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Category: Views on the Move

Medical Store Embarrassment?

Medical Store Embarrassment?

Noticed how buying condoms is often a nerve racking and uncomfortable experience for many? It does seem quite surprising, considering the fact that, it is the step forward towards being responsible and practicing safer sex.  But then, how could I forget, we belong to a country where sexuality is always behind closed doors, and one seldom displays the minutest possibility of having any inclination. No wonder, people mumble, fumble and whisper, to buy that pack of condoms.

The medical store drama

I was at a medical store recently, and as I stood waiting to be attended to, my eyes caught sight of a middle aged gentleman. Furtively, he glanced over his shoulder and scanned at those at the stores, and then at me. When prodded by the shopkeeper, he fumbled for a pack. Barely audible, his embarrassment was evident. It was like as though he was all set to commit the gravest of crimes.  The other two customers stood with their eyes transfixed straight ahead, ‘lest their eyes make any contact with the pack. The shop keeper picked up a pack from the counters within the store, whipped out a brown paper bag and sealed the edges. It seemed like as though everyone present there wanted the transaction to be completed as soon as possible.

Sexuality- An integral part of being human

There is a large stigma associated with buying condoms. There are instances, where many drive up around 10 kms away from their home to buy that pack of condoms, to ensure those from their neighborhood aren’t watching them buying a pack. In fact, in a survey conducted, it was revealed that the embarrassment factor involved in buying condoms from a shop is the biggest factor that prevented men from using condoms to enjoy safe sex.

The portal- A cheer to many

But now, much to the cheer of many, condoms could be bought without the embarrassment factor. Yes! One can purchase any condom brand, any quantity and at any time with a click of a mouse! They need not disclose their identity and there would be no glaring eyes, no smirks and no grins. One cold purchase condoms online and get it delivered home discreetly. No hassles.

What’s in store?

The web portal condombazaar.com allows this hassle free buying of almost all condom brands in India, without the need to disclose one’s identity. Orders placed would be delivered at the door step. The portal also stocks up, female condom varieties, personal lubricants, vibrating rings and climax delay sprays.

All that the buyer needs to do is to disclose his / her email ID. No need to furnish any other personal information. The site is easy to navigate, and serves as a platform for men and women to get habituated to safe and exciting sex options. Anyone above the age of 18 years can order condoms online in India without having to feel embarrassed.

Isnt this the most convenient way?

Privacy and discretion at its best

Total privacy is guaranteed during transaction and shipping. The payment for the ordered quantity can be made online. Condom bazaar uses highly secured payment gateway, so the payments are highly secured. The word ‘condom’ will never appear in your credit card statement / bank statement. Condoms will be delivered in a discreet packaging. Other than the buyer, no one can notice that condoms are packed inside unless the packaging is completely removed. Discreet packaging ensures absolute safety and privacy.  It will be a tamper-proof and opaque outer cover.  The site has exclusive sections to educate Indian youth about sexual wellness including how to use condoms. An exclusive section for condom reviews allows users to make informed choice while they buy condoms online. The section also carries useful information’s, such as Condom Price in India and information about various condom brands in India

As much as love contributes to healthy relationships and individual well-being, sexual intimacy is an integral part too. Sexual well-being refers to many factors such as physical mental and emotional factors that impact sexual function and reproduction.

Surely with portals such as this, we are paving a way to better and more responsible sexual behavior. 

Jaago Re- It is Time to Pre-act not React with Tata Tea

Jaago Re- It is Time to Pre-act not React with Tata Tea

As I sat casually switching channels, sipping warm tea on a lazy Saturday afternoon,  the television flashed one of the most compelling and hard-hitting advertisements of recent times. Tata Tea is back again with its trademark “Jaago Re” campaign. And this time around the brand has brought into forefront what is essentially known as pre-activism, urging consumers to pre-act and not react to prevent social crises.

Pre-Activism- Isn’t it the need of the day?

If this term had to be laid out in a simple form, it is nothing but a sort of awakening, to learn and finally find an answer to underlying problems……well before one strike. The advertisement carries the potent voice of the young girl, as a bunch of people lie sleeping away in the backdrop.  

“Alarm abhi baja nahi, Rape abhi hua nahi. Kisan abhi mara nahi, abhi ye phul gira nahi. Khiladi ne medal abhi hara nahi, alarm abhi naja nahi….” (Translation from Hindi: The alarm hasn’t gone off yet, nor has the rape happened. We are awaiting farmer suicides, bridges to collapse and players to lose medals. The alarm has still not gone off….)

It is almost always, that we collectively as a society react with outrage only after apathy has befallen! We head out on candle marches. Oh well!!!! Of course express anger on social media, crib about the deteriorating law and order of the country. We boil with rage when a catastrophe strikes.

But does it really solve our issues?

Candle marches, Facebook posts, Twitter protests and arm chair activism, it’s time to change our behavior towards what affects our society. The outrage must metamorphosis into a newer form of activism- and that is prevention. Can you and I do something? Of course we can.

  • Make some noise, well before something goes wrong.
  • The government needs to hear- whether it is encouraging our sports personnel or securing the lives of our farmers.
  • Do your bit for your city.
  • Segregate and recycle waste.
  • Be sensible on the road, by doing your bit such as reducing noise pollution and road rage.
  • Raise your children, boys as well as girls responsibly.

Its high time we pre-act than react!!!!!!!                  

Do You Mask Your Wound?

Do You Mask Your Wound?

My eight year old was bruised badly. Falling off the slide, the left side of her face had been scraped by the rough gravel below. Luckily the wound wasn’t very deep and required just a bit of home treatment. But the little one was upset beyond words. The swelling caused her pain when she ate or spoke.  It made her conscious too. “What if my friends laughed at the wound on my face?  I won’t go to school tomorrow”, she sobbed. Calming her down, I convinced her that hiding from people isn’t really the solution. Instead, she should tell her friends how brave she had been, to withstand the pain of the wound. The little one seemed convinced. She dared to not mask her wound!!!

How well kids accept simple solutions to life’s issues!

But growing up into adults, this ability surely seems to do the vanishing act.  Despite having given all that gyan to my eight year old, I realized the hard- hitting truth, that I had been doing just the reverse. I tend to mask my wounds. Probably not the ones visible, but the hidden emotional wounds embedded deep within the recesses of the heart.

Hidden wounds take longer to heal than physical wounds.

There is a hidden wound in almost each one of us, isn’t it? Memories that hurt, of prejudices inflicted by society, memories of abuse, ridicule, criticism or hatred. I often suppress such wounds within me, letting the anger grow inside. Seldom did I realize that by doing so, I was subconsciously never allowing the wound to heal. I was just making it worse!!!

Applying the gyan…

…I gave my little one, I reflected on healing the hidden wounds.

Speaking it out: There’s something about revealing feelings to someone you trust. It relieves a great deal of the pain, fear, anger, resentment and bitterness.

Emotions are natural: I realized there’s no point in resenting feelings. These are natural emotions and whether we like it or not, they come with an element of pain. So acknowledging them helps to effectively handle them when they arise the next time.

Face it all: Over the years I tended to avoid certain situations and kind of people with the fear of being hurt. It was more my fear that caused discomfort, than the actual situation. It is important to overcome this fear, and to do one must let go of past memories.

Emotions are part of human existence. The real strength does not lie in masking it, or pretending it does not exist, but in the courage to accept it and bear it all.

So, do you also mask your wounds?

*Featured Image Source: Pixabay

The Regressive Hindi Soap Operas!

The Regressive Hindi Soap Operas!

Having nothing to do on a lazy Friday evening, I scanned through the proliferation of channels on television that have come our way in modern times. My remote failed to rest on anything interesting, until I stumbled upon the baap of all shows- a mega 1000 episode Hindi soap on prime time television. The show made me sit up and notice- the sanskari bahu with the pallu neatly pinned, the sasuma with streaks of white hair, the vamp with her gaudy fashion sense, lavish sets, close ups of the cast, well way too close, and of course an overdose of melodrama. The absurdity that unfurled in front of me that evening, seemed good enough entertainment!!

My earliest association…

…with anything on television began with India’s first soap Hum Log. I was a young girl then, way back in 1984, but I distinctly remember how the entire family would huddle around the TV, right till the end of the episode when veteran film actor Ashok Kumar would bring in snippets of the episode that was telecast. The soap ended with 154 episodes, becoming the longest running serial in the history of Indian television at that time. Things have changed since then, and soaps now have an altogether new avatar, with glossy packaging and most touching the 1000 episode mark.

But look underneath the glossy package…

…and you find nothing but a poorly scripted saga. After watching a few of the soaps for a fortnight, I realized that almost all of them are strikingly similar and predominantly clichéd. Each episode begins with a five minute introductory recap, followed by ten minutes of commercial break and around ten minutes of the actual serial. And as though this wasn’t enough, these ten minutes actually lack any progress in story.

There aren’t any shades of grey in the characters. The adarsh bahu wins over everyone’s heart. She is the epitome of piousness and is totally devoted to her in laws. And the vamp? Well, the lesser said the better. Does she really have to wear the darkest shade of lipstick to be portrayed as the bad? Not to forget the stream of dadis, nanis, buas, maasis and the endless supply of relatives who are ready to celebrate, dance, rejoice and cause enough problems to the demure bahu. Throw in the designer saris, the trademark mangalsutra and the glob of sindur and you have the recipe for a mega serial indeed. The latest entrant is the naagins and tantrics who are capable of casting a venomous magic spell!!!

And that makes me wonder…Why do people watch these mega soaps?

As I began asking people I knew, who watched these soaps almost on a daily basis, I realized that despite the content being absurd, these soaps did manage to strike a chord with them. For an octogenarian like my grandmother, these soaps were the best way to be occupied. They seemed to speak out to her, things the younger generation seldom had time to convey to her. The soaps were something to look forward to in her monotonous life.

We still predominantly are a patriarchal society and family norms often confine women to the kitchen. For a friend of mine, who is a part of a joint family, these soaps are an avenue to be part of another world. Caught in the duties of a home maker, wife and mother, she isn’t employed and has limited interaction with the broader society. These soaps not only entertain her, but have also become an integral part of her life.

My domestic help, who watches close to five of these soaps, loves the clothes worn. It is her connect with the upper class society. She aspires that someday her daughter would be educated and married off into one such household where she could live lavishly and wear those lovely clothes.

Move over regressive soaps

The larger than life image portrayed in serials is going down with the masses, and television channels are surely capitalizing on it. It sure is interesting to throw in emotion and drama to keep viewers hooked, but considering the influence of television on people and families, isn’t it time, soaps become more progressive in nature? Isn’t it time the regressive nonsense metamorphosis into something more meaningful and realistic?

I wonder who would be able initiate the change- the demanding audience or the channels supplying it!!!!!!

*Featured Image Source: Youth Connect.in
The Road is My Therapist!

The Road is My Therapist!

found the road by mistake. I decided to go out for a brief drive on Sunday morning and suddenly found myself itching for some more alone time, driving on NH-66. I had intended to explore a spice garden I had heard good things about.

Terrain less explored

I sure am lucky to be living in a small town on the Konkan coast of India. A terrain less explored, the district of Uttar Karnataka is lush green, with hills and valleys on one side and the lashing waves of the Arabian Sea on the other. I live inside a beautiful Cantonment, with neatly laid out roads and scenic beauty, which opens out in front of my eyes every single day. I am spoiled indeed now and, can never really settle down in a crowded metro again.

So I drove…and drove, down the national highway, onto rural routes that twisted and bent through forests of Karnataka- for no other reason than that I had an urge to go on. I was on my own, wrapped in solitude, lost in thought, when I missed that crucial turn, finding myself at the head of a blocked-off road. A “kachcha rasta” lay ahead, and beyond it lay a blue stretch of sea, winding and unblemished. I sat still for a few minutes wondering if I must go ahead and just take one little peak of the sea. As I accelerated, the car growled through the muddy road at every arc, and the sun cast a high-speed flicker of shadows from behind the bare trees. It was fun, exhilarating and when I hit the end of the road, the feeling that I got was truly a new high. I wasn’t ready for the adventure to be over.

This is the marvelous thing about driving. You could head off to anyplace, find a diversion and explore.

I seek neither a private racetrack nor a plush vehicle

Yet I am drawn to the road. Many a times a simple cycle does the magic. Whether it is a quick lap around the neighborhood, or out onto the highway away from the maddening crowds, it untangles my mind. A spontaneous hour long trip to “no-where’s land” could get me contemplating over life’s great mysteries.

My car has become my therapist. I play a good playlist and hum away the blues. I just don’t feel like stopping the vehicle until I feel better. I drive, I think, I imagine….What attracts me the most, is being alone in the car and going places, seldom planned for. My drive on NH 66 was hardly the Arabian coast highway. Yet, I found it exciting and invigorating.

A drive is often my meaningful short escape. What’s yours?

*Featured Image Courtesy: pixabay

A Page from Chennai And its Mega Stores

A Page from Chennai And its Mega Stores

It sure does take a great deal of research to make a movie with a realistic story. I recently watched one such Tamil movie called Angadi Theru (Eng: Market Street). This heart wrenching movie revolves around life in a mega-sized store on one of Chennai’s busiest streets-one which is literally home to countless men, women, shops, and businesses.

Life on Ranganathan Street

If you have ever been to Chennai’s Ranganathan Street and shopped at the all famous Saravana Stores, you would understand exactly what I am talking about. Not only in Chennai, but cities across the state of Tamil Nadu are home to some mega-sized stores that sell practically everything under the sun. Apparels for all ages and gender, jewelry, household articles, home appliances, footwear, bed and bath products, cosmetics- just about anything you could dream of.

Way different from the plush retails in malls, these stores cater to all income clientele.

When I first visited one in Chennai, I was left speechless. Products piled one on top of another, with not an inch spared. The ceilings in the home section, hung steel utensils that shimmered in the light around. The 20,000 square feet store employed over a hundred odd staff. Dressed in neat uniforms, they stood at every junction, across counters, ready to help with a smile. Most of them seemed to be in the age bracket between of 20-30(some even younger). Their job involved being at the store from dawn to almost midnight, attending to varied customers and some of their tantrums, running odd errands for the store manager, counting stock, tallying cash and serving tea.

To me, they seemed to be running the show, in some way

As I sifted through the pile of saris, I struck conversation with the young sales girl in front me. She was twenty she said, and had left her village in Thirunelveli district (Naranammalpuram, a village with hardly 800 houses), as there weren’t colleges to pursue higher education, nor were there opportunities to earn an income. The store provided her accommodation and meals, which otherwise would be expensive on her pocket in a metro such as Chennai. With the income she earned, she was able to save a few rupees and also send money to her family back in the village. I asked her if she was happy this way. She just smiled and said, “This is my work, and there’s dignity in it”.

It was noon by then, and the wilting look on each of their faces spoke an untold story. Some seemed desperate to leave the store for the half an hour lunch break. There was a quick swap at the counter to ensure that I was attended to. I looked up to see another smiling boy in front of me. “You would look good in green. Shall I show you some more prints in that colour?” he politely asked me. I quickly made my choice from what lay in front of me, and proceeded to the billing counter.

Somewhere deep down, I had begun to empathize with these young girls and boys.

They were away from home and home sick, with long working hours, and having to stand all day. I made a mental note, that the next time I visited the store; I must look up from my shopping and give them a smile, acknowledging their presence. That’s the least I could do.

Featured Image: A glimpse of Ranganathan Street- Courtesy http://www.wikiwand.com/
Clash of the Titans: The Mother-in-Law & Daughter-in-law

Clash of the Titans: The Mother-in-Law & Daughter-in-law

Pbar_ww_badegeut a group of young women in a room, and you are bound to have at least seventy percent of them rant about their mother-in-laws. From time immemorial this relationship has been the butt of all jokes. Scores of forums across the internet are flooded on a daily basis, with questions pertaining to tackling the Mother-in-law. Often conflicts turn bitter, and may well become the reason for many a marriage to crumble down.

The Modern Day Mother In-law & Daughter-in-law

The modern-day Mother-in- law, is far more educated than what her own Mother-in-law was. From the personification of pure dominance, today, she is a more sensitive individual. She is more suited to treat her daughter-in-law with respect as she has learnt that to get respect, one must give respect. The Daughter-in-law of today is independent and is well aware of her rights. She believes in equality and thrives on mutual respect. She is receptive and is open to expressing not only her feelings, but her views too.

“Yet, despite these changes, there seems to be no end to the conflicts between a Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law.”

The Clash of the Titans

I consider myself lucky, to belong to the small percentage of women, for whom, the Mother-in-law factor isn’t really a big issue. Of course, we have had our share of differences too. But over the years, we have managed to settle down these differences amicably.

You’re the daughter she never had, is what it all begins with. And well, you do assume that this purely means she’s going to be supportive of all your choices, staying out of your life and marriage, just being there at the time, when you ask her for help. Looks perfect, isn’t it!! On the other hand, the Mom-in-law has her own little picture of what the Daughter-in-law must encompass. She knows you are crazy about her son. But she also assumes that you see her as an authority on her son. She assumes, you would seek advice from her, and the end result, she can’t wait to start helping…

What ensues is the clash of the Titans, and the reason why women begin to discuss how strained or infuriating their relationship with their Mother-in law has become.

Tracing the Problem

The problems can be traced back to the unspoken yet conflicting expectations and assumptions. For the Daughter-in-law, no matter how modern is the Mother-in-law, she is constantly judged on the standards of a traditional housewife– which is her ability to cook, maintain a home clean, and raise children. On the other hand, for the Mother-in-Law, her decade old pattern of decision-making is suddenly under threat, as the daughter-in-law now likes to do it all her way.

There is, thus, an underlying disappointment felt by both women, giving rise to a distinctive negativity. Add to this, a mother’s possessiveness over her son and a wife’s difficulty as she balances work and home responsibilities. You have the perfect formula for years of trouble. These tensions do more than cause friction within families. They can put even the best marriages at risk.

The Solutions Lies Within Both

As long as there is no abuse, there surely is a solution in tackling this age-old problem. By abuse I mean, dowry harassment, physical, mental and verbal abuse, irrespective of who inflicts it on whom. When such issues arise, there should surely be no compromise and it is not to be tolerated.

“Love begets love; let it once begin and none can tell its end.”

For the mother-in-law, who may feel her domain threatened, must accept that the son is now the object of  his wife’s affection too. Don’t pin down expectations. The mantra is to forgive and forget without any animosity against your son’s bride.

For the daughter-in-law, remember she comes with years of experience. Do not take offense at the smallest of things. Give a relationship time. If your mother-in-law expresses a view that differs from yours, you don’t have to accept it in entirety. Show respect for her experience and at the same time, make it clear that you want to do things your own way.

What surely worked for me is the assurance I gave my mother-in-law that she would continue to be respected, and be an integral part of the family. It made her respect our boundaries, which she seldom crossed over.

For the man of the house, you may feel like as though you are between a rock and a hard place, with a possessive mom on one side and a sensitive wife on the other. But remember you are the link between the two. Either you ease out the tension with your calm and collected way or, simply allow the tension to mount by being a silent spectator.

Featured Image Source: India Opines
Turn That Rule Book Over Women!

Turn That Rule Book Over Women!

Tbar_ww_badegehe numbers sure are intimidating. The corporate world has continually shown that there is a wide gap with regards to women in leadership. This, despite studies quoting that, breaking down gender barriers and including women in top leadership roles, are not merely altruistic for the company, but are also beneficial to society and the nation.

What the rule book says?

Through my early years, I have been hard-wired into believing that taking care of home is a girl’s first priority. I was never encouraged to have a strong ambition (though I do consider myself lucky that my parents ensured I received quality education). Nor was I pushed into playing rough and tumble sports. Yet at 20, I was better than most boys in my class, topping every subject in my stream. I was financially independent at the age of 25, and was ambitious to make it big in the corporate world.

Are societal conditions favorable?

But marriage and motherhood happened and what I did aspire to be, slowly took a back seat. This is probably the story of most young girls. There is no denying that societal conditions are not always favorable for women. There is an element of pressure to get married and start a family, giving just a small window of opportunity to establish oneself. She is loaded with domestic responsibilities, entrenched in patriarchy thus pushing career advancements to the back seat. Surely, embracing leadership roles becomes far-fetched. The ones, who do continue to dream big, often need to put up a tough fight, against the stereotypes cast upon them by society and, the guilt that results thereon- on neglecting the home front and the kids.

Must a woman aspire just marriage than being overly ambitious?

We seem to have a double sided issue at hand here. Where on one side, society’s rule book pins down the woman to the home front, on the other side, women themselves seem to be letting their aspirations be crushed by the stereotypes. What a women aspires is purely her choice. Thus, it is important for one to speak up and be resilient, moving past fears and embracing confidence. This is the first step to take in embodying the traits of a leader, and also the first step towards breaking down gender barriers.

Image source: pixabay
Terminal Illness and Death- Quality or Quantity, the Debate Goes On

Terminal Illness and Death- Quality or Quantity, the Debate Goes On

What’s more important to You, Quality or Quantity of Life? How far do we want to go to prolong our lives?

What a complex life!! Amidst the web of relationships I am entwined in, I am caught in this strange cycle of life and death. Where birth brings in joy death sure does bring sorrow.  But strangely, in my 36 odd years of existence, I have learnt that not always must death bring in sorrow. I have had situations in life when the death of my loved one has brought in an altogether different feeling. It is that unique feeling of relief and sadness mixed together.  At such times, you seldom shed those tears of sorrow, but give a sigh of relief instead, thanking God that the life has come to an end. Strange isn’t it, but I have experienced this weird feeling twice in my life.

Appa’s last few years were a fierce battle- with cancer. And it was not only his, it was all of ours. Metastatic colo-rectal cancer has a poor prognosis with only 5% of the cases crossing the five year mark, post diagnosis. I still remember the doctor telling me this. Yet, we decided to go ahead with the fight. Despite the multiple surgeries, and numerous rounds of Chemotherapy, Appa didn’t make it to the five year mark. Amma and I still ponder over the fact whether it really was worth fighting such an aggressive form of cancer, ‘cause despite the treatment prolonging his life by a year or so, it did reduce the quality of his life drastically, and also burnt a big hole in Amma and Appa’s savings. A healthy Appa was reduced to a mere frame.

I still remember the last day of his life. As the body began the process of shutting down, I sat by his side rubbing his palm that was turning cold by the minute. The cancer had spread through his body and the pain it caused is indescribable. As I sat there that night, I said those silent prayers hoping those few traces of life would leave his body soon. Every minute of pain, seemed to be a lifetime. And finally after more than twelve hours of moaning in pain, Appa slipped away slowly.

I was glad his life ended!!!!

My Paati was the kindest souls in my life. I still remember my childhood days spent in her lovely little home in Chennai. The kitchen would be stocked up with the most yummy savories and sweets and every meal would be a surprise.  She did belong to a generation that was far healthier. No wonder Paati outlived many family members who were younger than her, finally closing her eyes at the age of 97. Despite having lived a contended life, her last few months were spent simply lying on the bed. Unable to move, due to a stroke, she would have pipes to feed her and an attender who would take care of the body and its needs. It seemed to be a mere existence as Paati slowly failed to recognize any of us. It was a painful sight to see the woman who taught me so much, to be motionless. For some strange reason, her life clung on to her body, refusing to let go. Unable to see her that way, I would secretly pray the ordeal ended. And finally when it did, I gave a sigh of relief!!

Advancements in modern medicine present us with opportunities to live longer lives and keep life threatening diseases at a chronic stage for longer periods of time. But is it worth being kept alive in this way? Just how far do we want to go to prolong our lives?

It’s truly tough determining this, because there is no one right solution. The process of knowing what you want may take time and deep reflection as well as conversations with your loved ones. Of course we all want our loved ones to live for eternity, but prolonging life and living life are two totally different things.

Isn’t quality of life more important than quantity???

Feeling Depressed? Blame the Time You Spend on Social Media

Feeling Depressed? Blame the Time You Spend on Social Media

Let’s face it. Social media sure does stir up emotions- of joy, some cheer and quite often sadness too. There are good reasons to have social media accounts. You could share daily tidbits with family and friends, or network with people of similar interests. But, here is something else that social media comes with. Its usage could spell a slew of powerful negative emotions too– all at a subconscious level and they transcend the keyboard.

From way back in 2006…

Remember the days of Orkut? Well, it was the first of its kind and created a lot of excitement. It sure did help me connect with long lost friends. It was simple and sweet. But we humans don’t like it that way, do we?

Slowly and steadily, a plethora of social media platforms to share practically everything in one’s life came up and they invaded my personal space. Life without them now seemed impossible. From why the neighborhood stray dogs barked all night, to the color of my friend’s sister’s friend’s wedding dress, social media fed me with my daily dose. My mobile flooded with feeds and would consume precious hours of my life when I would read random posts of people I seldom interacted with.

And soon began the problems – of excess social media usage. It first came in the form of reduced attention span and a decrease in productivity. I would refresh feeds and check for notifications often. Over time, the negative emotions began taking shape. I would be upset with my diminishing social reach due to networks bursting at the seams with users.

Was I also becoming cynical and jealous of people? Maybe, but that’s when I decided it’s time I handled the situation before it went for the worse.

Social Media- it is a way to network and keep in touch

But when it goes overboard, that’s when the negative thoughts seep in and one may end up with “Social Media Depression!” This is a more informal way to describe the depressive thoughts associated with the use of social media. This would encompass:

  • Social Media OCD– A typical Obsessive Compulsive Disorder where you feel the urge to constantly check your social media updates and feeds.
  • The Grass is Greener Feeling– It’s that feeling you get when you see happy pictures of others and sulk! It’s the feeling that everyone apart from you is happy.
  • The neglected and dejected feeling: “Damn! Why have I got lesser likes today?” The feeling of neglect when your post or pic isn’t noticed enough to get those likes.
  • Interpretation or is it misinterpretation? : “Why did he unfriend me? He dislikes me, I am sure”. Before you have a chance to obtain a reasonable explanation, your day is already ruined.

Much as it may seem the entire planet has taken shape to remain plugged in 24/7, the truth is we need to learn to take a break consciously from the digital world. It’s a much needed thing to take that social media detox on a regular basis, trust me the feel would be refreshing.

  • Turn of notifications from your phone/gadgets. Better still; remove those apps that keep beeping every time your friend likes a post. Restrict your usage to the laptop/desktop. It would prevent you from peeking into your gadget every 5 minutes.
  • Keep gadgets away from your dining table and definitely do not carry it with you to bed. Dinner tables are for family time, and a gadget should not be eating into that quality time. The same goes to the bed room. Keep them away; set a specific place in your home to access emails and notifications. Trust me you would sleep well and wake up fresh, instead of looking at your notifications the first thing in the morning.
  • Schedule your posts. If you are the kinds who have a lot to say and need to post them out regularly on social media, do schedule them in advance. There are apps available that help you do so.
  • Emails and replies could be done in batches. Not all of them require immediate responses.
  • Cut down on wasteful apps that do nothing but send you lame jokes. It’ll free up some room on your feed and you may spend time just seeing what your friends are actually up to.
  • And finally, give yourself some rest. Pause and breathe. The world out there is still beautiful, far more than the one on social media. Indulge in meaningful conversations with family and friends; go for a stroll and maybe day-dream too.

That break from social media would do you good, trust me!

*Image Source: Deccan Chronicle