A usual evening after work-
“Tired? What work you do all day that makes you feel tired? You should have seen me working when I was your age? Could cook for a family of a dozen members, used to go 8 miles to fetch water, stitched my clothes myself, ground spices, used to go on our paddy fields, fetched fish from the family pond……embroidery…origami…… knitting…. papad-making….. achar-making…. …. ….. …..
I wonder what would I be left with to boast to my daughter-in-law, considering I don’t have any of the above mentioned skills (read: super-powers) my mom-in-law possesses.
Days like these make me fetch for an excuse to save myself and my generation from further assault by the uber-workaholic mom-in-law generation.
“Ma, you people didn’t have water connections at your home, and we have it now, so is it our fault? Should we hold a pitcher on our heads and walk till the nearest leaking pump to fetch water? Should we go fishing in the open drains of our colony (I doubt if fishes can survive the odour)? Or leave everything and sit on the terrace watching over the sunbathing spices so that we can grind them on your 5 decade old silbatta? Or cook for the neighbours as well since our family fall a little short of a dozen?”
Seeing that she is close to getting convinced on our inability-but-willingness to work-our-arses-off, I would take the opportunity to continue,
“I agree you had much physical work to do. But, what you don’t realise is that we need to do mental-work all day. I can almost feel my brain calling it quits at the end of the day”.
So the mom-in-law would bring out a momentary sympathy until she raises the issue once again the next day. I am relieved, that until she witnesses in-person the ‘mental-work’ I do in my office, I can keep using this excuse as a defence-mechanism.
On second thoughts, it wasn’t a lie entirely. Infact, I do have to tire-off my brain muscles at work. After all, I belong to the age of Twitter, guys! On top of that I work for a company that specializes in digital and social media. And further, on top of that too, my boss is head-over-heels for all things digital. And he is on Twitter.
So that left me with just one option. To wake up my Twitter account that was made years ago for God-only-remembers what reason. It went into indefinite hibernation soon after it was born.
I saw a huge bunch of people ranting about something or the other in unison. Some singing hymns of the things they love, others churning out choicest of words that don’t qualify for an urban, civilized dictionary for the things they abhor. Gradually, a realization stuck me. People don’t tweet what they observe. Infact, they observe things so that they could tweet. Yes.
I stayed passive for a while to learn the art of tweeting. You can say, I decided to put myself for a crash course on Twitter. Soon, one thing became clear. I was trying to complete PhD in 6 months. If there really was a course that could teach you to Tweet, there would have been as many modules as the number of Twitter profiles. Needless to say, I gave up.
But the shame of a social media professional lacking the skill of tweeting was too much to bear. So I thought, I’ll do what everyone on Twitter does. Blabber pointlessly.
So you see, how much mental exercise it takes to survive in the age of Social Media!
You come to work. Fire up your system. Fight the urge to type http://www.twitter.com on the URL field instead of opening your office mail to look if there’s any abuse from the client.
Thereafter, you browse through the news sites. No. Not to catch-up with the latest news, but to come up with a topic to tweet. It takes me months to come up with a new blog post and Twitter expects me to come up with a new tweet every single day. Wait. Every single hour, infact. What yar?
You don’t get anything in the papers. What will you get? You don’t understand politics. And much of the irony, humour and satire begins and ends with Indian politics. Sports? Everybody is talking sports. If you too will say something about the already-publicly-assaulted Rohit Sharma, it will be like whacking a dead-donkey. So that too would not work.
Now start rummaging around quotes of wise people. Pick something that sounds intelligent. When featured along with your smiling picture, it will seem as if it’s you who is preaching the thought. But as you are about to do that something wretched speaks from within “Chee, you call yourself a writer? Can’t think of a silly tweet? Copying words and proudly posting in full public view. Aren’t you ashamed?”
Okay. Indeed I am.
So I go back to reading other’s tweets in hope of a thought that motivates and helps me tweet something.
In between, I remember the mail from the client that seemed as if he had whacked me with slippers dipped in scum. Trying to set things right for him while resisting a glance at the timeline, scrolling up and down and again up to read the tweets, usher yourself to links, blogs, videos and pictures recommended by the much-revered following, trying to comprehend what exactly made them tweet this non-sense, and then telling yourself, if it has been tweeted by ‘so and so’ then it has to make sense. If you can’t comprehend it, then accept the fact that ‘you are a duffer’.
Now tell me people, isn’t that a labour? Am I not entitled to feel tired, mentally stressed? How would those who belong to the pre-Twitter era understand this dilemma?
Hmm.. perhaps one day when Twitter gets extinct, I could explain my quandary to my daughter-in-law.
“Is that what you call ‘working’? You don’t have an idea, what was it like when I were your age.” And the Twitter saga would be brought up in defence once again.
This is where I struggle to keep up my job as a social media ‘expert’ @creativwins
P.S. Follow me, no?