Nepal | December 15, 2019

Addictions, they are all the same


Prof Shiv Sethi

I am not fond of TV. Rightly christened the idiot box, it is all about those cliched saas-bahu daily soaps or some ranting anchors shouting down the opponents with their hyper active vocal cords. Tune in to some other channel you find a bevy of girls attired in the bare minimal, exhibiting their otherwise must coverable limbs. “Viewing conspiracies, family feuds and backbiting lends my BP a sudden upward swing.” I halted, caught my breath and went on with my diatribe against the fool’s box.

My mother heaved a sigh of relief as I disconnected the phone. “Yours is a mobile phone, why don’t you walk and talk in the lobby or elsewhere?”

I was busy talking to an old college friend of mine. She has just checked into our WhatsApp group. As an admin of the group, I am duty bound to take care of all my group members.

After my last meal of the day, I laid down in the bed by mother’s side. The hyperventilating anchor had still retained his furious mood, browbeating and attempting to outshout the panellists, who were having a hot debate on some issues of national interest.

Suddenly, mom gazed at me and enquired anxiously what I was occupied with. Wonderstruck my as to how she had got her neck out to check what I was up to while her eyes had been firmly settled on her prime time show. “Oh, I am just thanking the people who have liked my posts of the day on Facebook.” Her forehead got a slew of furrows. “See, this chap has uploaded his Salman-style six pack pictures in a variety of poses, but who cares!”

“Oh, really, weren’t you pressing the likes just now?”

“Have a dekko at this. This woman constantly fights with her hubby, but her timeline is always loaded with romantic images. See Seema Aunty here cutting the cake with her family and relatives on her last birthday. He is the van driver who picks and drops the little child of ours posing with his school van. See in the backdrop, there is a packet of cigarettes. How dare he smoke! I was instantly cut to the quick and my intonation had risen many decibels.

“Calm down! Remember you just stated you had no predilection for watching TV as you are not interested in poking your nose in the lives of other people? But what you are doing on social media is in no way different. Let your FB friends grab their share of the limelight. Tracing out what people are up to does not always lend you information only, it might cause acidity, too!”

A version of this article appears in print on November 26, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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