I remember, it was the era of Orkut and I was in high school. Orkut was the thing then. Adding albums after albums, I remember sending scraps to my friend who lived next door. Both of us glued to our desktops. We were so fascinated by the trend back then that sometimes we would sit together and write each other testimonials (remember the testimonials section on Orkut? it used to be my favorite!). Every time someone wrote me a testimonial I would read it ten times and smile to myself. It felt good…all that validation!

It took me quite some time to realize where I was going with all of this and that it needed to stop. I had a really fulfilling life outside of it.

There are people who appreciate and love me genuinely, way more than the people who wrote me half baked testimonials; people who did not know the real me. Something so far away from my soul and my real life should not impact my self perception in any way, at all. Like everything else, these media platforms have have their positives and negatives. They have so much to offer! Pick what you like; indulge; have fun; drown if you wish to.

There is just one thing not to do- Do not let your self worth depend on it in any way. Virtual likes and opinions do not define who you are.

 

Image Credits: Bitmoji

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Dear Someone (#2)

Dear Someone,

Hope you are doing fine.

I have been away from my usual routine for a while now. Life has been different. Not the good kind of different though.

I saw this little pup the other day…roadside near a vehicle repair shop. It was a everything-is-screaming type of day. Wind howling, trees swaying to an extent like they would all break and die. The sky dark and darker every minute. Clouds closing in as if they’ve eaten up the light. A dark grey sheet above the world. On a general note, I am in love with storms, they render a sense of peace. However, this one was different, everything was negative about it. Back to the pup, it was a tiny one. Probably just a few months old. I looked at him…my hair all wild and full of dust. It was trying to sneek behind a big tyre resting against the wall. It shreiked and sneeked behind it, probably pretty scared of me. Away from the wind and the world. It slowly adjusted and found solace behind the tyre. Unable to see the world. The storm. The gaint scary human. Trying to sleep and let the storm pass. 

Later, I couldn’t sleep that night. I would close my eyes and see that little pup tucked behind the tyre, eyes shut tight.

I want to do the same. 

Find my safe and just close my eyes.

We all want that sometimes, when the storms are so scary. 

Have you found your safe place? I hope you have.

Sending you love.

The Other Someone.

A Whirlpool

Licking the edge of the spoon she wiped clean the cream then got up and moved close to the mirror, staring at her reflection. She opened her mouth and began examining her tongue for all the colors from the rainbow cake she just hogged over. There was blue and red and a hint of pink somewhere…her lips formed a sweet curve and in an instant the shine in her eyes turned liquid.

It has been a considerable amount of time…and it does not appear to be helping. She has this feeling of emptiness, loss, confusion. Sort of unrest…her soul stirring like a whirlpool. CHAOS. 

Tiring chaos.

Not the kind that you like, neither the one that can be used to lift oneself up. 

A whirlpool sucks things inside… it just knows how to consume and who knows what’s lost when you are trapped in it. 

She called her mom and cried silently – just a little.

Trapped and consumed are the words to begin with. Craziness and pain a little ahead. 

simple life, no tragedies glorified.

Whirlpools, tsunamis, thunder storms.

None of it stands justified.

Anyone?

– Do we really need to justify pain?

*Incomplete Stories*

Wisdom & Stuff

Alex says-

“We live in time- it holds and moulds us- but I’ve never felt I understood it very well. And I am not referring to the theories about how it bends and doubles back or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly; tick tock click clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us times malleability. Some emotions speed it up; others slow it down; occasionally it seems to go missing- until the eventual point where it actually does go missing, never to return.”

Julian Barnes seems to have known or created the smart Alex. He is from the book ‘The Sense of an Ending’ . I have never in my life read such an accurate description of how time really feels. Recently, I have read two books and coincidentally, both of them have taught me so much about time. Or maybe just made me realize what it really is and how powerful a little second can be. It was a wonderful experience reading these beautiful books but I would be lying if I don’t tell you that I am scared of time now; the power it holds and the delusional beings that we are!

A second and things might turn around completely. A second and it could be the difference between life and death. A second and you could have a completely different life. It’s just strange and amazing that there is no control. No matter how much you want it, you will never have it. That’s how life is shaped.

I can’t stop telling myself “Girl, you are small, you are insignificant”

I am not underestimating myself, here I mean this in an entirely different context.We feel we are all powerful, controlling the course of our lives..mastering time and achieving the ultimate.It’s all about us…the happy, sad, horrid- all of it.

What I decide! – What I desire! – How I wish to go ahead with my life! – The people I decide to love and to hate!

To make and break!

ME! ME!! ME!!!

Now when I think back I see Time laughing at me all through it. Every minute of my life when I thought I had the control. I suddenly feel betrayed and utterly stupid but I am not pissed off, not one bit. It just feels funny, you know…like I was pushing this wall with full rigor and then there is this moment; I realize how stupid I am. It’s so damn stupid that it feels funny. I thought I had the controls not even once realizing that there was no control! Just frantic running all around and a perfect illusion of control. Suddenly I feel as if wisdom has hit me like a truck! And I can’t help but wonder if this is an illusion in itself.

If there is one thing that I can conclude from my frantic musings is that I’ll never know enough. I am going to have these illusions all the time and I can at least laugh at myself that moment and tell myself “Just an illusion dear!”

Maybe wisdom is knowing that you don’t know enough.

A friend used to tell me – “You never know”  he used to say this all the time and I thought of it as something to live by. I guess I will add to it today and form a version of it for myself –

“You never know enough” I’ll say.

And then there is another such thought, again from a friend (yes my friends are smart and wise it seems :P) –

“A perfect illusion” she says.

As I sit here in this empty cafe writing about time as it softly, silently ticks by I can only smile and tell myself- Life indeed can be a beautifully sad string of perfect illusions.

Hope!

 

She was standing amidst this storm, heavy dark clouds closing in every minute. The howling wind when brushed past her freckled skin sent chills deep down her spine. She looked around at all the dull and tired faces; almost like zombies. It felt as if this was some disparate world.

A dead world.

Everything neutral.

And she had become a part of it.

Neither tears nor smiles. She almost felt dead…tired of searching for life and not finding it ever.

She almost gave in to it… just then, she was blinded by a stark shimmer.

A shine, she very well recognized!

Her eyes sparkled just like it that moment…

HOPE!

It was hope! Yet again… 

Right there.

She was in love with hope, it sparkled in the dull.

The shine of it caught her eye, every single time.

When the world around her almost strangled her to death, hope found her.

It hit her then…she always found it…a new life in hope.

The glimmer of it had found home in her soul. The storms stayed, but hope pierced through all of it like a subtle beam of light bringing her back to life.

Yes, she was a hopeful kind of person even in a dead..DEAD world.

It kept her alive.

 

The Daily Post: Shine

Pink and Yellow

The society that we live in demands ambition. It measures success and happiness on how ambitious you are and how you work to achieve those goals you’ve set for yourself (For your sake, I hope you have done it solely for yourself).

When it comes to me, I am not very ambitious. No, I don’t wish to be famous or rich beyond imagination. Nor do I want to conquer the world with my ideas. I just want to be! Traversing through life at my own pace…I am slow, I like to stand aside and enjoy the view. I am okay with achieving my dreams late in my life. I don’t want to rush with them in my twenties itself.

I’ve always felt that people with “REAL” goals have difficult lives. They have to toil day and night to put things on track, to keep up with the brutal competition. I have never been one of those people. However, I’ve come to realize, the simple goals like being away from the burden of ‘the social definitions of success’ are equally difficult to achieve. You just can’t slip away from its grip, no matter how good you are at sneaking.

I have nothing against the people who are ambitious or those who tune in with the widely accepted definitions of success. I respect you all, for you have guts and real strength. The society we live in is tremendously flawed and equally brutal. It has all these stringent rules drafted and methods crafted!

One slip and you experience a downpour of criticism. It can be really damaging to the spirit, when all you’ve ever tried is to keep up. There are people who fall and then there are people who keep going. I feel, we all break. Some of us break completely, some have little broken pieces here and there but we keep going. It’s just that we are all built with different thresholds. I don’t understand why people find it so difficult to respect this little fact.

At some point we all come under the same umbrella of “YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”. Some for never being good enough while some for not trying enough. The world is rarely happy with any of us. You might get that appreciation temporarily until you slip; One slip is all it takes!

It just makes me sad.

Why are we made this way?

I ask myself a lot of times.

Why can’t we be more kind and considerate?

Why do we have to judge people?

Why do we even need to define measures of success?

What makes us think that other humans should conform to our standards?

The answers are lost…

If it is Pink for one, it can be Yellow for the other.

They are tracks apart, but both of them are equally beautiful. Just because you prefer Pink does not mean yellow is ugly.

Don’t forget, Yellow can be sunshine!

 

The Daily Post

To The People We Love

I have no clue, how to form a ground for what I am willing  to convey. So I guess, I’ll jump straight to the point.

I have slowly, with time…come to realize that the things that make me happy are all connected to the people I love. There is this bunch of people and my life just revolves around them. There is nothing else, I don’t need anything else. They are my world, my survival kit and probably the reason why I actually want to go through life.

Today evening, while on the phone I was wondering how I absolutely adore these people.

The sound of their laughter, feeds my soul a smile. The sound of them when they’re sad, sucks my soul dry.

I have caught myself worrying about them more than I ever worry about myself. I would span the Earth…the entire Universe for them, if need be.

I am not bragging about my capability to love someone nor is this a declaration of my love for these people. However, you might call it a simple note of gratitude if you want.

They help form a vital part of my personality. There are certain parts of me that exist solely due to them. Maybe they are those parts themselves.

I find it amusing, how we are all separate-breathing-individuals yet some of us mysteriously connect.

We meet so many people through life but not all of them are scribbled in ink!

To all those people in my life: Your smile makes my life beautiful. Love you all to the moon and beyond… ❤

 

The Daily Post

Cracked Rearview

To,

what has left me or what I have left behind through these years…

  1. Grandma and Grandpa – I miss you terribly, you will stay in my heart forever.
  2. My once-best-friend – I miss you and I love you for the person you are. You will forever be the most amazing person I’ve met. Thank you for all the love, memories and lessons.
  3. My high school/college friends – We may not be in touch like we promised but thank you for all the giggles and timeless memories.
  4. Duke and Lucy – A doberman and a golden retriever; you changed my life in a wonderful way…you taught me compassion and love. I miss you both.
  5. My hometown – Even though I visit frequently, I don’t think I’ll ever get to actually live there now. It will forever be home though; like they say- ‘Home is where the heart is’.
  6. My impulsive streak – You are missed, really missed. All the extra thought that goes behind every little thing now, exhausts me!
  7. The old me – You were so much more stupid than I’m today, still…I sort of love you. Thank you for the connate stupidity. It has made me who I’m today.

 

I try to adjust the rear-view sometimes. But it never seems to form a clear picture.

I don’t complain, it is broken. There are small pieces missing here and there.

I can still form vague images.

What I see makes me simper and weep at the same time. I miss some of it, some of it not.

With time, we leave behind so much and gather so much more. I am glad for it all,  to have happened the way it did.

In Response: The Weekly Discover Challenge 

A Regular Day…

Yesterday was as regular as any other day.

Same old me, same old routine.

Yet, something was different.

I can’t seem to fathom out, what exactly!

Get up – grab breakfast + the everyday music – get ready for work – day at work – back home – dinner – regular phone calls with family & friends – daily dose of web surfing – sleep

Nope! no plus-minus to my routine.

Yet it felt completely different!

I wasn’t just listening to music; I actually enjoyed it and hummed and swayed along as I had my breakfast.

Upon reaching office, I greeted people…smiled at them and for a change, the smile was real.

At the end of the day, when home, I just closed my eyes and relaxed, all things good…popped up in my head (Take my word, not even a single negative thought; everything seemed like a blessing.)

Words can’t suffice the way it felt. I guess, we live for days like these.

I wish I could feel this more often.

Life is meant to be simple.

We don’t always need a reason to be happy 🙂

Wish you many such happy days! Cheers to life ❤

hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple …

When you come across something so simple yet so beautiful! 🙂

alpha // whiskey // foxtrot

I’ll tell you a secret … I’ve been a little distracted lately.

Harried.

Fractured.

Busy.

(Which — I’ll tell you — is a very modern and grown-up kind of brokenness.)

But today, I went for a walk in the woods — something I haven’t done for months now.

I disappeared into a hole in the trees — freckled dark shade and lush underbrush. I felt alive and at peace, and when I came out, I walked home and rustled through the bookshelves until I found this little gem by Mr. Cummings (or cummings, if you like) …

It’s a poem, but today I’m saying it like a prayer… For me and for you:

e.e. cummings

May we stay hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple, always. ❤

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