Witerati | Social media break, what’s(app) that? | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Witerati | Social media break, what’s(app) that?

Peer pressure drives home the guilt: when the entire world is on an exotic vacation, and virtually telling the whole world about it, it isn’t the right time for your social media vacation, because you’re “virtually” missing their action.

punjab Updated: Jul 09, 2017 15:56 IST
Chetna Keer
Chetna Keer
Chetna Keer

Just when one thinks social media is eating too much into one’s time, energy and etiquette reserves, and one needs a break from it, the entire world conspires to keep you from a WhatsApp vacation and how!

One type of spoilsports are workaholic bosses on WhatsApp. After vacationing in various latitudes and longitudes -- spanning Norwegian glaciers to Niagara Falls to a Nilgiris cliff -- they’re back on WhatsApp work-groups, spouting other kind of “lines” stiff: deadlines, after timelines. God save you if found taking a vacation, even from WhatsApp. SMSes as icy as Alaskan glaciers land: “Check WhatsApp & revert immediately”!

The other killjoy is the school-a-holic kind. Summer holidays see many a teacher and taught on respective breaks, spelling a “studied” silence on WhatsApp.

Alas, this WhatsApp holiday isn’t for many a poor parent who scarcely gets a break from comparing notes about offspring’s projects. First, note-sharing is to be accomplished with offspring, for present parenthood navigates times where kids speak more through WhatsApp or Facebook than face to face. Then, parents spend holidays experiencing “fellow” feeling, sharing notes with fellow parents, fellow friends or fellow students of wards.

Homework accomplished, fatigued by frantic WhatsApping, just when a parent contemplates a break from WhatsApp, the break’s over, of schools, that is. The class groups on WhatsApp spring to post-summer action. Any truant parent, who doth partake a WhatsApp break, is jolted out of it -- either by progeny who break “studied” silence for the only exercise they do, stretching lungs for a shout bout, “Haven’t you checked test datesheet on class group?”, or by trip-returned tutors who navigate the SMS or call route to lay the guilt trip on parents’ WhatsApp vacationing.

Relatively speaking, the other spoilsports are the family or friends’ groups on WhatsApp. Heaven forbid if you drop a message in group chats that you’ll be “away”! You’re grilled as good as Arnab Goswami’s guests on newshour: “Are you going on a holiday ... which destination ... why haven’t you disclosed...!”

When you’re only taking a WhatsApp break, pray say which destination to disclose, other than sheepishly saying you’re just poised to “run away” from Cyberia and that you’re not on any “runway” picturesquely positioned for departure to Siberia.

Peer pressure makes your “run away” mode from cybersphere look as unfashionable as travelling to Timbuktoo at a time when kith ‘n’ kin are swamping social media with picture postcards of preened departures from exotic-sphere -- a foreign “runway”, gateway or broadway.

Globe-trotting family ‘n’ friends lay the guilt trip on you, “Hey, did you see my Venetian vacation pics ... didn’t you ‘like’?”

Peer pressure drives home the guilt: when the entire world is on an exotic vacation, and virtually telling the whole world about it, it isn’t the right time for your social media vacation, because you’re “virtually” missing their action.

Poof, your WhatsApp break stands suspended as social-media addicts surrounding you drive home the wisdom about WhatsApping: if you’re not writing or written about, a more dreadful fate does await: you’ll be written off!

chetnabanerjee@gmail.com