This is my third blog and at the outset let me tell you its loosely based on an unknown post that i came across on Facebook. That post made me ponder on this key and relevant issue of appearances on Facebook and other social media and the negative impact it has on our lives. In fact,Not only social media but our social lives.How artificial it is?Get dressed in your best clothes as we have visitors.Be at your smiling best in front of others.Display affection and how much we love and care and share in front of others and the proverbial “Log kya kahenge?”Beta chappal pehno….log kya kahenge instead of beta you need to wear slippers for your own feets safety and hygiene.Its like wear the seat belt as you are entering Delhi otherwise challan ho jayega instead of ki its for your own safety.

I have taken the title from a very successful british TV serial where the protagonist is always on a war footing in her never ending battle of keeping up appearances.Though,The serial was a comedy that made one laugh in every episode but moving onto social media.Social media is a great thing,Infact a milestone in human civilizations development.We now live in a more connected world than ever,distances don’t matter.But as with every good thing in life there’s a downside and it is that downside that i would like to talk about in this blog.As the old sanskrit slok we learnt at school……..”Kanak kanak te sau guni,Maadaktaa adhikaay.Jo khaaye bouraaye jo paaye bouraaye.” which roughly translates to kanak is the sanskrit term for Gold as well as Dhatura(Atropine),An excess of both makes a man mad.

So let me start off with my story that revolves around a group of college friends who have now moved on in life.Rajeev and Ritu who were good friends in college discover that they are in love.They carry this love forwards and get married with both the families happily consenting on this great match.They go on their honeymoon and post wonderful loveydovey pictures of the same.They get numerous likes and wonderful comments,which makes them extremely happy.

But,Akash their friend who is yet single,Is trying very hard to find a match,Is getting overaged and frustrated feels envious looking at his friends honeymoon pictures as it reminds him of his own lonliness and the sadness that pervades his life due to his current situation and predicament.The fact that his family keeps him reminding that he is getting overage inspite of being in a good position in his career is no panacea to the pain and frustration he feels always wondering “Mera Number kab aayega”.

Next month Akash decides to buy his dream car,A bmw SUV and ends up taking a massive loan for the same.It makes him happy and he posts pictures of him standing proudly with his new mean machine twirling his moustaches which adds panache to his picture posts.

In the meanwhile Rajeev and Ritu who have been back from their honeymoon are back onto terra firma.The exitement of honeymoon has faded and they are struggling to put their lives in order.Rajeev due to restructuring of his old company has lost his job and is trying his level best to get a new one but with no luck yet.They too need a new car but currently due to their difficult financial situation cant afford one.Looking at Akash’s new bmw makes their hearts sink.

After a week or so another common couple friend of theirs post pictures of their new flat at Bangalore in an upscale neighbourhood.In the meanwhile Rajeev and Ritu are going through a rough patch in their marriage.They are loving less and fighting and bickering more and more.Families have been called in quite a few times to resolve their differences and disputes a few times.One of Ritu’s cousins suggested that they seek professional help but this was downright turned down by parents stating “Log kya kahenge”.

In the meanwhile they get possession of their flat for which families have contributed and they have had to take a loan which has put immense pressure on Ritu’s earnings.But still there’s some satisfaction of having their own roof and yes the mandatory pictures on Facebook follow with their likes and congratulatory messages.This brings in some sense of satisfaction in their otherwise shallow life.

Seeing their pictures Akash who had brought his dream car last month to overcome his insecurities is bitterly reminded of his failure in getting married and having a house of his own.He breaks down and takes to drink.In the meanwhile Rajeev and Ritus fights continue.A few other friends who are yet single,without a car and a house are reminded of their financial constraints and family isssues looking at all the above hunky dory pictures start feeling depressed.

So how does one know of anothers happiness?Is it by looking at beaming proud pouting faces showcasing their material gains on social media? Is it by meeting someone for a few minutes and listening to thier achievements ….a new car …..a new house…..latest vacation pictures posing for breakfast,having a fancy dinner,celebrating their new job,promotion,professional achievements? Their smiling beaming faces,Airport,resort,hotel checkins,Their latest relationship post?Its all wrong,If you will judge this way you are falling into the inevitable trap of keeping up appearances and judging life this way you will only go down emotionally in life.

As someone famously said,Life is a deep ocean and you cannot simply judge other peoples lives by standing on a cliff(social media) and looking down because all you will see is the surface of the ocean.Try and jump inside the ocean and touch the bottom of an individuals life to see how happy they are really or better still stop judging and be judged.Just live your life to the full.Every individual has a few reasons in life to be happy and a few to be sad.Instead of peeping in others life appreciate the reasons in your life for you to be happy.As an old bollywood song says”Thoda hai…..thode ki jaroorat hai.Zindagi….phir bhi yahaan khubsurat hai…..”.Its your life you can either spend it worrying about the glass half empty or be thankful for the glass half full.And last but not the least please get out of this fake digital social media world.Remember,Social media is just there to help you pass some time.Its not meant to be your life.