When I was a kid, my mother told me the story of how she came to have a tiny little spot on her nose. Apparently, she had once lied to her mom. It had surprisingly been the first and the only time she had lied. But that didn’t spare her from coming under the radar of the Angel of Truth, who decided to punish her by thrusting a sword into her nose. If I recall bits and pieces from that imagined story, the sword came jutting right out from the other side of my mother’s head. But she escaped with a minor bruise to her nose. Since then, mom swore never to lie. The moral of the story – Always speak the truth, because the angel is lurking around (with the sword of course). Talk about where I get my storytelling skills from.
Growing up though, I took this story very, very seriously. I always feared that if I lied, the angel would come and pin me down with his sword and ruin my face. When I got my first pimple, I had a strange feeling that the angel had something to do with it. This despite being old enough to not allow my naivete get the better of me. But I soon realised that the Angel of Truth was a figment of my parents’ imagination because I had lied a time too many – just out of curiosity – so that I could come face to face with my darkest fantasy. But like Santa Claus, he never appeared.
Why exactly am I talking about angels and devils now? I don’t really know. I don’t remember lying in the last 24 hours, neither do I recall pining for that Angel. But some stories have that effect on you. They come to you when you are probably pondering about something completely different…like say, how my life has changed since I went off social networking. OKAY, it’s only been a week and it’s absolutely not such a big deal. But I have been contemplating this for months together and I never really mustered the courage, especially with all those lovely photographs and memories that I had embedded into my Facebook and Instagram profiles.
What I didn’t realise was that I had reduced my life down to a series of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’. The ‘likes’ had become assurances, and the comments, doubled the assurance that someone out there in the virtual world, cares for what you have to say, where you have been, how you look in your profile picture, or what you feel.
I thought about my life 15 years ago, and it was just as beautiful, even without these assurances. Unfortunately, I can’t time travel. So I thought why not unplug instead. I don’t know whether I can withstand the temptation and lure of this futile wasteland called social network. But I know I am giving myself a chance to live my life differently. And if I succeed, I would do myself very proud.
I confess I have revelled in the crazy joys of social networking. I like writing lovely notes to people on their birthdays, I enjoy tagging friends on silly matters of great consequence, and I honestly think my profile pictures, make me look a thousand times more appealing than I could ever be in person. But I know I am fooling myself, just like the world is fooling me. I once remember getting carried away by this someone, who used to regularly comment on my photographs with fanciful praises from his verbal shelf. I don’t know who had lied more – he or me, who had cropped and photo-shopped the picture to make herself look better. If the Angel of Truth had really existed today, he would have nailed half the world down (me included), for airbrushing our lives with photos and words that hold no value, except on the web. Like my mother, we would all have a tiny spot on our nose – a souvenir of that farce.
Meanwhile, as I stay away, I shall keep you abreast with not-so-super-sensational stories from my life via this blog, which if you haven’t noticed, has now undergone a dramatic change, having shifted to wordpress. Yes, I guess, am taking this ‘turning over a new leaf’ business quite seriously. Then again, I am using social network to publicise this change. Damn, I can’t run from it…can I?
Angel of Truth are you listening?