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From Twitter to Facebook to WhatsApp to (whichever is your favorite place to hang out on the net), they make fun of it with a smugness that makes me break out in rashes. It seems people on social media only share the best moments (and the best photos, never forget the photo-sharing that is so looked down upon!), making it look as if their life is one big holiday all year round. If you ask me, it is a good thing to find people enjoying life, you can take tips from them on how to (or not to) go about it or you can just enjoy their joy from the outside in much the same way as one reading a book or watching a movie. But then nobody asked me, so I won’t go there.

Now let me see, this somehow implies that before Twitter or Facebook or WhatsApp or (whichever is your favorite place to hangout on the net) people cribbed, moaned, sobbed all year round about the sorry state of their in lives to those they met. They filled their *real life* albums (as opposed to online albums, ugh) with the worst pictures of themselves and hid those albums away, never shoving them under the noses of trapped visitors. They never went yakkety-yak about the son who got a first class or the Uncle in Amreeka or how well a dear grandchild sang and yet another danced.

What’s more, they were quite open about the uncle shut up in the asylum, the illegitimate baby the niece had, how the youngest child of a second cousin had failed all his exams and another who was on drugs and more such skeletons in the cupboard. I could go on and on, but one has to put a stop somewhere as the perfect *real* life as envisaged by its supporters is too awesome to be contained in mere words and that too written “online” by a junkie like me! Blech. Now if it were a book with real pages, and a pencil (all real and hence good, duh!), it would have been a different matter altogether.

When social media happened this imaginary real *perfect* world supposedly turned topsy-turvy. Here were millions of netizens shamelessly displaying, horror of horrors, their good, happy side to friends and strangers on the net. What a shame. This simply was not done. They were *pretending*to be happy ALL YEAR ROUND. Sacrilege! This was a slap in the face of the fans of *real* life still trying to keep the old order of things alive (or what they dreamed deemed had been the old order). And you know what’s funny? The fact that the very same people who’d sit through dozens of Bollywood potboilers without nary a whimper but never dare touch an arty film for its stark reality are among the ones crying foul of this *blatant misrepresentation of lives* on social media. 

How dare those on social media, by the way addicts one and all, show only the better and the best, the happier and the happiest of themselves? In real life we never go about things this way… err, umm… well, may be, but we are not, never ever, going to admit that to you little show-offs. Changing profile pictures, sharing family outings, treks, holidays. The shame of it all, every second spent online. And don’t you dare ask what we are doing here if we hate Twitter, Facebook, yes, WhatsApp too, so much. Someone has to keep an eye on your activities and show you what imperfect beings you are. Who better than us, the jealous, envying, spying, criticizing, whining, jobless conniving perfect beings who lead our *real* lives online? Ha.

Jokes and sarcasm apart, once I happened to come across a tweet from a gentleman on Twitter who smirked that netizens only put up the best photos as profile pictures. Excuse me. I am yet to hear of someone using a *bad* picture of themselves when a best one is available, ANY-BLEDDY-WHERE, on or offline. When you do have a *best* photo WHY the hell would anyone not use it? Internet or no internet, people in general have always, but ALWAYS, shown their best side to others, figuratively and literally. So those of you who do the holier-than-thou-act so perfectly please get off your high horse and walk the *real* ground for a change. You will find that online or off, it is all the same. 

©Shail Mohan 2015